The government-appointed panel responsible for determining the amount of reparations San Francisco should provide to its Black residents did not rely on a mathematical formula. Rather, the panel’s 15 members spent the last year and a half studying the city’s history to develop a proposal.
One idea being debated is to provide $5 million each to eligible Black residents.
The report by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Reparations Advisory Committee is a comprehensive document that provides a detailed analysis of the history of discrimination against Black residents in San Francisco. The committee studied various forms of discrimination, such as discriminatory housing policies, police brutality, and unequal access to education and employment opportunities.
The report also identified several proposals for reparations that aim to address the historical harm suffered by Black residents. One of the most significant proposals is to provide $5 million each to eligible Black residents. The eligibility criteria include being a current or former San Francisco resident who identifies as Black or African American, and who has experienced or been impacted by the city’s historical discrimination.
Other proposals include providing financial support for educational and job training programs, affordable housing, and healthcare. The report also suggests creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the city’s history of racial injustice and to promote healing and reconciliation.
The document reads:
“Provide a one-time, lump sum payment of $5 million to each eligible person. Rationale: 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 study notes, however, “In this study as well, the Black residents of the city played no significant role in the process to determine what recommendations should be made.”
In addition to the proposals for financial compensation and support for education, job training, housing, and healthcare, the report by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Reparations Advisory Committee also suggests several other initiatives to address the historical harm caused by discrimination against Black residents.
One of these initiatives is the establishment of a task force to review and reform policies and practices in various areas, such as education, healthcare, and criminal justice. The task force would work to identify and eliminate systemic racism and ensure equity and fairness for Black residents in San Francisco.
The report also recommends creating a fund to support community-led initiatives aimed at addressing the impact of historical discrimination on Black communities in the city. The fund would provide financial support for community organizations and initiatives focused on promoting racial healing, restorative justice, and community empowerment.
Another proposal in the report is to provide formal apologies and acknowledgments of the harm caused by historical discrimination against Black residents. The report suggests that such apologies could be issued by various entities, such as the city government, the police department, and educational institutions.
“The City and County of San Francisco and its agencies should issue a formal apology for past harms, and commit to making substantial ongoing, systemic and programmatic investments in Black communities to address historical harms.”