Previously existing law established, until July 1, 2023, the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States. Previously existing law required the Task Force to, among other things, identify, compile, and synthesize the relevant corpus of evidentiary documentation of the institution of slavery that existed within the United States and the colonies that became the United States, as specified, and to recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Task Force's findings, as specified. Previously existing law required the Task Force to submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature, as specified.
This bill would provide that the State of California recognizes and accepts responsibility for all of the harms and atrocities committed by the state, its representatives thereof, and entities under its jurisdiction who promoted, facilitated, enforced, and permitted the institution of chattel slavery and the enduring legacy of ongoing badges and incidents from which the systemic structures of discrimination have come to exist. The bill would further provide that the State of California apologize for perpetuating the harms African Americans have faced and affirms its role in protecting the descendants of enslaved people and all Black Californians. The bill would require a plaque memorializing this apology to be publicly and conspicuously installed and maintained in the State Capitol Building. The bill would impose various duties on the Department of General Services and the Joint Rules Committee relating to the installation and maintenance of the plaque. The bill would authorize the Department of General Services and the Joint Rules Committee to receive money from grants and private donations and would continuously appropriate those funds for this purpose, as specified.
The bill would require the Legislature to prepare the formal apology and would request it be signed by specified state leaders. Additionally, the bill would require the Secretary of State to submit a final copy of this formal apology to the State Archives, where it would be available for viewing by the general public in perpetuity. The bill would include related legislative findings.