Gavin Newsom Breaks Silence On California’s Reparations Plan

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Ailan Evans Deputy Editor
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom stopped short Tuesday of fully endorsing his state’s reparations plan that would send cash payments to black Californians in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

California’s Reparations Task Force on Saturday approved an $800 billion reparations proposal, to be sent to the legislature, that includes up to $1.2 million in payments for black Californians. Newsom, who signed legislation approving the creation of the task force, told the DCNF that, while he approved of the committee’s work, reparations were “much more than cash payments,” stopping short of explicitly endorsing all of the panel’s recommendations.

“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” Newsom said. (RELATED: We Asked Every California Congressional Democrat If They Support Their State’s Reparation Plan. Here’s What They Said)

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 20: U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) participates in a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol May 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Democrat joined Poor People’s Campaign at the news conference to call for a congressional resolution “to address poverty and low wages.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The task force’s recommendations include a housing discrimination payment of $148,099, a mass incarceration payment of $115,260 and an annual yearly payment of $13,619 for health care disparities. Of California’s entire Congressional Democratic delegation, only Rep. Barbara Lee has explicitly supported the task force’s recommendations.

Newsom stressed the importance of many of the committee’s recommendations, but did not signal his support for cash payments to Californians.

“Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments,” the governor added. “Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility — all while investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond. This work must continue. Following the Task Force’s submission of its final report this summer, I look forward to a continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”

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