Member of California Reparations Task Force Tells California Residents to Prepare for ‘Breathtaking’ Proposals

A member of the California Reparations Task Force told residents of the Golden States to prepare for its “breathtaking” recommendations. 

The task force was established in 2020 by the state’s government amid the ongoing riots after the death of George Floyd. It was tasked with forming recommendations for issuing reparations to black Americans. 

Although the final report is due on July 1, the task force has publicly announced the prototypes of the recommendations. The reparation amount was $223,329 for each eligible person; however, it was raised to $360,000 per person in early March. 

Lisa Holder, a member of the task force’s statement that Californians should prepare for the group’s “breathtaking” recommendations, signals that the dollar amount is likely to be increased further by July 1.

“It’s important that Californians understand that in order to match the scale of America’s greatest injustice, we must be prepared for remedies on a scale approaching the Great Society programs of Medicare and Medicaid,” Holder wrote in an opinion piece for Cal Matters. 

Holder framed the program as a revolutionary project aiming to change society’s fabric, aside from the monetary aspect. 

“Reparations will include programs that disrupt racism within our major institutions. These programs will include housing, criminal-legal systems, education, health and medicine, financial wealth, and asset-building infrastructure. Fixing systemic racism and rehabilitating institutions will require major changes to these sectors,” wrote Holder. 

She added that the recommended reparations would “likely include monetary compensation” and noted that it would not only be for proven descendants of enslaved people but also for “persecuted black Americans.” Holder described the monetary aspect as a “critical component” of reparations.

Holder dismisses the notion that California was added to the union as a free state

Holder also dismissed the belief that California was added to the union as a free state and maintained its wealth came from anti-black policies. 

“The task force delivered a 500-page interim report establishing that California was, in practice, a pro-slavery state, a Jim Crow state, and post-civil rights apartheid state,” claimed Holder. “It’s appropriate that California became the first state to convene a reparations task force because the real story is that the wealthiest state in the union and the fifth-largest economy in the world was one of the principal purveyors and beneficiaries of anti-Black policies and narratives.”

“With specific and tangible reparations initiatives, California is on the brink of a historic and seismic shift towards finally delivering justice for Black Americans. The task force recommendations will be breathtaking. They must be nothing less,” concluded Holder. 

California is poised to have a budget deficit of $22.5 billion in the next fiscal year. The last public proposal, which calls for $360,000 per eligible black resident, is estimated to cost the state over $640 billion. The final proposal will likely include other allowances that could significantly increase the total. Those include subsidized housing and debt forgiveness, which the independent San Francisco Reparations Task Force recommended, which demanded $5 million for each eligible Black resident. 

Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom could face pressure from his progressive base to start implementation of the suggestions, even if the state legislature votes against the move.