- The nine-person group is still in discussions over a further 12 issues that could see African Americans given more compensation
- In the past eight months the taskforce has spent time traveling the West Coast to learn about the effect of the policies on everyone
- 2024 Presidential hopeful Gavin Newsom signed off the legislation in 2020 for the largest reparation effort in recent history
- Members of the panel are calling for the federal government to take on their concerns – a move that could cost billions to fulfill
Kamilah Moore – the chair of the group – which was created after 2024 hopeful Newsom signed legislation in 2020, has said she plans to be as ‘radical as possible’ when it comes to her role.
The nine-person group believes that black Americans should receive the money for ‘enduring the economic effects’ of racism and slavery – after initially making the suggestions in California.
They are now urging the federal government to pay every African American in the US at least $223,000 for ‘housing discrimination’ – while continuing to probe other areas for compensation.
California is the first state to require agencies to present a separate demographic category for descendants of enslaved people.
On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the taskforce has spent months traveling across the West coast to learn about the effect of the policies.
In a March 2022 report, those eligible for the reparations would have to be descendants of enslaved African Americans or of a ‘free black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century.
They argue that the money is for housing discrimination practices utilized from 1933 to 1977 – and have 12 more categories to consider.
Members of the panel are calling for the federal government to take on their concerns – a move that could cost billions to fulfill.
DailyMail.com has a closer look at those making the decisions on Newsom’s committee, which is chaired by a former entertainment lawyer from Los Angeles.
Kamilah Moore, Chair
Entertainment lawyer Kamilah Moore turned her hand to the taskforce when it was first launched after previously working in Los Angeles.
The 30-year-old previously studied at the University of Amsterdam, where she took a series of courses on international criminal law and wrote a thesis on global reparatory justice for the transatlantic slave trade, the institution of slavery, and their legacies.
While she ‘probably’ wouldn’t recommend that the ‘police be abolished’ in California, Moore added: ‘That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try to invite an expert to come and provide testimony.’
Moore was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon.
During her time studying human rights and international law she traveled to Papua New Guinea and helped them with there reparation from a Canadian-owned gold mining corporation.
Dr. Amos C Brown, Vice Chair
Civil rights leader Dr Amos Brown studied under Martin Luther King Jr, and was arrested during a sit-in in 1961 to protest segregation in the south.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle that ‘America is a racist country’ and he knows that, as well as explaining his great-great-grandfather was born enslaved in 1821.
It is unclear if the recommendations by the group will be introduced nationally, but if so it could mean that Dr Brown may be one of the recipients of the $223k the group recommended.
Dr Brown also added that you need the ‘right kind of police’, and that ‘the police need to understand that to wear that badge is not license for you to beat up on human beings.’
Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer represents the 59th Assembly District, including the communities of Huntington Park, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, South Los Angeles, and Exposition Park.
He was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon.
Discussing the distribution group, he told ABC: ‘Today we don’t treat African Americans as slaves, but when you look at the prison system, you go, ‘Oh, I now can connect the dots that the prison industrial system might just be another form of slavery’.’
Jones-Sawyer was inspired to stand up for civil rights after his uncle became one of the first groups of black students who integrated into an all-white high school in Arkansas.
Dr Jovan Scott Lewis
Dr Jovan Scott Lewis is an Economic Anthropologist and Geographer who researches reparations, the political economy of inequality and race in the United States and the Caribbean.
He is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2015.
Lewis earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Speaking to the New York Times, Lewis said of the groups: ‘We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction. That is why we must put forward a robust plan, with plenty of options.
In a paper discussing racial capitalism in the post-emancipation Caribbean, Lewis also claimed that the ‘structural definition of Caribbean identity can be understood as one defined by racial capitalism’s instrument of labor’ – essentially branding capitalism as racist.
Senator Steven Bradford
Senator Steven Bradford, representing the 35th District, and has signed 43 bills signed into law, and he is currently the chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee, as well as the Chair of the California Legislative black Caucus
Bradford is also outspoken on Criminal Justice Reform, Diversity and Inclusion, empowering underserved communities and bringing equity to the Cannabis industry.
He explained that he felt concerned after some of his colleagues, and fellow Democrats, feels that reparations may be a ‘bridge too far’.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times he said: ‘I’ve often said, if you can inherit generational wealth, you can inherit generational debt and the state of California, as well as the United States, owes a debt to African Americans who are descendants of slavery and helped build this country.’
Sn Bradford was appointed as a member of the Reparation Task Force by President pro Tempore of the Senate Toni Atkins.
Dr Cheryl Grills
Dr. Cheryl Grills, a professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University for 34 years was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Speaking to ABC she said: ‘These are very difficult and trying times for people of African ancestry in this country, and in fact, in the world.
‘We black folks have been essentially dealing with centuries of racial oppression. Our souls, our bodies, our minds are under duress. We are in a broken social system in society.
‘So, essentially what we’re dealing with is a situation that is not righteous, it’s not just.
‘It has no empathy or compassion for the humanity of black people, and in the midst of yet another assault, a reminder that we are seen as less than human, we’re being called on to rise above the situation.’
Dr Lisa Holder
Dr Holder has been Dubbed a ‘Super Lawyer’ by Los Angeles Magazine for four years running, and is a nationally recognized and award winning trial attorney.
She periodically teaches the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic at UCLA Law School and serves as a legislative consultant on institutional bias elimination.
Holder told the LA Times: ‘Hearing from real black people who are catching hell day to day is what is most important and that is one of the reasons why we are pushing for a community engagement process.’
After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wesleyan University, Holder graduated from New York University School of Law as a distinguished Root-Tilden Scholar.
Monica Montgomery Steppe
Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe represents the Fourth Council District in the City of San Diego and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Spelman College and a Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law.
Speaking about her appointment last year, she said: ‘This is an important first step to dismantle systemic racism and the barriers that African Americans have faced in this country since its beginning, and I look forward to the work of the task force.’
Steppe was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by President pro Tempore of the Senate Toni Atkins.
Donald K Tamaki
Lawyer Donald Tamaki is known for his historic work serving on the pro bono legal team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States.
He helped to overturn Fred Korematsu’s conviction for refusing incarceration during the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and providing a key legal foundation in the decades-long Japanese American Redress Movement.
Tamaki is the co-founder of StopRepeatingHistory.Org, a campaign focused on drawing parallels between the round-up of Japanese Americans during World War II and the targeting of minority groups based on race or religion.
He was appointed to the Reparations Task Force by Governor Gavin Newsom.