San Francisco’s Proposal for Reparations: A Historic Moment for the US City
San Francisco is considering a proposal for reparations for the city’s Black residents. The proposal, which was presented to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on March 14, includes a list of 100 recommendations ranging from offering home ownership grants to Black residents to providing a $5 million lump sum. This decision could make San Francisco the first major US city to fund reparations, though the effort faces stiff opposition and financial headwinds.
The proposal seeks to rectify historic injustices by focusing not on slavery but rather the city’s discriminatory treatment of Black residents during the period of “urban renewal” in the 1950s through 1970s, which included the razing of a thriving Black neighborhood and the displacement of nearly 20,000 people in the name of “economic development”.Slavery reparations have become an increasingly popular topic for discussion in cities and universities. In 2020, California was the inaugural state to create a reparations task force, yet it is still having difficulty calculating what reparations should be.
John Dennis, who is the chair of the San Francisco Republican party, declared that he does not agree with reparations and deemed the present dialogue in the city “completely unserious”. Howard University Law professor Justin Hansford said, “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.”
The task force in California is still considering proposals, such as providing financial remuneration. The legislature is due to receive its report on July 1. Once it reaches this stage, it is the responsibility of legislators to create and approve a bill, which can be a lengthy procedure. Kamilah V. Moore, chair of the task force, stated that a proposed independent agency would be created to offer services that do not currently exist and provide oversight to any existing state agencies.
Sacramento is following in the footsteps of Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Richmond by dedicating their efforts to creating a reparations initiative as part of their Sacramento Centered on Racial Equity (SCORE) campaign. Donald K. Tamaki, a member of the task force, stated on Saturday that it was obvious to all that the country would be observing their work.
0. “Black Americans in San Francisco Could Collect As Much as $5 Million in Reparations” Yahoo Life, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/black-americans-san-francisco-could-180909847.html
1. “San Francisco mulls reparation plans including $5m for Black residents” The Guardian US, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/14/san-francisco-reparation-plans-black-residents
2. “San Francisco Reparations Ideas Include $5 Million Payment Per Black Person | The New York Sun” The New York Sun, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.nysun.com/article/san-francisco-reparations-ideas-include-5-million-payment-per-black-person
3. “S.F. weighs slavery reparations for Black residents at $5mil per person” The San Joaquin Valley Sun, 14 Mar. 2023, https://sjvsun.com/california/s-f-weighs-slavery-reparations-for-black-residents-at-5mil-per-person
4. “Reparations: California Legislative Analyst’s Office Proposes “Paths” For Payments” Post News Group, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.postnewsgroup.com/reparations-california-legislative-analysts-office-proposes-paths-for-payments
5. “Task Force Hears From Dr. Margaret Fortune At Local Meeting” Sacramento Observer, 13 Mar. 2023, https://sacobserver.com/2023/03/task-force-hears-from-dr-margaret-fortune-at-local-meeting
6. “CA reparations panel calls for new stronger agency” CalMatters, 6 Mar. 2023, https://calmatters.org/california-divide/2023/03/california-reparations-2/