A couple of months ago, The Root wrote about California’s progress in potentially becoming the first state to offer reparations to those who are descendants of the slave trade in the United States. First, there was a 500-page report released in June documenting how the U.S. could address the wrongs done to African Americans. Then, there was the task of the state looking into who would gain any monetary benefits from a potential payout. Now, reparations advocates are pushing back on a bill that would extend the deadline for the committee to complete its work.
As the Associated Press notes, The Coalition for a Just and Equitable California and other organizations are calling for California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto the extension put forth by task force member and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. The task force’s final report assessing how much compensation should go out will be provided by July 1, 2023. However, Jones-Sawyer argues the committee needs to stay together to lobby “on what we believe reparations should be or to have additional meetings.”
The new piece of legislation would change the committee’s original end date from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2024. It would also allow any of the nine committee members to be removed at any time.
An argument is that an extension would send a bad message to African Americans already questioning whether they will receive reparations in the first place. Chris Lodgson, an organizer with the Just and Equitable California group, says the committee did not ask for and doesn’t need any more time.
“We’re hearing concerns that it’s not going to happen, that this is not going to result in anything,” he said. “This is why we do not need a delay of this work.”
The task force is due to meet on September 23rd and 24th and said they might need to double down their efforts to complete the report.