The historic California Reparation Task Force, the first in the nation, has just about wrapped up its work, according to task force chairwoman Kamilah Moore.
The nine-member California reparations task force committee was established to meet the requirements of Assembly Bill AB-3121, which California Secretary of State Shirley Weber authored and introduced in 2020 when she served in the legislature. In 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law, creating the two-year reparations task force. California is the only state to move ahead with a plan and mission to study reparations for the institution of slavery, its legacy, and its harms.
The task force decided that reparations should be lineage-based, meaning that if there were cash payouts, only Black Americans who could prove slave ancestors would be eligible.
Then in June 2023, it released its first interim report. The 500-page report “surveys the ongoing and compounding harms experienced by African Americans as a result of slavery and its lingering effects on American society today,” the introductory summary states.
The task force is to deliver its final report in July, and according to Moore, the task force is pretty much done regarding the compensation component.
On March 29, Moore said it’s up to the state Legislature to ultimately decide on a restitution amount based on the methodology economists recommended and which the task force approved.
“The task force is pretty much done regarding the compensation component. Our task was to create a methodology for calculation for various forms of compensation that correspond with our findings,” she said in an email to ABC News.
The task force will not propose a cash restitution amount for individuals, opting instead to leave it to lawmakers to figure out how much.
The panel endorsed calculation methodologies showing that California could owe African American residents more than $800 billion just for discrimination in policing and housing loans. California’s annual budget is nearly $300 billion, AP News reported.
The task force also suggested that lawmakers set up a California American Freedmen Affairs Agency to help people file reparations claims, among other responsibilities.
Kamilah Moore, the committee’s chair. (Photo: ABC10, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKNPYrngKX4)