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California reparations push needs to be a ‘game-changer,’ author of bill says


— Shirley Weber, California secretary of state, addressing the Reparations Task Force

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who wrote the legislation that established the state’s groundbreaking reparations task force as a state assemblywoman, made that plea Friday to the panel at the beginning of a two-day meeting in San Diego.

Weber’s Assembly Bill 3121 was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30, 2020. It established the first state-level task force to study and develop reparations for African-Americans because of slavery.

Under the law, the task force — which released a preliminary report last year — must submit its final report and recommendations to the state legislature by July 1.

Weber said Friday at the meeting at San Diego State University that the task force was addressing “some of the most important issues in the state.” She also mentioned the significant role she thinks California plays in the reparations movement.

She introduced the bill in the California legislature in 2020 because “the bill in D.C. once again had failed,” Weber said. “We never seem to get across the line and make progress.” So, she said, “California could do that. California is always the one that does the innovative things.”

See: California reparations push could give Black residents hundreds of thousands of dollars — here’s what they say they would do with it

Also: Reparations task force also wants to change California policies

Weber said California had the legislature to pass the bill at the time, and that she knew that the state has the resources to accomplish what needs to be done. She pointed to the state’s standing as one of the largest economies in the world, and its educational institutions that she called “second to none.” (Weber was an educator before she became an elected official.)

“We have the brainpower and knowledge to do this if we choose to,” she said.

The first publicly funded reparations program in the nation was passed in Evanston, Ill., and has begun to distribute money for housing-related purposes. Other local governments around the nation are considering or exploring their own reparations programs. The federal legislation on reparations, H.R. 40, has been introduced several times since 1989 but has never gotten anywhere.

See: ‘This is our shot’: Evanston’s road to reparations gets a documentary spotlight 


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Jacob Keiter is a husband, a writer, a journalist, a musician, and a business owner. His journey to becoming a writer was one that was paved with challenges, but ultimately led him to find his true calling. Jacob's early years were marked by a strong desire for creative expression. He was always drawn to music, and in his youth, he played in several bands, chasing the elusive promise of fame and success. However, despite his best efforts, Jacob struggled to find the recognition he craved. It wasn't until he hit a low point in his life that Jacob discovered his love for writing. He turned to writing as a form of therapy during a particularly difficult time, and found that it not only helped him to cope with his struggles, but also allowed him to express himself in a way that he had never been able to before. Jacob's writing skills quickly caught the attention of others, and he soon found himself working as a journalist for The Sun out of Hummelstown. From there, he went on to contribute to a variety of publications, including the American Bee Journal and Referee Magazine. Jacob's writing style is reflective of traditional journalism, but he also infuses his work with a unique voice that sets him apart from others in his field. Despite his success as a writer, Jacob also owns another business, JJ Auto & Home, which specializes in cleaning. Jacob's commitment to excellence is evident in all of his endeavors, whether it be in his writing or in his business ventures. Today, Jacob is the author of two books and continues to inspire others through his writing. His journey to becoming a writer serves as a reminder that sometimes our darkest moments can lead us to our greatest achievements.

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