California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday the state will move forward with its plan to implement financial reparations for black residents as part of its larger effort to create “a more equitable and inclusive future for all.”
The task force will make recommendations for state lawmakers and issue a report on its findings by July 2023. The recommendations will specify what form of compensation lawmakers should authorize, as well as who should receive those funds.
“With this bill, we’re bringing together some of the best, the brightest minds to chart a path forward, to move to a more equal California,” Newsom, who is facing a recall election later this year, said on Tuesday.
Last month, Newsom appointed five members to the task force. The other four members will be appointed by California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Renden.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta claimed some form of reparations is necessary to combat the effects of slavery.
“Although the horrors of slavery may have begun in the past, its harms are felt every single day by Black Americans in the present,” he said.
“Yes, there has been progress in this country, but it has been all too uneven, and it has not moved fast enough,” Bonta continued. “We must move quickly. How much longer can we wait for justice? How much longer until we are able to truly fulfill the promise of the American dream that all are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights?”
The alleged effects of slavery, according to Bonta and the other Democrats in support of the bill, include disproportionate homelessness, unemployment, involvement in the criminal justice system, lower academic performance, and higher health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.