OAKLAND — As lawmakers around the state are exploring potential ways to pay reparations for slavery, Oakland has revived and says it’ll enforce a seemingly forgotten city law that requires certain city contractors to disclose any historic ties to slavery.
The ordinance, approved by a city council 15 years ago, also creates a fund of reparations money that’s supposed to be disbursed to help residents in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. But it doesn’t force companies to put any money into the fund.
It applies to contractors that provide insurance or financial services to the city and to textile, tobacco, railroad, shipping, rice or sugar companies that do business with the city. Those businesses must complete affidavits confirming they searched company records for evidence that they had or hadn’t “bought or sold people subjected to slavery, used people subjected to slavery as collateral, provided loans to purchase people subjected to slavery,
Hundreds of people gathered across U.S. cities on Friday to celebrate Juneteenth and call for racial justice in the United States. (June 19)
California is now the first state to adopt a law that mandates a study of how the state could provide reparations to Black residents and the descendants of slaves.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the historic law Wednesday that creates a nine-member task force dedicated to coming up with recommendations for what form reparations might take and who would be eligible to receive them. The task force must have its first meeting no later than June 1 and submit its recommendations to the state Legislature one year later.
“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive,” Newsom said in a statement. “Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into
By Madeline Holcombe | CNN
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery.
Bill AB 3121 — the first of its kind in any state — was signed on Wednesday. It creates a nine-member task force that will inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations, Newsom’s office said in a news release.
The task force will convene in the wake of nationwide protests calling for racial justice and police reform following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in May. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have also called for a vote on a bill to study reparations.
“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating
California will consider paying reparations to descendants of slavery, becoming the first state in the US on Wednesday to adopt a law to study and develop proposals around the issue.
The law establishes a nine-member taskforce to develop recommendations for how California could provide reparations to Black descendants of enslaved people and those affected by slavery, and would look into what form those reparations might take and who would receive them.
Related: Black residents nearly four times as likely to be cited by Los Angeles police, report finds
The recommendations would not be binding. The taskforce must submit a report to the state legislature one year after its first meeting.
Video: The citizens arrest law cited in Ahmaud Arbery’s death was created to control the Black population. (The Washington Post)