Tag: reparations

California passes landmark law to study proposals for reparations

The law establishes a task force to make recommendations.

California became the first state to pass a law establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for Black Americans.

The landmark legislation calls for the creation of a nine-member commission to “inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations,” according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.

The bill was authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber of San Diego, who introduced it to state legislators back in February. Newsom signed it into law on Wednesday.

“California has historically led the country on civil rights, yet we have not come to terms with our state’s ugly past that allowed slaveholding within our borders and returned escaped slaves to their masters,” Weber said in a statement after Newsom signed the bill.

PHOTO: Assemblywoman Shirley Weber at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., June 10, 2020.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber calls on members of the Assembly to approve her measure to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to let voters decide if the state should overturn its ban on affirmative action programs, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., June 10, 2020.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber calls on members of the Assembly to approve her measure to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to let voters decide if the state should overturn its ban on affirmative action programs, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., June 10, 2020.

She added that Newsom’s signature on the bill “demonstrates that our state is dedicated to leading the nation on confronting and addressing systemic injustice.”

The text of the California bill calls for the task force to “study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans, with a special consideration for Americans who are descendants of persons enslaved in the United States.”

Weber’s legislation has gotten public support from rapper Ice Cube, who tweeted his thanks to Newsom.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive,” Newsom said in a statement. “Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions.”

The topic of reparations in the U.S. has courted controversy as economists and advocates debate who will pay, who qualifies for payments and what payments might look like.

The dark legacy of slavery in the U.S. has lived on for decades through discriminatory policies such as Jim Crow laws and redlining, overt and systemic racism that contributed significantly to a vast wealth gap.

In 2016, the typical white family had a net worth nearly 10 times that of a Black family, according to a Brookings Institute analysis. Moreover in 2019, the average wage gap between a Black and white worker in the U.S. was 26.5%, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

As the nation grapples with other inequities Black Americans face — disparate health outcomes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting instances of police brutality — many advocates are renewing calls for state and

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California to consider slavery reparations after historic law

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Hundreds of people gathered across U.S. cities on Friday to celebrate Juneteenth and call for racial justice in the United States. (June 19)

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California is now the first state to adopt a law that mandates a study of how the state could provide reparations to Black residents and the descendants of slaves.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the historic law Wednesday that creates a nine-member task force dedicated to coming up with recommendations for what form reparations might take and who would be eligible to receive them. The task force must have its first meeting no later than June 1 and submit its recommendations to the state Legislature one year later.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive,” Newsom said in a statement. “Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions.”

‘The timing is right for reparations’: Cities propose reparations amid nationwide unrest

Reparations could come in the form of cash payments, student loan forgiveness, public works projects or job training. The law doesn’t limit the payment to slavery but requires the task force give special consideration for Black people who are descendants of slaves.

This image made from video from the Office of the Governor shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing into law a bill that establishes a task force to come up with recommendations on how to give reparations to Black Americans on Sept. 30, 2020. (Photo: Office of the Governor via Associated Press)

The law was championed by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat and chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus. Weber said Wednesday that while many are waiting for federal guidance on reparations, California has a responsibility to lead the way.

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” she said during a news conference after Newsom signed the law. “After 400 years, we still have that impact.

“If we can do it others can do it also,” she said.

Although California entered the Union in 1850 as a free state, slave owners were allowed to bring their slaves into the state and state law required runaway slaves be arrested and returned to their owners.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, wears a face mask as she calls on lawmakers to create a task force to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans, during the Assembly session in Sacramento on Thursday. The Assembly approved the bill that now goes to the Senate. (Photo: RICH PEDRONCELLI/AP)

The law was signed amid months of nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality, but Weber emphasized that this bill was authored long before the death of George Floyd and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

After Floyd was killed by police in May, some mayors and local officials proposed ways to examine the impact of slavery and help

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California passes a first-of-its-kind law to consider reparations for slavery

By Madeline Holcombe | CNN

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery.

