California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill making the Golden State the first state in the nation to look at paying reparations for slavery.  Despite California not being a slave state and dealing with a number of issues including wildfires, power outages, and budget woes, Newsom delivered this message in a press release to the world.

“As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” said Governor Newsom. “California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face. While there is still so much work to do to unravel this legacy, these pieces of legislation are important steps in the right direction to building a more inclusive and equitable future for all.”

The bill is called AB3121 and creates a nine member committee that will study how to deliver reparations.  Newsom has been busy making amends for past wrong decisions reports his office.

In March 2019, the Governor issued a moratorium on the death penalty, which is unfairly applied to people of color, people with mental disabilities and people who cannot afford costly legal representation.  He also took the historic step of apologizing to California Native Americans for the exploitation and violence our predecessors inflicted upon them.  Let's hope that the governor will focus on rolling blackouts and fighting wildfires.

Will other states follow California's lead?

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