Speed Reads

Making Amends

San Francisco to introduce $5M-per-person reparations plan for Black people

San Francisco on Tuesday will publicly consider a plan to provide reparations of $5 million to each eligible Black person. 

The meeting of the city's Board of Supervisors will include a presentation by San Francisco's African-American Reparations Advisory Committee, The Associated Press reported. The committee had previously unveiled its reparations proposal this past December, which, in addition to the $5 million per-person lump sum payments, includes more than 100 other recommendations to make amends to the Black community. This includes providing housing grants, as well as tax exemptions for Black-owned businesses.

In its report, the committee said it had "ultimately found that the effects of various programmatic and policy decisions by San Francisco's government have been generational and overlapping." The report added that reparations "are being demanded by members of the Black/African American communities not to remedy enslavement, but to address the public policies explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco."

AP noted that the committee is considering a number of criteria that must be met for the reparations. This includes having lived in San Francisco during a certain time period and being descended from someone incarcerated during the war on drugs. 

While Evanston, Illinois, became the first U.S. city in 2021 to approve reparations for Black citizens, San Francisco would be the first major metropolis in the country to do so. California itself is considering a larger-scale plan to make reparations available statewide. 

Board Supervisor Shamann Walton told the San Francisco Chronicle that the committee proposal provides "many examples of how Black folks were done wrong here in San Francisco, and all of that can really be traced back to the negative effects of slavery." 

The plan has been met with harsh criticism by GOP lawmakers, with John Dennis, chairman of the city's Republican Party, saying the $5 million payments would cripple the city financially, per CNN.