New York State lawmakers urge Gov. Hochul to sign slavery reparations bill
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)-- Some New York State lawmakers are hoping Gov. Kathy Hochul will sign legislation that would establish a commission on reparations remedies for slavery, before the end of the year.
“That American dream that if you try hard, keep your nose clean, work hard, and do all of these things you too can make it in this great place. That, for the African American population is not the case,” said Sen. James Sanders (D-10th Senate District).
Sen. Sanders said this legislation could help the state get closer to providing equal opportunities for all New Yorkers.
Other state lawmakers agreed--saying this legislation could have a significant impact for New Yorkers on many different levels to address racial disparities.
“When we’re talking about how we can begin the healing process and provide remedies for communities, especially communities of color, Black communities that have been systematically impacted by racism and inequality. This bill will be an opportunity just to have a conversation,” said Assembly Member Michaelle Solages (D-Assembly District 22).
The legislation writes the commission must meet within six months of it's establishment and begin deliberations. Then within one year of their first meeting, the commission is required to deliver a report.
Henry-Louis Taylor, director of the center for urban studies at the state university of New York at Buffalo, said the findings from the commission could reveal more than just New York's role in the institution of slavery.
“It will provide deeper insights into the ways of which the exploitation of Blacks both in terms of workers as well as places that they live have continued across time,” he said.