Kansas City’s Commission of Reparations meets for the first time Tuesday

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 8:22 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Commission on Reparations will meet for the first time Tuesday about paying back those impacted the most in our communities.

The 15-member committee will introduce themselves when the meeting starts at 3 p.m. and then get to the issue at hand of focusing on five impact areas. The proposals focusing on five impact areas include housing, economic development, health, education, and criminal justice.

The commission, established earlier this month, will discuss an overview of authorizing ordinance and the commission’s charge on the issue. Tuesday’s agenda also has a law department briefing talking about Sunshine Law compliance, they will have reparations coalition introductions, a background of work-to-date, and the history of reparations.

The ordinance states it is expressing apologies on behalf of the city and declares the city’s intent to make amends for its participation in the enslavement of black people and any historical enforcement of segregation.

The public is allowed to watch along on Zoom here.

Lucas is one of 11 U.S. mayors who promised in the summer of 2021 to establish a pilot program for reparations to counter the racial gap in Kansas City. The Urban League of Greater Kansas City called on city officials last month to follow through on proposed reparations – stating major wealth discrepancies between white and Black Kansas Citians.

One of the largest efforts on this is happening in California which started in 2020. It released its first report last year outlining the state’s involvement in slavery and how it continues to harm Black Americans. The California Reparations Task Force voted earlier this month to send their recommendations to state lawmakers.

There are efforts across the state as well, as the St. Louis Commission on Reparations met last night for the second time.

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