St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones appoints a reparations commission to hold hearings on making amends for the past treatment of black Americans.
The panel meets monthly and has no deadline for recommendations. Jones, a Democrat, signed an executive order Wednesday to create a volunteer commission that will recommend how the city should be compensated.
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The nine-member commission will include at least one civil rights advocate, a priest, a lawyer, an academic, a health professional and a youth, the mayor’s office said.
“People closest to the problems are closest to the solutions” Jones said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing the work of this commission after decades of investment to chart a course that will restore the vitality of black communities in our city. If half fail, we cannot succeed as a city.” The statement did not elaborate on how any compensation might be funded.
Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel Jr. said segregation and racism “undoubtedly” hurt blacks in St. Louis and elsewhere in the state.
“Reimbursement would be one way to start, and it’s important to consider all options,” Chapel said.
President Biden supported reparations despite low public support.
Last year, Evanston, Illinois became the first city in Illinois to pay reparations for blacks. Black households receive $25,000 in home repairs, down payments on the property, and interest or late penalties on properties in the city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.