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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

California Reparations Task Force meets again

After the assassination of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as the nation struggled to correct a long history of mistakes, California took an important step in the name of racial equality.

In September 2020, the state created a task force to study and recommend compensation for black Californians, especially descendants of slaves. This is the only effort in the country of this magnitude.

In case you’re wondering, yes, California joined the union as a free state and never officially sanctioned slavery. But voters here have supported slavery policies for decades and, through various discriminatory measures in housing, voting and criminal justice, have hampered Black Americans’ ability to accumulate wealth and move forward, experts say.

“I think there is clearly a struggle going on in California to live up to what it thinks it is: this wonderful dream that has equal opportunity and access for all,” said Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who wrote the reparations law. said during a meeting this year.

The nine-person task force that held its first meeting in June is faced with several daunting questions: Who should be compensated? In any form? And how many?

Over the past several months, the group has been gathering evidence and weighing proposals before it is expected to present its recommendations to the Legislature next summer. On Tuesday, the group began its last two-day session on the world of housing, gentrification and infrastructure in California.

Experts testified that there were red lines in California, construction of highways through black areas, and illegal seizure of black property through prominent holdings.

(Other agendas include school segregation, environmental justice, the Great Migration, the history of slavery, and more. You can watch the live stream of today’s meeting, which will focus on entertainment and sports, here.)

Bruce Appleyard, assistant professor of urban and regional planning at San Diego State University, said on Tuesday that a series of discriminatory housing measures are robbing African Americans of the main source of wealth for middle-class families: equity and housing.

Although African American incomes averaged about 60 percent of whites ‘income, according to Appleard, “African American wealth accounts for only about 5-9 percent of whites’ wealth.”

This has serious consequences. By some estimates, people who identify as black or African American make up 6.5 percent of the total California population, but about 40 percent of our homeless population.

“Black people who are overrepresented in the homeless population are not random or accidental,” Brandon Green, director of the racial and economic justice program at the Northern California ACLU, told the panel.

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The issue of compensation for slavery in the United States has been debated for decades, but little progress has been made until recently.

Although federal legislation has largely stalled, political candidates across the country are increasingly backing reparations, and cities including Evanston, Illinois, and Detroit have taken steps to provide financial compensation to black Americans.

At the first meeting of California’s new task force in June, the group looked at examples of other reparations programs: Germany paid out billions to Holocaust victims, and the United States provided restitution to Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II.

In 2015, the United States also authorized the payment of up to $ 10,000 a day to dozens of people taken hostage in Iran in 1979, making it the largest reparations program in the country.

A. Kirsten Mullen, co-author of From Here to Equality, explained to the working group: “At the same rate, compensation for a black American would have been $ 36.5 million for one decade of Jim Crow’s rule.”

For more:

The redistribution of borders makes California the main battleground for Homes for 2022.

Today’s travel tip came from Sari Swig, a San Francisco reader. Sari recommends:

“The San Andreas Fault Line runs here. Water rises from deep within the fault line. Palm trees grew out of the water right in the middle of the desert.

This is a real sight. And there are many hiking trails around. “

Tell us about your favorite places in California. Send your suggestions to [email protected] We will explain more in the next editions of the newsletter.

John Wilson makes the least predictable show on television.

The video found offers mesmerizing views of 1960s San Francisco.

The recently retouched footage was captured by a camera tethered to a cable car as it roams the city streets. Let’s take a look.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Sumya

PS here today’s mini crossword puzzle, and hint: Hoity-toity (5 letters).

Stephen Moiti and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can contact the team at [email protected]

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