SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) -- The San Francisco Human Rights Commission will begin forming the city's African American Reparations Advisory Committee to come up with a plan to pay reparations to residents who are descendants of slaves, HRC officials said Monday.
The commission is now accepting applications for the task force, which will be made up of 15 residents.
The creation of the task force is the result of efforts by Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton and the San Francisco branch of the NAACP.
Last year, Walton introduced legislation calling for reparations for African-American residents, possibly using income from the city's hotel and marijuana taxes, to compensate Black people whose ancestors not only provided free labor for hundreds of years through slavery in the U.S., but also suffered injustices during the Jim Crow era.
"The damage caused by slavery and free labor for hundreds of years in the United States still has a major negative impact on the Black community. Being stolen from your own culture and not allowed to reproduce and receive an education, has led to systemic negative impacts to this day for Black people, even here in San Francisco," Walton said Monday in a statement.
"The only way we can right the wrongs of being prevented from building generational wealth and achieving equity, is by true reparations for Black people here in our own city," he said.
Of the applicants for the advisory committee, all will be appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve indefinite terms. Each of the 15 seats will have specific requirements, ensuring diversity on the committee.
After meeting for six months, the committee will be tasked with reporting its progress to the Board of Supervisors, the mayor and the Human Rights Commission. After 24 months, the committee would submit its final plan for the reparations.
More information about the committee and the requirements and experience needed for each seat can be found at www.sfbos.org/sites/default/files/2021--Maddy--Act.pdf. Interested applicants can go to www.sfbos.org/vacancy--application to apply.
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