port of harlem magazine
Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.
California Black Caucus Introduces Reparations Package

Feb 22 – Mar 06, 2024
reparations ray

Members of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) announced plans to introduce a package of bills this year designed to address the recommendations the California reparations task force made last year in its final report.

Certain advocacy groups and individuals say the legislative package the lawmakers announced on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 does not go far enough. They criticize the absence of direct cash payments, an element they campaigned for as a centerpiece to any compensation due to the descendants of people who endured slavery in the Deep South and more than a century of social, economic and pollical injustices after abolition.

Chris Lodgson, a member of the Coalition for a Just and Equitable California (CJEC), released a statement after CLBC members made the announcement during a press briefing with reporters held on Jan.31.

“As we’ve communicated to elected officials directly for some time, we believe any Reparations package must be targeted explicitly and exclusively to California’s 2 million Black American descendants of persons enslaved in the U.S. (American Freedmen),” Lodgson said in a letter obtained by California Black Media.

“In addition, a true reparations package must include timely, tangible benefits (i.e direct monetary payments). Our team will continue to review the proposals announced (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1) and any related bill/resolution language as they become available. But the time for strong, bold Reparations is now, not later.”

Members of CLBC first presented 14 reparations bills on Jan. 31 while on a Zoom call with Black media outlets from across the state. CLBC chairperson Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City) outlined the goals of the package and stated its intention to right the wrongs of historical injustices that African Americans endured in the state of California.

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), the vice chair of CLBC, presented additional pieces legislation to implement reparations at the State Capitol on the first day of Black History Month, Feb. 1.

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