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Reparations plan in San Francisco faces uncertainty due to budget cuts

San Francisco reparations plan faces uncertainty amid city budget cuts
San Francisco reparations plan faces uncertainty amid city budget cuts 03:44

SAN FRANCISCO – The future of African-American reparations in San Francisco is facing an uncertain future after Mayor London Breed announced that a proposed office won't be funded due to budget cuts.

Marquis Muhammad, a long-time resident and business owner in San Francisco's Fillmore District, expressed frustration over the pace and approach of African-American reparations in the city.

"I am a victim... so you see me out here with my products right here on Fillmore…I've been here since 1999 and my customer base has moved out of the city," said Muhammad.

His sentiments reflect a broader sentiment among the African-American community, particularly in response to Mayor London Breed's stance that reparations should be addressed at a federal level rather than locally.

"I agree with that part, it is a national issue, however, why would you have a committee to look at and make suggestions? But now when it comes to implementing these… over 100 suggestions because of budget constraints…oh ok!" Muhammad said, expressing his dissatisfaction with the reparations process.

Amidst a city facing financial challenges, Breed approved a $75 million spending cut, which included eliminating the $4 million allocated for launching a reparations office.

City officials justified this decision, stating that establishing a separate reparations office might not be an efficient use of funds, citing ongoing efforts within existing department structures like the Dreamkeeper Initiative.

The decision to cut funding for the repairs office sparked concerns and led to discussions at the recent repairs advisory committee meeting at City Hall. Supervisor Shamann Walton, while acknowledging the city's fiscal challenges, expressed hope for creating the Office of Reparations once the deficit is addressed.

Muhammad, however, conveyed disappointment, questioning the priorities and actions concerning reparations within the African-American community.

"Once again…Is this by design? You tell me. You tell me. So, I love my mayor. I am not against my mayor. But, we as an African American district we cannot give Black people a pass because they are Black. You know, we did that with Obama. We did not have him account for anything. You know, does not matter the color. What are you doing for reparations? I hate to be long-winded, but where is the check?"

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