San Francisco Discussing $5M In Reparation Payouts For African-Americans
San Francisco, Calif., is taking a step in the right direction, as a hearing was held between the city’s Board of Supervisors and a city-appointed reparations committee on Tuesday (March 14), to discuss $5,000,000 in payouts for African-Americans.
According to NBCNews, the hearing produced over 100 recommendations made by the committee, which included eliminating personal debt and tax burdens for Black families, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and more.
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The committee’s fight for reparations is due to centuries of slavery and systemic racism. Although much of the Board of Supervisors voiced support for the aforementioned, others offered opposing views on the subject.
“Those of my constituents who lost their minds about this proposal, it’s not something we’re doing or we would do for other people,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said. “It’s something we would do for our future, for everybody’s collective future.”
Per outlet, the committee was accused of not having a sensible plan for the amount of money they believe African-Americans should receive over time. “An estimate from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which leans conservative, has said it would cost each non-Black family in the city at least $600,000,” the news outlet states.
As some of the supervisors claim that the city can’t afford any major reparations payments right now, Tinisch Hollins, vice-chair of the African American Reparations Advisory Committee, begged to differ.
“I don’t need to impress upon you the fact that we are setting a national precedent here in San Francisco,” Hollins said. “What we are asking for and what we’re demanding for is a real commitment to what we need to move things forward.”
NBC News reports that fewer than 50,000 Black people currently reside in the city, and it would be difficult to decipher whom is eligible for reparations. Possible criteria could include having lived in the city during certain time periods and descending from someone “incarcerated for the failed War on Drugs.” Others have proposed the idea that San Francisco doesn’t owe African-Americans reparations, as California was never an enslaved state.
San Francisco’s recommendation includes the suggestion that a person would have to be at least 18 years old and have identified as “Black/African American” in public documents for at least 10 years.
Eligible persons would also have to meet two out of eight other criteria which include: “being born in or migrating to the city between 1940 and 1996 and living in the city for least 13 years; being displaced from the city by urban renewal between 1954 and 1973 or the descendant of someone who was; attending the city’s public schools before they were fully desegregated; or being a descendant of an enslaved person.”
Beautiful images from historic hearing on reparations for San Francisco’s African-American community. Can’t wait to get to work to implement the 111 report recommendations. pic.twitter.com/HCR391Ju5g
— Hillary Ronen (@HillaryRonen) March 15, 2023
“If you’re going to try to say you’re sorry, you have to speak in the language that people understand, and money is that language,” Justin Hansford, a professor at Howard University School of Law, said.
John Dennis, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, stated, “This conversation we’re having in San Francisco is completely unserious. They just threw a number up, there’s no analysis. It seems ridiculous, and it also seems that this is the one city where it could possibly pass.”
The 15-member reparations committee was created in 2020 following the senseless killing of George Floyd. California Governor Gavin Newsom then approved a statewide reparations task force. The committee’s report is due to the Legislature on July 1.