San Francisco's reparations committee has proposed a $5 million payment and total debt forgiveness to each Black longtime resident due to the decades of "systematic repression."
The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee (AARAC) presented a draft of its plan to city leaders last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The AARAC was created in December 2020 by the city's Board of Supervisors. The committee will submit its final proposal to Mayor London Breed, the board, and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in June.
The proposed reparations are not for slavery because California, technically, was not a slave state. Instead, the payments and debt forgiveness would "address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco by upholding and expanding the intent and legacy of chattel slavery."
"While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement," the draft states.
The board's legislation to create the committee allows city leaders to reject or outright ignore the committee's work, the Chronicle reported.
The suggested one-time $5 million payment would be in a lump sum to each eligible individual.
"A lump sum payment would compensate the affected population for the decades of harms that they have experienced, and will redress the economic and opportunity losses that Black San Franciscans have endured, collectively, as the result of both intentional decisions and unintended harms perpetuated by City policy," the draft states.
Applicants would need to be at least 18 years old and have identified as Black or African American on public documents for at least 10 years, the draft says.
They must also prove at least two of eight additional criteria, including having been "born in San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and has proof of residency in San Francisco for at least 13 years," and/or, "personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs."
The AARAC's plan also calls on San Francisco to supplement lower-income recipients' income about $97,000 annually for at least 250 years. That would to reflect the Area Median Income (AMI), according to the draft.
"Racial disparities across all metrics have led to a significant racial wealth gap in the City of San Francisco," the draft says.
"By elevating income to match AMI, Black people can better afford housing and achieve a better quality of life."
The AARAC's plan also seeks to establish "a comprehensive debt forgiveness program" that clears each eligible person's student and housing loans, credit card debt, etc.
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