SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – “This is a time for us to run and save our people intellectually, economically, socially, spiritually, culturally,” Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown, president of the NAACP San Francisco, said.
The NAACP President of the San Francisco chapter referring to the reparations that the county plans to pay descendants of African American slaves.
The next step in the process is forming an advisory committee.
The new committee will come from a wide range of talents and insight that will be tasked with a plan for what reparations will look like, how much they will be, and who that money will go to.
A next step toward justice for African Americans in San Francisco has been taken.
Applications are open for locals interested in advising a reparations committee to come up with a plan to pay residents directly or fund programs for those who are descendants of slaves.
The president of the NAACP San Francisco chapter, Dr. Amos C. Brown, pushed for the funding pointing to modern-day inequality and California’s dark past.
“Unless as African Americans in the City of San Francisco there is quality, quality, equality of opportunity but we haven’t had it. I know I haven’t witnessed in the 45 years that I’ve been in this town. And before as I cited historically, Peter Burnett was determined from the very beginning that we would be kept in the state of denial and not be accepted as members of the human family,” Dr. Brown said.
California Governor Peter Burnette in the 1850’s tried to ban African Americans in the state.
More than 170 years later the San Francisco Human Rights Commission is now tasked with finding 15 people to fill vacant seats on a diverse advisory committee.
Each member representing a specific background – for example, one seat for a senior over 65-years-old who has lived in a predominantly African American community, one for a formerly incarcerated individual, another for a formerly homeless person, and a small business owner principally serving the African American community, and someone who no longer lives here because they were pushed out by gentrification.
“It is going to be a hard, hard, hard conversation to have and it’s not going to make everybody happy but I think it’s great to be part of a movement that is starting to do more than just talk about it but actually dig down and potentially allocate some resources to address the harm that’s been done over the years,” Sheryl Davis, SF Human Rights Commission, said.
Davis says the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors has already allocated $100,000 for the advisory committee.
A decision has yet to be made on where the money for the reparations will come from.
Supervisor Shamann Walton had suggested using income from the city’s marijuana taxes because Davis explains many black community members were incarcerated over it.
Although legally it cannot be required – both Rev. Dr. Brown and Davis agree the Black community can and should speak for themselves.
Advisory committee members will be paid about $500 monthly and should expect to dedicate two to three hours once a month for 18 months.
More information about the committee and the requirements and experience needed for each seat can be found at www.sfbos.org/sites/default/files/2021-Maddy-Act.pdf.
Interested applicants can go to www.sfbos.org/vacancy-application to apply.