California Reparations Committee Requests $5 Million For Planning

The Alameda County Reparations Commission, tasked with developing a reparations payment plan for Black Americans affected by the legacy of slavery, is requesting $5 million in funding and an additional two years to complete its work. The commission, which was formed in 2023 with an initial budget of $51,000, claims that it is behind schedule and underfunded.

The request for increased funding and time has sparked controversy. Local pro-reparations activist Seneca Scott criticized the commission’s demand, stating, “$5 million and two years to research [reparations] is stupid and a grift,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The commission’s request comes at a time when California’s enthusiasm for reparations programs appears to be waning. San Francisco has shelved a similar plan to compensate Black residents, opting instead to issue an official apology to African-Americans. Additionally, California’s state legislature is considering alternatives to cash transfers, such as subsidized property taxes and expedited business licenses for Black residents.

The Alameda County commission, which was expected to complete its work by July, has faced delays since its inception. The commission was established in March 2023 but did not hold its first meeting until November of that year.

The demand for a budget increase of nearly 100 times the original allocation comes amid a significant budgetary shortfall in Alameda County. The county is facing a deficit of between $70 million and $100 million this year. President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Nate Miley expressed concern over the request, stating, “I think $5 million is a hefty amount of funding,” according to KQED.

Despite the financial challenges, Debra Gore-Mann, a member of the reparations committee, argues that the additional funding is necessary to maintain the progress the commission has made. “Without a sense of what resources might be available, it’s hard to keep commissioners engaged,” Gore-Mann said.

The future of the commission’s request remains uncertain as Alameda County grapples with its budgetary constraints.

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  • T
    June 17, 2024

    So many things come to mind, stupid is as stupid does, the road to failure is paved with good intentions/pandering, poor leadership brings poor results. I’m sure there are many more. IMO

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