California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has signed off on legislation designed to create a task force for which to study slavery and make possible proposals on reparations. This creates a task force of nine members who will conduct research and try to discover ways to provide reparations for African Americans.

As posted by the Office of the Governor of California, in a set of multiple tweets, they stated “Governor Newsom signed: #AB3121 establishing task force to study & make proposals on reparations for slavery #AB2542 prohibiting use of race, ethnicity or national origin to seek or obtain convictions or impose sentences #AB3070 aims to eliminate discrimination in jury selection.”

A second tweet stated “As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism & bias built into & permeating throughout our democratic & economic institutions.”

A press release was also posted on CA.Gov titled “Governor Newsom Signs Landmark Legislation to Advance Racial Justice and California’s Fight Against Systemic Racism & Bias in Our Legal System.” The press release provides a bit more details on the legislation signed by the Democratic Governor as his way to seek ways to pay reparations, if possible, for slavery that occurred 100+ years ago.

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Democrat Assemblymember Shirley Weber made a statement on the release. She said “California has historically led the country on civil rights, yet we have not come to terms with our state’s ugly past that allowed slaveholding within our borders and returned escaped slaves to their masters… Neither have we effectively addressed our present justice system which allows prosecutors to bar African Americans from serving on juries. The Governor’s signature on AB 3121 and AB 3070 once again demonstrates that our state is dedicated to leading the nation on confronting and addressing systemic injustice.”

For clarity purposes, Newsom specifically signed the following:

  • AB 979 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Corporations: boards of directors: underrepresented communities.
  • AB 2542 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) – Criminal procedure: discrimination.
  • AB 3070 by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) – Juries: peremptory challenges.
  • AB 3121 by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) – Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans.

Photo: Gage Skidmore