Newsom Won't Endorse His Own Panel's Reparations Plan

Gavin Newsom (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
May 10, 2023

California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) declined to endorse recommendations from a reparations board he organized, which suggested black residents in the state should receive up to $1.2 million each. 

"Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments," Newsom said Tuesday. "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."

The state panel, launched in 2021 at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement to assess potential reparation payments, last week recommended expensive plans to compensate black residents for discrimination. The board suggested black Californians receive thousands of dollars for every year they’ve been in the state, up to $1.2 million for some longtime residents. 

In compensation for pollution and other health harms alone, the board advises payments of $13,619 per average person per year.

When Newsom signed legislation establishing the panel in 2020 along with related bills, he touted them as "important steps" to "make right" the "discrimination" black residents in his state "still face." Newsom appointed five of the nine members of the board.

"Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing," Newsom said Tuesday. 

Some far-left activists criticized the suggested payments as too low. Activist Tony Pierce demanded at a recent reparations board meeting "$200 million for each and every African American" while another activist said that payments "should be starting at" $5 million.