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Reparations task force votes to approve recommendations for the payments of reparations to Black Californians

<i>Sophie Austin/AP</i><br/>People in Oakland listen to the reparations task force
Sophie Austin/AP
People in Oakland listen to the reparations task force

By Kevin Flower, Michelle Watson and Nicole Chavez, CNN

A panel in California created to consider reparations for Black residents voted over the weekend to approve recommendations for the payments of reparations to Black Californians for injustices and discrimination stemming from slavery.

Saturday’s meeting in Oakland was the 15th public meeting of the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, according to Kamilah Moore, chair of the panel.

The recommendations will be presented at the task force’s next meeting before being presented to the Legislature by the deadline of July 1. The recommendations outline restitution, which, if approved, could cost the state billions of dollars.

Among the possible estimates of reparations for Black Californians recommended by the task force are:

  • Estimated value of payment for health care disparities: $13,619 for each year of residency, based on 71-year life expectancy.
  • Estimated payment for housing discrimination: $148,099 or $3,366 for each year between 1933 and 1977 spent as a resident of the state.
  • Estimated payment for mass incarceration and overpolicing: $115,260 or $2,352 for each year of residency in California during the 49-year period between 1971 and 2020.

The task force recommendations have previously called for a state office to process reparations claims and “identify and mitigate the ways that current and previous policies have damaged and destabilized Black families,” to restore historical sites, to support education, and to offer free legal aid and other services.

Other recommendations include updating language in the state’s Constitution, removing racial bias and discriminatory practices in standardized testing, compensating people deprived of profits for their work, investing in and creating free health care programs, and apologizing for acts of political disenfranchisement.

It is not yet clear how and if the Legislature will put all or some of the recommendations into place. California’s Black population is more than 2.5 million, according to the US Census Bureau.

At the end of Saturday’s meeting, Moore urged people to “stay encouraged and know that justice will prevail at the end of the day.”

The task force voted for the next meeting to be held on June 29 in Sacramento, where the group will discuss final changes before presenting its proposals to the Legislature.

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CNN’s Laura Studley contributed to this report.

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