The fate of San Francisco’s reparations proposal is unclear, but the city’s board of supervisors met on Tuesday to discuss the prospect and expressed “unanimous” support for the move.
It’s unclear whether all board members would support the $5 million lump sum payment for every eligible black adult in the city.
The state of California became the first in the country to establish a Reparations Task Force to consider statewide reparations, a move that has become increasingly popular following the 2020 murder of George Floyd while in police custody, sparking protests across the country. whole country.
The city of San Francisco has proposed some of the most drastic recovery recommendations in the state that would give up $5 million for each eligible black resident, alongside other recommendations such as free mental health, prenatal care and rehabilitation treatment for low-income black urban residents, victims of violent crimes and those formerly incarcerated.
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“A lump sum payment would compensate affected populations for the decades of damage they have suffered, and will redress the economic and opportunity losses suffered collectively by Black San Franciscans, due to both deliberate decisions and unintentional damage perpetuated by the city policy,” the proposal said.
Reparations advocates include San Francisco’s NAACP, but the organization has stated that the board should reject the $5 million payments and focus instead on reparations for education, jobs, housing and health care, in addition to a San Francisco established black cultural center. The city has also recommended establishing an Afrocentric K-12 school, focused on hiring and retaining black teachers, mandating a core black history and culture curriculum, rewarding at-risk students who meet educational benchmarks with money, priority giving to black residents for job and education opportunities, as well as finding ways to incubate black businesses.
Those in favor of the move believe it is a necessary effort to make amends for slavery and racist policies throughout American history, but the city’s advisory committee has not specified how reparations would be funded.
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Reparation critics do not believe that Californians should pay the price for racist actions in history and believe that current municipal taxpayers, including immigrants, should not pay for past discriminatory government policies. Stanford University’s Hoover Institution calculated how much the proposal would cost and estimated that non-black families in San Francisco would each pay at least $600,000 for the $5 million payout per person, a guaranteed income of $97,000 a year for 250 years , elimination of personal debt and conversion of public housing into apartments to sell for $1.
There is no deadline for San Francisco regulators to agree on a plan, but the next discussion on the reparations proposals is scheduled for September following the release of the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee’s final report due in June. expected.
Statewide, the California Reparations Task Force has yet to make many major decisions, almost two years after their commission, which was tasked with studying reparations proposals “with special regard to” the descendants of enslaved black people living in the state, according to the legislation adopted in 2020.
The task force has until July 1 to submit a final report with its reparations recommendations, which could be passed into law for consideration by lawmakers. In 2022, the group voted to limit reparations to descendants of enslaved or free black people who lived in the United States in the 19th century.
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According to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey, nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose reparations, while 30 percent said they favor such a move. Nearly 80 percent of black people surveyed supported reparations.
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Reparations proposals have been considered nationwide, including cities in Massachusetts and Illinois. A bill in Congress first introduced in 1989 that would allow the federal government to study reparations has not come close to a vote since it was first introduced in 1989.