San Francisco Committee Recommends $5 Million Payment to Every Longtime Black Resident

San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee (AARAC) released a draft proposal last month calling for $5 million in payouts to every longtime Black resident in the city. The proposal sparked an immediate backlash from Republicans, who called it racist and fiscally irresponsible.

The $5 million lump sum payment would be aimed at redressing years of discrimination and loss of economic opportunity in the Black community. The total cost would equal billions of dollars.

To be eligible, each adult Black resident would need to meet two out of following eight criteria:

  • Born in San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and has proof of residency in San Francisco for at least 13 years

  • Migrated to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and has proof of residency in San Francisco for at least 13 years

  • Personally, or the direct descendant of someone, incarcerated by the failed War on Drugs

  • Record of attendance in San Francisco public schools during the time of the consent decree to complete desegregation within the school system

  • Descendant of someone enslaved through US chattel slavery before 1865 

  • Displaced, or the direct descendant of someone displaced, from San Francisco by Urban Renewal between 1954 and 1973

  • Listed, or the direct descendant of, a Certificate of Preference holder

  • Member of an historically marginalized group that experienced lending discrimination in San Francisco between 1937 and 1968 or, subsequently, experienced lending discrimination in formerly redlined San Francisco communities between 1968 and 2008

The AARAC was formed in 2020 to address the history of systemic racism in San Francisco and offer recommendations for redress. The panel has no power to implement policy; it merely makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin has already voiced his support for the draft proposal.  

John Dennis, the chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, called it “ludicrous.”

"A city with a $14 billion budget more or less, proposing to spend $50 billion. So just financially it doesn't make sense," he told ABC7 News.

"It's theater. It's amateur hour. If it passes, I would imagine it's going to end up getting tied up in the courts.” 

AARC is expected to deliver a final proposal to supervisors in June. 



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