A member of the California Remedies Task Force predicts the group will come up with ‘impressive proposals’ and end up with a price tag even higher than the $640 billion forecast.
In 2020, California became the first state to form a reparations task force and is still fighting to put a price on what is owed.
Lisa Holder, a member of the California Remedies Task Force and president of the Equal Justice Society, now suggests that when the final plan is revealed, it could see numbers higher than the $360,000 proposed per eligible applicant, which is already shot up from the original $223,329. .
‘With specific and tangible repair initiatives, California is on the brink of a historic and seismic shift to finally bring justice to African Americans. The task force’s recommendations will be impressive. They must be nothing less,” she wrote.
Reparations for slavery has been an issue of growing political importance and a divisive debate as various cities and states pursue their own proposals on the issue.
Lisa Holder (pictured), a member of the California Reparations Task Force and president of the Equal Justice Society, predicts the group will come up with “impressive proposals” and end up with an even higher price tag than anticipated.
It wasn’t until George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020 that reparations movements began to gain traction across the country.
The most recent proposal made public suggested it would cost the Golden State more than $640 billion, according to the washington examiner.
“It is important that Californians understand that to match the scale of America’s greatest injustice, we must be prepared for remedies on a scale that approaches the Great Society programs of Medicare and Medicaid,” Holder said in an article by opinion for lime matters.
Despite the state’s projected budget deficit of $22.5 billion, Holder believes this project needs to shake up a system that she believes has left Black people behind.
‘Reparations will include programs that disrupt racism within our major institutions. These programs will be in housing, penal and legal systems, education, health and medicine, and financial wealth and asset building infrastructure. Fixing systemic racism and rehabilitating institutions will require major changes in these sectors,’ she wrote.
He argued that monetary compensation can be awarded and that eligibility could extend beyond descendants of slaves.
Holder also noted that California’s admission to the United States as a free state and not a slave state was irrelevant, citing a interim report of the working group which claimed that the state was ‘in practice, a pro-slavery state, a Jim Crow state, and a post-apartheid civil rights state’.
The task force’s final report and recommendation will be made on July 1, before the legislature votes on the suggestions, where 94 of the 120 members are Democrats.
Protesters gathered at the CNN Center in Atlanta for a march to demand reparations for the systematic injustices inflicted on Black people in July 2020.
The task force has already released an interim report (pictured) ahead of the final report due on July 1.
The bill would then land on the desk of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom formed the task force in 2020.
Meanwhile, individual cities in California and places across the country have started their own proposals.
San Francisco’s proposals are by far the most sweeping, after a city-appointed repair committee issued more than 100 recommendations, which received an enthusiastic response at a hearing earlier this month.
The proposals include $5 million payments to every eligible black adult, the elimination of personal debts and taxes, guaranteed annual income of at least $97,000 for 250 years, and homes in San Francisco for just $1 per family.
The Board of Supervisors that heard the suggestions may vote to adopt some or all of the recommendations. There is no deadline for the decision, but the board will address the issue at a meeting in September.
Protesters from the Reparationist Collective gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to demand reparations for slavery in February 2021.
A crowd listens to speakers at a reparations rally outside San Francisco City Hall at a hearing on reparations earlier this month.
San Francisco’s draft repair plan, released in December, is unmatched nationwide in its specificity and breadth.
The committee has not conducted a cost analysis of the proposals, but critics have criticized the plan as financially ruinous and politically impossible.
An estimate by the conservative-leaning Hoover Institution of Stanford University has said it would cost every non-black family in the city at least $600,000.
John Dennis, head of the Republican Party in San Francisco, called the proposal irresponsible because it was impossible to fund.
“It’s completely unreliable and apart from being a huge waste of time, it’s also a complete distraction,” he told AFP. ‘The city’s (annual) budget is $14 billion. They are talking about spending $50 billion. It’s stupid.
But Amos Brown of the NAACP, a group that campaigns for racial justice, said the headline numbers weren’t helpful.
“Relegating this issue to a $5 million fight is wrong and dishonest,” he told AFP.
‘It doesn’t show all the terror and pain we’ve suffered. My position is that, for everything we’ve been through, it’s about $5 million plus specific programs to boost economic development, housing, health and education, he said.
Supervisor Shamann Walton, center left, speaks during a special Board of Supervisors hearing on the repairs in San Francisco on March 14.
Several supervisors said they were surprised to hear the pushback even from politically liberal San Franciscans.
“Those of my constituents who lost their minds over this proposition, it’s not something we’re doing or would do for other people,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes the largely LGBTQ Castro neighborhood, said at this month’s hearing.
“It’s something we would do for our future, for everyone’s collective future,” he added.
Several cities are also looking at potential repair strategies, including Boston; Saint Louis; St. Paul, Minnesota; Asheville, North Carolina and Providence, Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, the city of Evanston, in Illinois, has been helping residents who suffered from historically racist housing policies. His grants have paid off some mortgages, but they have also fueled divisions between winners and losers.