The report states: “While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the values of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were legally codified and enforced.” As such, the committee has proposed that the city make a lump sum payment of $5 million to black residents who are at least 18 and have identified as black or African American on public documents for at least ten years.
To qualify for the payment, residents must also meet at least two of eight other requirements, including being “personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs” or being a “Descendant of someone enslaved through US chattel slavery before 1865.”
The committee also suggested that the city supplement the incomes of lower-income recipients to meet the Area Median Income (AMI) of around $97,000 for at least 250 years.
Other proposals include creating a “comprehensive debt forgiveness program” for black residents to cancel student loans, housing loans, and credit card debt in an effort to give “Black households an opportunity to build wealth.” The report also suggests offering financial compensation for families affected by “education harms” on black students, though it does not include specifics.
The panel also recommended allowing black residents who are eligible for reparations to receive first choice of subsidized rental units and prioritizing “members of San Francisco’s current and past African American communities for employment opportunities, training programs, professional certification, partnerships and contracting.”
The report suggests that the city and county of San Francisco and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development should offer black homeowners grants for home maintenance and repair costs.
The committee is set to submit its final proposal in June.
What is your reaction to what San Franciso is considering regarding “reparations” for black Americans? Please share your opinion by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.