A San Francisco committee established to study reparations has proposed that eligible African-American residents of the city should receive a one-time payment of $5 million as compensation for the “decades of harm they have experienced.” The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee, established by the city’s supervisors in May 2021, has also proposed wiping out all debts associated with educational, personal, credit card, and payday loans for Black households.
To qualify for the proposed reparations, individuals must first meet specific criteria. They must be 18 or older and have identified as Black or African American on public documents for at least ten years. Additionally, they must provide evidence of meeting two out of eight additional standards, such as being born or having migrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996, having proof of residency for at least 13 years, being directly related to someone imprisoned during the “failed War on Drugs,” or being a descendant of someone enslaved before 1865.
The panel’s report states that reparations must be “adequate, effective, prompt, and proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.” It notes that members of the Black community are demanding reparations not to remedy enslavement but to address public policies that were explicitly created to subjugate Black people in San Francisco. The committee will make its recommendations to the city in June.