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California’s New Reparations Task Force Hits The Ground Running

California’s New Reparations Task Force Hits The Ground Running

Reparations history in the making in California.

Last Tuesday, the new California Reparations Task Force held its first meeting. The event marked a historic first both for California and the nation as the nine-member Task Force begins work to develop Reparations proposals for African American U.S. Slavery descendants. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill (AB 3121) creating the Task Force in 2020. The Task Force has until June 2023 to complete its work.

Meet your California Reparations Task Force.

  1. Kamilah Moore – Chair
  2. Dr. Amos Brown – Vice Chair
  3. Senator Stephen Bradford
  4. Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer
  5. Dr. Cheryl Grills
  6. Lisa Holder
  7. Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis
  8. Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe
  9. Donald K. Tamaki

Last week’s first meeting, held virtually, featured remarks by the Governor, as well as Secretary of State Shirley Weber and Attorney General Rob Bonta. During her last year in the state Assembly, Secretary Weber led the effort to pass the bill to create the California Reparations Task Force. The meeting last week lasted over seven hours. Hundreds tuned in and over a dozen community members made public comments. Elk Grove Tribune attended the meeting.

Members of the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California (CJEC) commented about their expectations for the Task Force. Expectations included a Task Force open and responsive to community voices. In addition, members said they expect the Task Force to create what it calls the ‘right types of Reparations proposals’. CJEC works for Reparations and Reparative justice here in California. The group helped create AB 3121, the law creating the Task Force.

Click here to learn more about CJEC.

What Does The California Reparations Task Force Do?

California law says the new Reparations Task Force must gather information about slavery and Jim Crow in California and beyond. It will also come up with ways to educate the California public about what it learns. The Task Force also must make proposals for Reparations remedies. The first report is due on June 1, 2022. A final report is due June 1, 2023.

Importantly, the Task Force’s work cannot be considered a replacement for Reparations at the federal level.

What Was Discussed At The First Meeting

The first meetings full agenda is printed for you below.

  1. Welcome Remarks by Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and Secretary Weber
  2. Task Force Members Oath of Office
  3. Task Force Member Introductions
  4. Overview of AB 3121
  5. Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson Selection
  6. Expert Testimony
  7. Break
  8. Meeting and Hearing Logistics
  9. Public Comment
  10. Closing Remarks

The Task Force Picked Its Chair & Vice Chair

Last week the Task Force picked its Chair and Vice-Chair. The Chair and Vice-Chair lead the Task Force. Members voted by majority to elect Kamilah Moore as Chair. Additionally, members voted by majority to elect Dr. Amos Brown as Vice Chair.

The Task Force Heard From Reparations Experts

At last week’s meeting, the Task Force heard from national Reparations experts A. Kirsten Mullen and Dr.William Darity Jr.

What Happens Now/Next?

The Task Force will meet again in July to decide its meeting schedule, as well as topics of discussion for each meeting. The July meeting date is not yet known. Stay tuned to Elk Grove Tribune for more information on the next meeting of the California Reparations Task Force.

Click here to learn more about the new California Reparations Task Force.

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About The Author

Chris Lodgson

Chris Lodgson our News & Events Editor. Chris is a researcher and regulatory analyst at a legal information company, where he creates and delivers legal content on current issues on a daily basis. Originally from New York City, he's also a local organizer, business owner, and social media-marketer supporting Sacramento County Black-owned businesses.

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