Posted on March 7, 2023

California Reparations Task Force Meeting in Sacramento

Becca Habegger, KXTV, March 3, 2023

California’s first-in-the-nation statewide reparations task force is meeting Friday and Saturday at the CalEPA building in Downtown Sacramento.

State law passed back in 2020 — Assembly Bill 3121 — created the task force. Members are working on recommendations for state lawmakers on what form reparations should take in the state of California. The goal is to help make amends for the generations of harm to African Americans caused by chattel slavery and its longstanding effects in society.

The California Reparations Task Force has held regular meetings over the past two years, at first all-virtual, but since this past fall, in-person in various California cities. The location of March’s two-day meeting is Sacramento.

Dozens of people lined up to speak in the public comment section Friday morning. They offered various perspectives on how reparations should look for Black Californians.

“Capital. Money. Reparations. That will stimulate this economy for the 2.6 million Blacks in California,” one man said. “There’s only one thing that would stop our children from busting into these liquor stores and grocery stores, stealing junk food and stealing different things, and that’s reparations.”

Another person told the task force, “you can never repay the damage have been done to Black people in America… So I want to be very clear: land, land, land. Healthy land! Not toxic land.”

Some commenters called in, with two people raising objections to the whole effort.

“I don’t believe a single person deserves restitution in any form unless they are a Native American,” one man said.

“Why is the state of California even doing this? This should be a federal thing, just like they did with the Japanese internment,” a woman commented.

Gloria Pierrot-Dyer came from Roseville to share her family’s story. {snip}


She said chattel slavery has done generations of damage. That’s why she’s advocating for reparations not only in the form of land and money, but also mental health resources.

“There are many who still have not been able to reach anywhere near their potential because of the psychological harm. Even if money, for example, is put in somebody’s hands, if the internal issues have not been resolved and healed, that person will go right on doing some pathological thing, possibly,” she said. {snip}