Bill AB 3121 — the first of its kind in any state — was signed on Wednesday. It creates a nine-member task force that will inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations, Newsom’s office said in a news release.

The task force will convene in the wake of nationwide protests calling for racial justice and police reform following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in May. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have also called for a vote on a bill to study reparations.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” said Newsom in the release.

Newsom acknowledged that Black Californian’s and people of color in the state still face “discrimination and disadvantages.”

Other measures

The bill is joined by two others in the state that target structural racism and bias in the legal system by prohibiting the use of race, ethnicity and national origin to seek or obtain convictions or impose sentences, and to reduce discrimination in jury selection, the press release adds.

“While there is still so much work to do to unravel this legacy, these pieces of legislation are important steps in the right direction to building a more inclusive and equitable future for all.”

The idea of reparations for slavery has been in and out of political conversations since the end of the Civil War. Republicans have been critical of the concept, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying last year he opposed the idea, arguing “none of us currently living are responsible” for what he called America’s “original sin.”

But the city of Asheville, North Carolina, unanimously approved a reparations resolution for Black residents in July, formally apologizing for the role it played in slavery and implementing racist policies.

Instead of mandating direct cash payments to descendants of slaves, the city plans to make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.

In February this year, California also made a formal apology for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Internment was the largest single forced relocation in US history, with more than 100,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated around the country.

“Given recent national events, it is all the more important to learn from the mistakes of the past and to ensure that such an assault on freedom will never again happen to any community in the United States,” the resolution reads.

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Alabama’s governor apologizes to Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, and says government ready to discuss reparations

After lawyers requested an apology and financial reparations for a survivor of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, Alabama’s governor has somewhat obliged: offering a formal apology, while proposing further discussions as the woman seeks restitution.



a man and a woman sitting on a couch: Sarah Collins Rudolph sits with her husband, George Rudolph. Earlier this month, Collins Rudolph's legal team requested a formal apology and restitution for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.


© Jay Reeves/AP
Sarah Collins Rudolph sits with her husband, George Rudolph. Earlier this month, Collins Rudolph’s legal team requested a formal apology and restitution for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.

Sarah Collins Rudolph’s lawyers pressed Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this month to offer her a formal apology and restitution for the losses Collins Rudolph suffered as a result of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, including the loss of her sister and her vision in one eye.

Wednesday, Ivey responded, calling the bombing on September 15, 1963, “one of the darkest days in Alabama’s history.”

“Thankfully, the violence that unfolded on that fateful Sunday morning — and other incidents during this difficult chapter of American history — resulted in many positive changes that have been beneficial to our national story during the years and decades that followed,” Ivey wrote, going on to condemn the “racist, segregationist” rhetoric used by some state leaders at the time.

She continued, formally apologizing for the incident: “Moreover, there should be no question that Ms. Collins Rudolph and the families of those who perished — including Ms. Collins Rudolph’s sister, Addie Mae, as well as Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carole Denise McNair — suffered an egregious injustice that has yielded pain and suffering over the ensuing decades. For that, they most certainly deserve a sincere, heartfelt apology — an apology that I extend today without hesitation or reservation.”

Ivey did not address the request for restitution directly, but proposed that attorneys for the governor’s office and the state legislature start discussions with Collins Rudolph’s lawyers as soon as possible. Ivey said she would instruct her general counsel to reach out “to continue this very important dialogue.”

In a follow-up statement, the legal team for Collins Rudolph said they were “gratified” by the governor’s acknowledgment of the injustice as well as her apology, and they “look forward to engaging in discussions in the near future with the Governor about compensation, which Ms. Collins Rudolph justly deserves after the loss of her beloved sister and for the pain, suffering and lifetime of missed opportunities resulting from the bombing.”

Collins Rudolph has yet to receive financial help, she has said

On September 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four Black girls between the ages of 11 and 14.

Though the attack was a major catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement — a year later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act — Collins Rudolph claimed she was never offered payment, medical care or an official apology.

“Given recent events,” her lawyers wrote in the initial letter to Ivey on September 14, “now is the time for Ms. Collins Rudolph to receive long overdue justice.”

