Brian Washington (right) is the Marin County Counsel.

Marin County and nine local jurisdictions file suit against Monsanto to recover costs related to cleaning toxic PCBs.

Antonio Ray Harvey | ‌ California ‌ Black ‌ Media

A series of community hearings are being held at the state level to assist the nine members of California Task Force to Study and Develop Compensation Proposals for African Americans A better understanding of how laws and policies that perpetuate the effects of slavery negatively affect blacks in California.

The last three assemblies authorized by the working group took place last month.

An online community session that included committee members was held Friday Jones, vice chair of the Los Angeles Compensation Commission; Jan Williams, Crenshaw City Center Board Member; and UC Berkeley Prof. Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis.

“What you[compensation]should do is achieve that sense of recognition,” said Lewis, who is a member of the California Compensation Task Force.

“One of the things that [Task Force] I have accomplished so far over the past year in order to create a sense of appreciation for the black American community in California and the country in general,” Lewis told the audience online.

The virtual webinar and community hearing was hosted by the Coalition for a Fair and Equitable California (CJEC), the American Coalition for California Equity (ARCC), and Community Health Councils (CHC).

CJEC is a statewide coalition of organizations, associations, and community members that support reparations for black Californians who are descended from enslaved black American men and women. CHC is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization committed to practices advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to achieve sustainable policy and systemic change.

A certified group hearing was held in person in Vallejo. It was hosted by the Canadian Criminal Justice Center (CJEC) with support from the state Department of Justice and BWOPA.

The event was held at black-owned LaDells Shoes in downtown Vallejo. During this session, personal testimony was shared on the adversities and success rooted in the Black experience in and around Vallejo. The struggle for employment, decent housing, racism in public schools, homelessness, police brutality, and the challenges of maintaining businesses are covered.

“In May, we had our first community conversation about compensation [in Oakland, Calif.] “It’s been a comprehensive history of compensation in the United States,” said Dr. Kirby Lynch, who recently received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. This session is about what Vallejo compensation looks like. We’re here to listen to each other’s stories and record these testimonies.”

Vallejo is a state city with a modest black population fighting for recognition during reparations proceedings. She has an abundance of black history to be shared.

Vallejo, home to the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard, is located 32 miles north of San Francisco. The 2020 United States Census says the East Bay Area city has a population of 22,416 black people (18.48%) out of a total of 121,275. Statewide blacks make up 5.4% of the population.

The third hearing hosted by the CJEC was held in Sacramento. Task force member and Bay Area attorney Don T. Tamaki at the hearing in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood.

At the hearing in Sacramento, the community testified about how small businesses were built, the “Great Migration” of black people from the Deep South to the West Coast, and how Friedman’s office The model can be used to determine compensation, and the presence of the Black Major during the Gold Rush.

Community hearings are conducted throughout the state by the seven “supporting organizations” of the Compensation Task Force.

The Seven Coalition, Afrikan Black Coalition, Black Equity Collective, Black Equity Initiative, California Black Power Network, Coalition for a Just and Equival California, Othering and Belonging Institute (UC Berkeley), and Reform of Nations began organizing community gatherings in March .

The hearings are designed to ensure that specific communities across the state have the opportunity to present their ideas and concerns about the work that the task force is doing.

On June 1, 2022, the task force released a 483-page interim report to the California Legislature. The report reviews the continuing and compounding harms that African Americans suffer as a result of slavery and its continuing effects on American society today.

“It’s a sweeping indictment,” Tamaki said of the report during the Sacramento Community Hearing. It connects the damages of the past and traces the consequences we face today. There must be legislative remedies.”

The interim report also includes a set of preliminary recommendations for policies that the California legislature could adopt to remedy those damages. A final report will be issued before July 1, 2023.

Los Angeles in-person task force meetings will take place at Paradise Baptist Church on Friday, September 23 at 9:00 a.m. and Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. Broadway.

For updates and additional information visit Compensation working group meetings.


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