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Reparations Round-Up

# Reparations Roundup

The movement for reparations continues to gain momentum across the United States, with significant developments in various states and cities. This article provides a comprehensive roundup of the latest actions and proposals related to reparations from the past month.

## California's Reparations Proposals Advance

California is making strides in the implementation of reparations through legislative action. Earlier this year, the state's Legislative Black Caucus introduced several bills based on the recommendations of the California Reparations Task Force. Last month, the State Senate passed several key bills, which are now under consideration by the Assembly:

- **SB 1403**: Establishes the California American Freedmen Affairs Agency to implement the recommendations of the Reparations Task Force and oversee other state agencies involved in the implementation.

- **SB 1050**: Directs the California American Freedmen Affairs Agency to investigate and compensate claims of those whose property was taken due to racially motivated eminent domain by the government.

- **SB 1331**: Establishes the Fund for Reparations and Reparative Justice to fund state reparations policies.

- **SB 1348**: Designates colleges and universities as Black-Serving Institutions if Black and African American students make up 10% of the student body and certain programs are offered.

Meanwhile, the Assembly passed **AB 2862**, though not without resistance. This bill would require boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs to prioritize African American applicants for professional and occupational licenses, especially those who are descendants of slaves. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Not every reparations bill progressed. The Senate held back **SB 1013**, which would provide property tax assistance to African American descendants of slaves, and **SB 1007**, which would offer housing grants to individuals living in formerly redlined areas.

Governor Gavin Newsom has until September 30 to sign or veto any bills that reach his desk. Last year, Newsom expressed less support for direct cash payments but endorsed efforts to address voting barriers, hate, law enforcement reforms, and economic mobility. Whether he views the current legislation as aligning with these efforts will be revealed in the fall.

## Palm Springs' Potential Reparations Plan

Palm Springs, California, is also considering reparations. The city proposed paying around $4.3 million to former residents and their descendants of Section 14, a neighborhood where predominantly Black and Latino families were evicted to make way for commercial development. These evictions were allegedly racially motivated. Despite the city's apology for its role in the displacement, disagreements persist over who was responsible for the forced removals and whether proper notice was given.

## Asheville's Community Reparations Commission

Asheville, North Carolina, is moving forward with its reparations efforts after two years of meetings, staff resignations, and member departures. The Asheville Community Reparations Commission has begun to announce recommendations, including a guaranteed income program that provides monthly, no-strings-attached cash payments with no work requirements. However, similar programs in other locations, like San Francisco, have faced legal challenges for alleged unlawful discrimination.

## Legal Challenges in Evanston

In Evanston, Illinois, six residents, with the help of Judicial Watch, are suing the city over its Restorative Housing reparations program. The program provides funding for mortgages, home repairs, or direct cash payments to Black residents who lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969 and their descendants. The plaintiffs, who are descendants of individuals that lived in Evanston during the requisite period but are not Black or African American, allege that the program discriminates against them based on race.

## Boston's Reparations Task Force

Boston's reparations task force is facing internal disagreements and delays. Formed in February 2023, the task force is split on what reparations should look like and who should determine them. Some members advocate for waiting until research is complete to ensure a well-informed framework, while others push for more immediate action. The task force, which has experienced member resignations and held few public meetings, was originally expected to offer recommendations this October but will likely delay until next year.


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