In 7-0 vote, city council approves reparations plan that focuses on long-term, systemic change
The resolution provides reparations as investments in areas that suffer from racial disparities. Some examples of this in action, as reported by The Root, include strategies to build intergenerational wealth and “increasing minority homeownership,” as well as career and business opportunities. The resolution also points to ending gaps in education, healthcare, and even “neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice.” The resolution apologizes for Asheville’s role in slavery and encourages those at the state and federal level to put forward their own resolutions on reparations. In the short term, the city will create a Community Reparations Commission.
Councilman Keith Young told ABC News that this “process begins and is perpetual” and stressed that “there is no completion box to check off.” He also told the outlet this was an approach to “systemic solutions.”
During the meeting, which you can check out below in full, Young argues that it is “not enough” to only “remove statues” and that “Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature.” He went on to say, “Anything less than systemic change is just feel-good politics in the moment.”
In an email to Newsweek, Young noted, “This work does not end and will be adaptive, no matter what governing body holds office or who runs our city.” He also told the outlet that they’re operating on a timeline of six months at a time for updates.
If you want to learn more about reparations, check out Carolyn Copeland’s deep-dive on what states are already doing over at Prism, as well as her take on the “right way” to do reparations, which, along the same lines as Young, argues for systemic change like closing the racial wealth and homeownership gaps, rather than focusing on a one-time direct payment. Denise Oliver Velez also wrote a thorough deep-dive on reparations and the right-wing agenda here at Daily Kos.
You can check out the city council meeting below, courtesy of YouTube.
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, Daily Kos reports