Collins Rudolph

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Historic California law establishes path to reparations

California on Wednesday became the first state to adopt a law paving the way for Black residents and descendants of slaves to receive reparation payments.

The legislation, which was authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat representing San Diego who is chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, does not commit to any specific payment. Instead, it establishes a nine-person task force that will study the impact of slavery on Black people in California and recommend to the Legislature what kind of compensation should be provided, who should receive it and what form it will take.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law Wednesday afternoon.

“After watching last night’s debate, this signing can’t come too soon,” he said during a videoconference with lawmakers and other stakeholders, including the rapper Ice Cube, who used his celebrity to champion the bill.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said in a statement.

In a year filled with protests and calls for racial reckoning, the law received bipartisan support in the Legislature. Advocates hope that it will become a model for other states and that it will make amends not just for slavery, but also for some of the institutional practices that continue to disproportionately affect Black people in the U.S.

“This is an extremely important time for all of us,” Weber said Wednesday. “California tries to lead the way in terms of civil rights, and we have a responsibility to do that.”

Weber, who was born in Arkansas, said she and her family relocated to California because they saw “tremendous opportunity.” But, she added, California has more work to do to acknowledge its history with race and inequality.

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” she said. “After 400 years, we still have the impact.”

California was founded as a free state, or a state where slavery was illegal, in 1850, yet several laws made significant allowances for residents to retain enslaved people so long as they lived in California temporarily or bought the slaves before statehood.

Slavery became illegal throughout the United States in 1865.

A similar proposal to study reparations for Black Americans was first introduced in Congress in 1989. It never passed, but Congress held a hearing on the proposal last year.

Weber’s bill was written last year before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody triggered national protests. It was also written before the coronavirus exposed disparities in the country’s health care system, which made testing, treatment and prevention less accessible to communities of color.

“This is not just because of the circumstances we face. What happened is that, of course, those circumstances reinforced the fact that what we were saying all along was true,”

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New California law considers reparations, and what’s opening in L.A. County

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Plus: COVID outbreak hits Cal State Long Beach, and a man has been charged in Compton cop attack.

I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, wishing you a very happy hump day! It’s hot as usual here in the Coachella Valley, and here are some of today’s hottest California news stories.

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California task force to consider reparations for slavery under bill signed by Gov. Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom the signed Assembly Bill 3121 into law on Wednesday, which opens the door to the state paying reparations to Black Californians. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)

In breaking news, Deadline reports that California is working on a plan to grant reparations to Black Americans under Assembly Bill 3121, a new law signed today by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“After watching last night’s debate,” Newsom said, referring to President Trump’s reluctance to publicly denounce white supremacy, “this signing can’t come too soon.”

The bill does not outline any specific plans for reparations. Rather, it instructs that a nine-member task force be created to propose ideas on what the reparations should be, whether compensation or restitution, and who should receive them.

The task force will be required to give special considerations to Black Americans who descended from slaves, though not all reparations need to be related to slavery.

While California’s constitution stated that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for punishment of a crime, shall ever be tolerated,” archives suggest that slavery was a common practice in the state in the 19th century.

According to the article, Newsom also signed into law Assembly Bill 979, which requires publicly held California-based corporations “to have at least one director from an underrepresented community by the close of 2021.”

What’s due to reopen in L.A. County

Within the next 10 days, shopping malls in L.A. County are expected to reopen. (Photo: Getty Images)

Since Los Angeles County health officials did not see a surge of COVID infections connected to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, it was announced today that the positivity rate and hospitalization count has reached its lowest level since the start of the pandemic.

As a result, malls and nail salons in Los Angeles County will be permitted to open their doors over the next 10 days to indoor operations with limited capacity, the Los Angeles Times reports. Playgrounds are also permitted to reopen.

Nail salons and indoor malls will be permitted to reopen at 25% capacity, while mall food courts and areas where people congregate will stay closed.

In addition, a motion was passed to allow breweries, wineries and cardrooms to resume outdoor operations.

