California's one-of-a-kind slavery reparations task force held their inaugural meeting, in an effort to study the effects of slavery, as well as recommend reparations for the descendants of enslaved people.
Congresswoman Shiela Jackson reintroduced House bill H.R. 40, a bill that would establish a commission with the mandate of not only researching and studying the effects of slavery, but developing proposals for reparations for slavery, in January 2021. The bill passed through subcommittees and now awaits the full house vote in the near future.
California Governor Gavin Newsom became the first to sign a similar bill into effect at the state level back in November of 2020. CA Assembly Bill 3121 created a task force to start researching the best approach to take for giving out reparations.
The bill also noted that the task force will also recommend eliminating state laws "that continue to disproportionately and negatively affect African Americans," and propose the State of California issue "a formal apology on behalf of the people of California for the perpetration of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants."
Last Tuesday, the task force had its first official public meeting, signaling one step closer to finding solutions. The task force brings "together some of the best, the brightest minds to chart a path forward, to move to a more equal California" according to Governor Newsom.
According to Black&Magazine, attorney and activist Kamilah V. Moore was elected as chair. San Fransisco NAACP branch president and pastor Dr. Amos Brown were selected for vice-chair of the committee.
The other seven members of the committee include a senator, a California assembly member, several attorneys, a psychologist, and a social scientist. The diverse professions of the group will also be supplemented by help from various historians who can talk in-depth about the impact of slavery specifically in California.
The group is set to have another public meeting in July to announce what progress they have made on the road to reparations. They're scheduled to meet a total of ten times in the next two years. Once they do finalize and report their findings, they would still need to pass another bill approving of any reparations.