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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Reparations Advocates Tell California Gov. Gavin Newsom: Don’t Extend Legislation Deadline

While the California task force works to determine the cost of reparations, advocates say they don't need an extension

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Copies of the interim report issued by California’s first-in-the-nation task force on reparations for African Americans are displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 16, 2022. The Coalition for a Just and Equitable California, that pushed to create the reparations task force, is urging Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto legislation extending the deadline for the committee to complete its work. The Coalition and other organizations sent a letter to Newsom last week saying that the legislation to extend the deadline a year by task force member, Democratic Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, will demoralize descendants of enslaved people who fear they’ll never be compensated
Copies of the interim report issued by California’s first-in-the-nation task force on reparations for African Americans are displayed at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 16, 2022. The Coalition for a Just and Equitable California, that pushed to create the reparations task force, is urging Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto legislation extending the deadline for the committee to complete its work. The Coalition and other organizations sent a letter to Newsom last week saying that the legislation to extend the deadline a year by task force member, Democratic Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, will demoralize descendants of enslaved people who fear they’ll never be compensated
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

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.

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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.

From Associated Press:

“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.”

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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.