California's reparations task force demands that black people get priority for renting, buying homes

The reparations task force is asking California lawmakers to give them control of local land use decisions.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
California's reparations task force, created by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020 with members appointed in 2021, to study the economic effects of slavery and discrimination is demanding to have veto power over the state's real estate decisions in order to give black people first priority in the renting and buying markets, Daily Mail reports.

The reparations task force is asking California lawmakers to give them control of local land use decisions so they can approve plans based on whether or not they decrease or maintain segregation, stating that, "Residential zoning ordinances have been used for decades in California to prevent African Americans from moving into neighborhoods, thereby maintaining residential segregation."

"To address local zoning laws that reinforce and recreate this systemic housing segregation, the Task Force recommends that the Legislature require identified cities and counties to submit all residential land use ordinances for review and approval by a state agency, with the agency rejecting (or requiring modification of) the ordinance if the agency finds that the proposed ordinance will maintain or exacerbate levels of residential racial segregation," they said.

The task force provided Califoria lawmakers with an alternative proposition and said that if they are not granted full veto power, they would like to see the creation of an "administrative appeal board."

The administrative appeal board would "review challenges to developmental permitting decisions or zoning laws and reversing the denial of a development permit if the underlying zoning requirement is deemed to maintain or reinforce residential racial segregation," the outlet reports.

The reparations task force says that black residents should be granted the "right to return" to the neighborhoods that they were allegedly displaced from due to gentrification.

"The Task Force recommends the Legislature enact measures to support a right to return for those displaced by agency action, restrictive covenants, and racial terror that drove African Americans from their homes," they said.

"The right to return should give the victims of these purges and their descendants preference in renting or owning property in the area of redevelopment," the task force added.

Last week, the reparations task force recommended that raparations payments be given to black Californians for the minimum price of $360,000, and a maximum of $1.2 million. Newsom said no way.

Newsom said that cash payouts to black Californians as means of "reparations" are still on the table, though he declined to endorse those payments, and said that reparations should not necessarily be a cash payout.

The focus of the nine-member "Reparations Task Force" is to compensate black Californians who were affected by discriminatory housing discrimination practices utilized from 1933-1977.


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