Eleven mayors from cities across the country have publicly committed to developing reparations projects in their respective cities. The cities involved range from the large metropolis of Los Angeles, California to the small town of Tallahasse, Oklahoma. At this time, the group has not shared a timeline or financial plan for this plan. In the meantime, each mayor has committed to putting together a local advisory committee comprised of representatives from Black-led organizations.
“Black Americans don’t need another study that sits on a shelf,” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said.
“We need decisive action to address the racial wealth gap holding communities back across our country.”
Jones and her colleagues will soon have to back up their words. Thus far, the group of eleven mayors has put together a mission statement that sounds eerily similar to commissioning a study. They intend for their pilot program to “serve as high-profile demonstrations for how the country can more quickly move from conversation to action on reparations for Black Americans.” However, individual city government's have indicated that they do not expect to pay out these reparations programs themselves.
“Let me be clear: Cities will never have the funds to pay for reparations on our own," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti added.
“When we have the laboratories of cities show that there is much more to embrace than to fear, we know that we can inspire national action as well.”
Garcetti hopes to inspire national action, but he will face an uphill battle in many cities across the nation and the federal government. The fight for reparations dates back centuries and Congress still debates whether studying the matter is a worthwhile endeavor. Only time will tell how far this group of mayors can take the fight for reparations.