Home » Californians await key decisions from reparations task force

Californians await key decisions from reparations task force

by The Grio

Nearly two years into the California reparations task force’s work, the group still has yet to make key decisions that will be at the heart of its final report recommending how the state should apologize and compensate Black residents for the harms caused by slavery and discrimination.

A vote possibly slated for this weekend on requirements for who would be eligible for payments and other remedies was delayed because of the absence of one of the committee’s nine members. But the group may vote Saturday on whether lawmakers should create an agency to implement an eventual reparations program.

Lawmakers passed legislation in 2020 creating the task force to assess how the legacy of slavery harmed African Americans long after its abolition through education, criminal justice and other disparities. The legislation directs the task force to study reparations proposals “with a special consideration for” the descendants of enslaved Black people living in California and is not meant to create a program in lieu of one from the federal government.

The work of the task force has captured widespread attention, a result of being the first of its kind in the country. But some used the group’s latest two-day meeting in Sacramento to warn that not enough Black Californians are sufficiently informed about its work.

One resident said the task force’s groundbreaking interim 500-page report, released last year, should be made available in libraries and schools. But others said it’s not just up to the task force and its communications team to get the word out on their work.

“This room should be filled with media, and it’s not because Black people are a pariah,” Los Angeles lawyer Cheryce Cryer said Saturday. “We are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

The two-day gathering in Sacramento, the state’s capital, comes as the group approaches its July 1 deadline to release a report for lawmakers….

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