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Reparations task force proposed for San Francisco

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San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton announced he will introduce legislation to form a task force to draw up plans to issue reparations to the African-American community in The City.

Walton said on Friday that the group, made of up of black community leaders, will prioritize different types of reparations, for everything from housing injustices to injustices of black businesses.

The supervisor stood on the steps of City Hall with a number of city officials, including San Francisco Board of Education member Stevon Cook, City College of San Francisco board trustee Shanell Williams, and former District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell.

Walton said:

“Reparations can be defined as providing what is owed to the descendants of slaves who were trafficked to and enslaved here in the United States.”

Walton gave examples of how The City could provide reparations back to black residents. One was when Charlottesville, Va. Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy got Charlottesville’s City Council to approve an equity package to marginalized communities. Another was Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs’ basic income program, which provides $500 monthly stipends to some Stockton low-income residents.

The task force, though, would make the decisions on any reparation plans.

Walton said:

“If they can do it in Charlottesville, Virginia. If they can do it in Stockton, California. Surely we can put together the appropriate reparations plan right here in San Francisco.”

Maxwell said injustices still continue today, like the mass incarceration of blacks, preventing blacks from achieving wealth due to the lack of loans given to them by banking institutions and gaps in education:

“The problem is the bill is still going because it’s still happening.”

Maxwell continued:

“Four hundred years of free labor. You owe. You owe big time.”

Walton looks to introduce the legislation either at the last meeting of this month or in sometime February during Black History Month.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native who works out of City Hall and rides Muni every single day to work. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn

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