Politics

California Democrats set $12 million toward reparations as state grapples with historic deficit

California allocated $12 million toward reparations for descendants of black slaves as the state wrestles to reconcile its $45 billion budget deficit. The taxpayer funds earmarked for black Californians is included in a budget agreement Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced last week. The governor’s latest budget proposal comes after months of debate over how to resolve […]

California allocated $12 million toward reparations for descendants of black slaves as the state wrestles to reconcile its $45 billion budget deficit. The taxpayer funds earmarked for black Californians is included in a budget agreement Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced last week.

The governor’s latest budget proposal comes after months of debate over how to resolve the state’s looming deficit and just two years after the Golden State enjoyed a near-$100 billion surplus. 

Progressives immediately slammed the governor for not handing out more funds to black people. 


“That it is a lowball amount, especially given the amount of harm that was done to black people in this state and for the amount of time that it was done,” Kavon Ward told the Sacramento Bee. Ward is co-founder of Where Is My Land, a group that advocates for black people who claim their land has been lost or stolen. Ward believes $12 million is what should be given to one person.

A rally in support of reparations for black people in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Top California Democrats touted the $12 million as a win while agreeing there is more work to be done.

State Sen. Steven Bradford celebrated the reparations while saying he “wanted more.”

“We, as the California Legislative Black Caucus, made the case that the harms of slavery and racist public policies aren’t healed,” Bradford said. He added, “This is just the beginning.”

Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, the chairwoman of the Black Caucus, sounded a similar note in remarks to the Sacramento Bee, calling the funding a “win,” while James Woodson, executive director of the California Black Power Network, said the funding was only the start of “many rounds of investment to repair harm.”

California Republicans said progressives are pushing Newsom into a tough spot. The state Assembly Republican leader, James Gallagher, told Fox Digital, “It will take an absurd mental gymnastics to require California taxpayers, including new immigrants, low-income workers, and even some African Americans, to pay for a wrong committed by other states more than 150 years ago, but that’s the position Newsom put himself in.

See also  Rep. Scott Perry tries to avoid a second loss by a House Freedom Caucus member this election cycle

“No matter what he does, he’s going to anger part of his base,” the leading Republican said.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The majority of Californians oppose cash reparations. A poll conducted last September found only 23% supported sending funds to descendants of black slaves. 

The $12 million agreed to in Newsom’s budget proposal would support bills expected to pass the state legislature’s Democratic supermajority, such as subsidizing property taxes for eligible black residents and preventing California from punishing prisoners who refuse to work.

Share this article:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter