Efforts in California to advance Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Reparations Task Force continued this week with one activist calling for $350,000 to be given to every eligible Black person in the state. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams endorsed the California effort and one in his state to give reparations out to both individuals and businesses.
The move in California comes after a first-in-the nation taskforce released a 500-page report back in June on incidents of “segregation, racial terror, harmful racist neglect.” Now the same taskforce will begin to decide how much each Black resident might be receiving.
As noted by The Guardian, the subjects being considered for monetary relief include “government taking of property, devaluation of Black-owned businesses, housing discrimination and homelessness, mass incarceration and over-policing, and health.”
The taskforce is looking at when these harms started and finished. Only those Californians who are actually descendants of Black Americans from the 19th century will be eligible.
As for amounts, the Guardian cited one attendee at the taskforce meeting who put the number at $350,000 per person: “Max Fennell, a 35-year-old coffee company owner, said every person should get $350,000 in compensation to close the racial wealth gap and Black-owned businesses should receive $250,000, which would help them to flourish.”
He added, “It’s a debt that’s owed, we worked for free. We’re not asking; we’re telling you.”
The task force’s economic consultant team estimated California would pay $223,200 per person in early December.
In November, California officials announced that, despite a nearly $100 billion surplus last fiscal year, the state was currently looking at a $25 million deficit next year.
During a December 8 address on affordable housing, Democrat NYC Mayor Eric Adams was asked about reparations in New York, citing California’s efforts. He responded, “I support it. I think it’s long overdue.”
He stated, “We need to zero in on some of those corporations and companies that the foundation of their wealth came from slavery. And I commend those lawmakers in Albany that are looking at this.”
Adams concluded, “I’m 100 percent supportive of what they’re doing.”
The California taskforce has a July 1, 2023, deadline to deliver a final report to the state legislature.