11 Mayors From Los Angeles To Asheville Vow To Create Reparations Pilot Programs

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A group of 11 mayors, including LA’s Eric Garcetti, have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents. The mayors have committed to form commissions to advise them on how to develop the programs.

Ashley Landis/AP


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Ashley Landis/AP


A group of 11 mayors, including LA’s Eric Garcetti, have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents. The mayors have committed to form commissions to advise them on how to develop the programs.

Ashley Landis/AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Eleven U.S. mayors, from Los Angeles to tiny Tullahassee, Oklahoma, have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents in their cities, saying their aim is to set an example for the federal government on how a nationwide program could work.

The mayors had no details on how much it would cost, who would pay for it or how people would be chosen. All of those details would be worked out with the help of local commissions comprised of representatives from Black-led organizations set up to advise the mayor of each city. But the mayors say they are committed to paying reparations instead of just talking about them.

“Black Americans don’t need another study that sits on a shelf,” said St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, the city’s first Black female mayor and a member of the group. “We need decisive action to address the racial wealth gap holding communities back across our country.”

The effort comes as Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States, has become a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday that was passed by Congress to set aside Juneteenth, or June 19, as a holiday.

Chattel slavery officially ended in the United States in 1865 with the adoption of the 13th amendment to U.S. Constitution. But its effects have lingered far beyond that, contributing to disparities in wealth and health between white and Black populations.

It’s the biggest city-led reparations effort in U.S. history

Since 1989, lawmakers in Congress introduced a bill that would form a commission to study and develop reparations proposals in the United States. But it has never passed. Last year, California became the first state to set up its own reparations commission. That group held its first meeting earlier this month.

Friday’s announcement marks the largest city-led effort at paying reparations to date, but it isn’t the first. The San Francisco Board of…



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