Will NYC Join The Reparations Movement? Mayor Eric Adams Voices Support For Possible Reparations Study Bill

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said supports the “spirit” of the bill that would lead to reparations for slavery given to Black residents.

The mayor’s official support was shared in a statement by his Office of Equity commissioner, as reported by the Daily Mail. However, Adams signaled that the legislation should be modified to prevent overlapping language with two current state bills seeking reparations for Blacks in the state. Adams has previously supported reparations on a state level.

Sideya Sherman, commissioner of the office of equity, shared these concerns in a city council hearing on Sept. 19,  stating that a task force initiated by the bill must spend at least one year to study the effects of racial discrimination before any payments could be allocated.

The bill itself was created by Councilwoman Farah Louis and has the encouragement of Adams and the Office of Social Equity in its pursuit of legislation that dismantles and resolves the systemic racial injustices that plague New Yorkers of color.

While the decades-long federal effort for reparations has seemingly stalled, the fight for reparations is ongoing on a local level as cities are beginning to recognize the validity of reparations for Black Americans. Evanston, Illinois, was the first city to ever pay its Black residents on behalf of their disenfranchisement due to enslavement. This monetary allotment gave $25,000 to current and potential Black homeowners for repairs or a down payment on their property, funded through a tax on marijuana sales, according to NewsNationNow.

Consideration of financial racial justice is growing throughout the United States, including cities and counties in Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Michigan.

However, the biggest and most current plan to officially enact reparations is in California, where a 1,200-page report was finalized by the nation’s first-ever slavery reparations panel. The group hopes lawmakers will believe the findings justify reparations to those impacted by slavery and the institutionalized racism derived from it.

California’s Secretary of State Shirley Weber said that while California did not legally have slavery, its pervasive impact must be remedied for true justice to occur.

“Reparations is due whether you’re in Mississippi or you’re in California,” she said, as reported by CBS News. “We have done it for others, but we have not done it for African Americans who have probably suffered the most harm.”

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