Asheville City Council Unanimously Passes Reparations Resolution

Asheville City Council Unanimously Passes Reparations Resolution
Image:Zen Sutherland/Wikimedia Commons

The city council of Asheville, North Carolina, voted unanimously on Tuesday to provide a form of reparations to its Black population.

Asheville’s version of reparations will not be made in direct payments, but through community initiatives like “increasing minority home ownership,” “increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities,” and “strategies to grow equity and generational wealth,” the resolution says.

While the text itself is light on specifics, city management will be developing “short, medium and long-term recommendations to specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunity” for Black residents.

Councilman Keith Young, who helped architect the resolution, told ABC News in a statement that the council was looking “to embed systemic solutions.”

“This process begins and is perpetual, repeating this process over and over again,” he said. “There is no completion box to check off.
“As far as the timeline goes, we will have some steps to report on within six months and every six months after that. This work does not end and will be adaptive, no matter what governing body holds office or who runs our city.”

The city of Asheville also apologized for its involvement with slavery and the persistent discrimination that emerged as a result. Young added that ideally, a new step toward community equity will be added every six months.

In 2013, North Carolina set aside $10 million to make direct payments to Black residents in apology for the 7,600 people the state forcibly sterilized between 1929 to 1974 as part of a eugenics program.

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