SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After a two-year comprehensive study by the California Reparations Task Force, the push for reparations for some Black Californians has taken a monumental step forward. While the final report of California's first-in-the-nation Reparations Task Force - exceeding 1,000 pages - only contained recommendations, Senator Steven Bradford of Southern California is pushing for tangible change.
State Senator Steven Bradford, one of the nine task force members, announced on Tuesday the introduction of an amendment to SB 490 aiming to establish a "Freedmen Affairs Agency." The agency is a crucial element of the Reparations Task Force's suggestions. If approved, the agency would manage a range of services, including a genealogy office to support potential reparations claimants in proving eligibility, a Freedmen Savings and Trust Bank, business grants, employment training, and housing assistance, and much more. However, certain aspects of the agency could require further legislative endorsement, especially the processing of claims for direct compensation.
The senator, due to term out in two years, expressed his determination to see reparations become a reality in a statement. "Reparations are not a gift - they are what was promised, owed, and overdue," said Senator Bradford. He emphasized the nation's long history of wage theft through slavery and appealed to his colleagues for support.
The amendment to SB 490 won't be heard until California's next legislative cycle in 2024.
Senator Bradford joined ABC7 News anchor race and culture reporter Julian Glover on our 5:30 p.,. streaming newscast to discuss. Watch the full segment in the video player above.
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live