A California panel that was organized to study the long-term effects of “slavery and systemic racism” on black residents has recommended paying reparations to the descendants of slavery in the state. The cost of these payments would cost Californians an estimated $569 billion.
Known as the “Reparations Task Force”, the nine-member panel was formed in 2020 when Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to address inequities along racial lines. One of the main focuses of the task force was to study “housing discrimination”.
The panel concluded that black Californians whose ancestors lived in the United States during the 19th century are owed $223,200 each for housing discrimination practices utilized between 1933 and 1977. This would be the largest restitution effort in U.S. history. This would be even larger than California’s 2021 fiscal expenditure of nearly $513 billion toward infrastructure such as schools, highways, universities, etc.
The proposed reparations in California’s draft proposal include:
- Estimate the amount black businesses have lost in stolen or destroyed property through ‘racial terror’ and distribute it back to black Californians
- Adopt mandatory curriculum for all teachers to take anti-bias training
- Recruit black educators for K-12 schools
- Provide scholarships to black high school graduates to cover four years of undergraduate at a choice school
- Compensate individuals who were forcibly removed from their homes due to state action, such as park and highway constructions
- Create funding to invest in environmental infrastructure
- Create equal access to parks and national resources in black neighborhoods
- Compensate families who were denied inheritances they would have received if they were white
- Compensate those who have been discriminated and deprived of rightful profits from artistic, creative, athletics, and intellectual endeavors
- Raise the minimum wage in predominantly black industries, such as food and agricultural
- Require scaling up the minimum wage for experienced workers
- Create a fund to support black-owned businesses and eliminate licensure barriers that harm black workers
- Compensate people whose health has been permanently damaged by anti-black healthcare
- Implement policy to close the racial wealth gap in California
- Implement a clear and detailed program to help African Americans obtain reparations
- Establish an Office of African Americans/Freedmen Affairs to help document eligibility and prevent future harm
In a similar fashion to the state’s reparations to blacks, San Francisco has launched a “guaranteed income program” for transgender residents. The Los Angeles Times reports:
“The Guaranteed Income for Transgender People, or GIFT, pilot program will provide 55 eligible residents with $1,200 per month for 18 months, as well as healthcare and financial coaching.”
“Recipients will be selected by organizations helping to administer and shape the program, including the Transgender District, a group whose goal is to help trans people find economic security.”
The president of the Transgender District Group stated:
“By giving low-income trans people the resources to cover the expenses they deem most immediate and important given each person’s unique situation, we are implementing a truly community-centered intervention to combat poverty.”
The justification for the guaranteed income program is higher rates of poverty experienced by transgender Californians.
California’s exclusive redistribution of taxpayer dollars to certain groups has been polarizing both locally and nationally.
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