The reopenings will be staggered over the next 10 days; reopening dates for individual sectors will be announced Friday.

Remains of Palm Springs socialite identified

The Clifford Lambert murder defendants, clockwise from upper left: Kaushal Niroula, Daniel

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California to consider slavery reparations after landmark law passed

California will consider paying reparations to descendants of slavery, becoming the first state in the US on Wednesday to adopt a law to study and develop proposals around the issue.



Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli/AP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The law establishes a nine-member taskforce to develop recommendations for how California could provide reparations to Black descendants of enslaved people and those affected by slavery, and would look into what form those reparations might take and who would receive them.

Related: Black residents nearly four times as likely to be cited by Los Angeles police, report finds

The recommendations would not be binding. The taskforce must submit a report to the state legislature one year after its first meeting.

Video: The citizens arrest law cited in Ahmaud Arbery’s death was created to control the Black population. (The Washington Post)

The citizens arrest law cited in Ahmaud Arbery’s death was created to control the Black population.

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“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive,” Gavin Newsom, California’s governor, said in a statement. “California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face.”



a person talking on a cell phone: The California assemblywoman Shirley Weber calls on lawmakers to create a taskforce to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans in June.


© Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli/AP
The California assemblywoman Shirley Weber calls on lawmakers to create a taskforce to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans in June.

Reparations have been a controversial subject in the US for some time, especially amid the reckoning on racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Union general William Sherman’s promise of “40 acres and a mule” to newly freed people never came to fruition following the end of the American civil war in 1865, and instead, “our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions”, Newsom said.

California entered the US as a “free state” in 1850, 11 years before the start of the civil war. But its history with slavery was much more complicated than that, according to the California Historical Society. Many who took to the Sierra Nevada foothills during the Gold Rush in the years before California’s statehood brought enslaved people with them.

The state constitution proclaimed “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for punishment of a crime, shall ever be tolerated”, yet the legislature passed a fugitive slave law “specifically targeting Blacks who escaped in California and had not fled from slave states”.

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Historic California law establishes path to reparations for Black people, descendants of slaves

California is the first state to adopt a law paving the way for Black residents and descendants of slaves to receive reparation payments.

The legislation, which was authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat representing San Diego and chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, does not commit to any specific payment. Instead, it establishes a nine-person task force that will study the impact of slavery on Black people in California and recommend to the Legislature what kind of compensation should be provided, who should receive it and what form that compensation will take.

Gov. Gavin Newson signed the law Wednesday afternoon.

“After watching last night’s debate, this signing can’t come too soon,” he said during a video conference with lawmakers and other stakeholders, including rapper Ice Cube, who used his celebrity to champion the bill.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said in a statement.

In a year filled with protests and calls for racial reckoning, the law received bipartisan support in the state Legislature. Advocates hope it will become a model for other states and make amends not just for slavery, but for some of the institutional practices that continued to disproportionately affect Black people in the U.S.

“This is an extremely important time for all of us,” Weber said Wednesday. “California tries to lead the way in terms of civil rights, and we have a responsibility to do that.”

Born in Arkansas, Weber said she and her family relocated to California because they saw “tremendous opportunity.” But, Weber added, California has more work to do in acknowledging the state’s history with race and inequality.

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” she said. “After 400 years, we still have the impact.”

California was founded as a free state, or a state where slavery was illegal, in 1850, yet several laws made significant allowances for residents to retain enslaved people so long as they lived in California temporarily or purchased the slaves prior to statehood.

Slavery became illegal throughout the United States in 1865.

A similar proposal to study reparations for Black Americans was first introduced in Congress in 1989. It never passed, but Congress held a hearing on the proposal last year.

Weber’s bill was authored last year before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody triggered national protests. It was also written before the coronavirus exposed disparities in the country’s health care system, which made testing, treatment and prevention less accessible to communities of color.

“This is not just because of the circumstances we face. What happened is that, of course, those circumstances reinforced the fact that what we were saying all along was true,” Weber said. “Some think we’re just responding

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