In the June 25, 2021 installment of the Working Together blog, we highlighted the City of Saint Paul as one of 11 American municipalities currently planning to launch a reparations pilot program for African Americans. Recently, the city officially assembled the St. Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission, which, according to St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Frederick Melo, is “poised to study the experiences of Indigenous tribes, Japanese families interned on American soil during World War II, and Jewish Holocaust survivors of concentration camps in Nazi Germany” among other legal precedents and historical models of financial restitution. In addition, the commission will also collect input from community-based surveys “to help guide their work.”
At the moment, it is unclear what a reparations pilot program would actually entail. Direct economic payments? Tax credits? Other forms of financial assistance or benefit programs? “That is all an open-ended thing,” says Ward 7 St. Paul City Council member Jane Prince, “Nothing is precluded or defined in the resolution of what reparations might consist of.”
Community Action’s Working Together blog and social media platforms will continue to follow this story and the progress of the St. Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. For the latest news and updates regarding the St. Paul Recovery Act, to take the community survey, or to view the commission’s video “The Case for Reparations,” please visit the commission website.