St. Louis Reparations Commission meets for the first time
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Reparations Commission, appointed by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, met for the first time Monday night for what will be a year-long process to create recommendations on what reparations should look like in the city
“For me, reparations is reparing and creating a reality of where children are on the street I grew up on and they have access to all the things they need to thrive,” said Kayla Reed, a member of the Reparations Commission.
The commission was a campaign promise of Mayor Tishaura Jones. Through an executive order, the nine-person volunteer commission was created
“[They] will analyze the history of race-based harms in the city and reveal the modern manifestations of injustice. Ultimately, the commission will offer recommendations for methods to develop and implement reparations for Black St. Louisans and the descendants of enslaved peoples,” said a spokesperson for the city.
Robin Proudie is a city resident and a descendant of an enslaved woman owned by the Jesuits of Missouri.
“We think it is progress. We think it is very important. There has always been since the inception of St. Louis disparity, starting with slavery,” said Proudie.
The commission will spend the next 11 months meeting once a month to listen to and engage with the community. They will then put together a report, and any action will then be taken by elected leaders.
Other cities have formed similar commissions. In San Francisco, their commission recently proposed a payout of $5 million to each eligible resident.
Reed said no decisions on a monetary amount or who would be eligible have been determined, saying that’s what they will determine over the course of the year.
“We know that tends to be the more controversial aspect of a conversation around reparations but the truth is, investment is necessary. It’s necessary to achieve equity. We don’t have an amount, we won’t have an amount for the next 11 months,” said Reed.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office says there is not currently any funding set aside for reparations and that funding from COVID relief and the Rams settlement are not on the table.
The next meeting is set for May 22 at Harris Stowe.
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