San Francisco Reparations Committee Recommends $5 Million Payouts, $1 Homes

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently met and approved a bold set of reparations policies for the city in its efforts to redress slavery and racism. The board is making headlines for proposing cash payments of up to $5 million, as well as a host of other major proposals. Though no final decisions have been made, the proposals show the growing momentum towards reparations policies in San Francisco and around the country.

The post San Francisco Reparations Committee Recommends $5 Million Payouts, $1 Homes appeared first on Blavity.

On Tuesday, the San  Francisco Board of Supervisors received a report from the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee. a board created in 2020 to explore questions of reparations within the city following the murder of George Floyd. The committee’s report included a number of bold moves to combat the impact of slavery and anti-Black racism as they have affected Black residents of the city. One eye-popping proposal is for San Francisco to make a one-time payment of $5 million to every eligible Black resident of the city. Another proposed idea would provide Black people in San Francisco with a guaranteed minimum income of nearly $100,000 per year. Another potential plan would allow Black San Franciscans to purchase houses for as little as $1. The Board of Supervisors welcomed these and nearly 100 other recommendations warmly, expressing unanimous approval for the committee’s proposals.

Reactions have so far been very mixed for both the overall push toward reparations in San Francisco and the specific proposals on the table. Opponents of reparations in San Francisco argue that a reparations policy for San Francisco would be unnecessary and unfair since California was not a slave state and many current residents, including immigrants, do not have a connection to slavery. The plan, opponents further argue, would simply be too expensive for the city. Those who support the proposals, meanwhile, argue that the effects of slavery and later racial discrimination have spread widely across California and the country. Furthermore, the high costs associated with the plan are appropriate given the high level of impact that slavery and racism continue to have on the city and the country.

The issue of reparations remains a divisive topic, with a large majority of Black Americans in favor of the idea and most white Americans disapproving. But efforts like that in San Francisco and other cities around the country show that reparations have become more likely in various parts of the country. The San Francisco reparations debate, for example, is happening even as California moves closer towards its own set of policies to make up for slavery and anti-Black racial oppression and discrimination.

Neither the California state plan nor the San Francisco proposals will happen overnight. For San Francisco, the reparations committee will receive feedback on its proposals before submitting a final report in June. At that time, the Board of Supervisors will be able to pass, reject or edit the proposals as they see fit.  However San Francisco ultimately moves concerning reparations will likely have a big impact on how other cities and even states approach the topic in the near future.