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San Francisco weighs reparations bill that would give $5M to eligible Black residents



The city of San Francisco is preparing to consider a bill that proposes giving $5 million to all eligible Black residents as reparations for slavery in order to repay them for the loss of generational wealth and property ownership opportunities due to slavery and wrongful incarceration.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to meet this week to hear a presentation on the proposal by the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee in order to learn more about the bill’s details. A December draft of the Committee’s recommendations included the proposal, which includes over 100 recommendations on how to approach the subject of reparations for Black residents in the area. 

If the measure to give out the lump sum payments passes the Board’s vote, it would make San Francisco the first city in the United States to pass and enact a reparations program. In order to be eligible for the payments, residents would have to prove they lived in the area during a certain time period, and prove that they are descendants of slaves or someone who was imprisoned during the “war on drugs.” 

Some of the other recommended ways to handle reparations include removing taxes on Black-owned businesses, the opportunity to purchase homes in the city for extremely low prices, and cutting personal tax burdens on eligible Black residents. 

It is unclear whether the meeting on Tuesday will end in a vote, as the Board may ask for more information and a follow-up meeting. 

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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