California Gov. Newsom signed legislation establishing the reparations task force in 2020
(California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a bill establishing a task force to come up with recommendations on how to give reparations to Black Americans. (AP))
A California task force on reparations – the first of its kind in the nation – is set to release a report on Wednesday outlining several ways to address what it believes to be wrongs committed by the state against Black Americans.
The report calls for expanded voter registration, policies to hold police more accountable in cases of alleged brutality, and recommends the creation of a special office that would, in part, help Black Americans who descended from free or enslaved Black people in the country at the end of the 19th century document their eligibility for financial restitution.
The report, which runs 500 pages, will be the first government-commissioned study on harms against the African American community since the 1968 Kerner Commission report ordered by President Lyndon Johnson, task force Chair Kamilah Moore said.
“I hope that this report is used not only as an educational tool, but an organizing tool for people not only in California but across the U.S. to educate their communities,” she said, adding that the report also highlights “contributions of the African American community and how they made the United States what it is despite ongoing oppression and degradation.”
California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom created the task force via signed legislation in 2020 which voted in March to limit potential reparations to descendants of free or enslaved Black people in the country at the end of the 19th century rather than all Black people as many reparations advocates have pushed for.
Moore said that a state Office of African American or American Freedmen Affairs could help African American residents file claims and trace their lineage to prove eligibility for individual restitution.