San Francisco mulls $5M reparations check for black citizens

San Francisco mulls $5M reparations check for black citizens

San Francisco politicians will meet Tuesday to publicly consider a reparations package that would pay $5 million lump-sum payments to its eligible black residents.

The city’s Board of Supervisors will weigh the draft plan, which recommends eliminating personal debt and tax burdens and doling out guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years to an undetermined number of black citizens in addition to the hefty check.

Black families could also buy homes in the expensive city for just $1 under the plan aimed at amending centuries of enslavement and systemic racism that have disadvantaged black citizens in educational, economic and other sectors of American life.

“If you look at the (draft) report, you’ll see so many examples of how Black folks were done wrong here in San Francisco, and all of that can really be traced back to the negative effects of slavery, which traced back to negative policies across the country, San Francisco being no different,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who has been leading the board’s efforts to develop the reparations plan since 2020, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The board on Tuesday could direct staff to conduct further research, write legislation or schedule more meetings.

Supervisor Shamann Walton speaks at a reparations rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
Supervisor Shamann Walton said the plan points to the ways black San Franciscans were wronged.

The Board of Supervisors will not make any decisions regarding the 100 recommendations outlined in the plan — including the highly controversial $5 million-per-person payments — until it releases its final report in June.

The report, however, will not include a feasibility study to determine whether the city can afford to cumbersome feat.

Critics have slammed the proposal as impossible on multiple levels, particularly financially as San Francisco is suffering a deep deficit amid a tech industry downturn.

One estimate figured the plan could cost the city, which has a 2022-2023 budget of $14 billion, roughly $50 billion.

A crowd listens to speakers at a reparations rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
A rally in favor of reparations was held outside City Hall before the hearing.

A conservative analyst estimated that each non-Black family in the city would have to pay at least $600,000.

The amount of black San Franciscans who would qualify for the reparations is not yet known.

To be initially eligible, applicants must be at least 18 and have identified as black on public documents for a decade.

They must also prove that they meet two out of eight additional standards — including being born in or having migrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996, and having proof of residency for at least 13 years, being personally or a direct descendant of someone jailed in the “failed War on Drugs,” or being a descendant of someone enslaved before 1865.

The state of California is also considering its own reparations proposal that would cut $360,000 checks for every eligible black citizen.

The project could cost as much as $640 billion — but there was no word on how it would be funded in the cash-strapped state.

With Post wires

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