Governor Gavin Newsom signs into law Assembly Bill 3121 to force the state of California investigate its racist history and systemic racism. Newsom says the new law and bipartisan support for its passage are proving, “A paradigm that we hope will resonate all across the United States.”
The new law creates a task force to recommend appropriate remedies in the form of reparations to the state legislature and determine who should be eligible to receive compensation. Assembly woman Shirley Weber of San Diego says, “California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery.”
The law does not prescribe a form of reparations or dictate how the state should determine who would qualify for compensation. It leaves those questions up to the task force to study and recommend. The legislature would need to pass another bill to approve reparation payments.
Weber says she hopes the task force will consider forms of reparations beyond cash payments. She referenced an 1865 order by the union to give freed slaves, 40 acres and a mule as an opportunity to build wealth.
The new law calls on the task force to educate the public about the history of slavery in the US and California and the discriminatory policies that came after.