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California proposes reparations for those displaced by Dodger stadium

In California, reparations have been a hot topic as the question of whether or not to provide reparations, whether monetary or otherwise, to descendants of slaves.

Published: March 28, 2024 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

(The Center Square) - The California legislature is proposing reparations for residents and their descendants displaced in the 1950s and 1960s by eventual Dodger stadium construction. The 1800 residents and owners in the area where land was ordered sold after being condemned would be eligible for compensation via money or real estate after a nine-member task force creates compensation options for the City of Los Angeles to adopt.

AB 1950, introduced by Assemblymember Wendy Carillo, D-Boyle Heights, suggests the Chavez Ravine community, a 315 acre area housing 1,800 families was condemned in 1950 by Los Angeles “through the power of eminent domain for the purpose of constructing public housing,” and that as a result of these acts, by 1952 resulted in the land “sold below the market value or auctioned off against the will of the landowners.” By 1958, the proposed “Elysian Park Heights housing project had unraveled” and the city sold the entire area to a private company for an “insignificant amount” to be built into Dodger Stadium.

“It is in the interest of the public, the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, and the city to create a task force to oversee and report on the investigation and assessed value of the lost housing and land, the compensation requirements for displaced residents and landowners of Chavez Ravine, potential compensation for their descendants, the construction of a memorial to be erected on the Chavez Ravine site, and a private cause of action enforced for any parties not otherwise compensated through the administrative process,” wrote Carillo in her bill.

In California, reparations have been a hot topic as the question of whether or not to provide reparations, whether monetary or otherwise, to descendants of slaves. After years of deliberation by the California Reparations Task Force, which was created in 2020, California unveiled a package of 14 bills aimed at providing non-cash reparations.

While the CRTF proposed cash reparations of up to $1.2 million per black resident, legislators instead are focusing their efforts on creating exemptions from the state constitution’s ban on racial discrimination or preferences in public employment, education so long as the exemptions are “for purposes of increasing the life expectancy of, improving educational outcomes for, or lifting out of poverty specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations.”

Carillo’s reparations bill would require Los Angeles to either “Convey city-owned real property for housing, use, and enjoyment equal to the square footage area of land acquired by the city from the property owners unjustly displaced between 1950 and 1961, inclusive,” or “monetary compensation, equal to the fair market value at the time of sale or taking, adjusted for inflation.”

Given that Carillo’s proposed reparations are of a limited scope for direct lineal descendants of a traceable number of individuals, her legislation may be able to secure less pushback from state leaders, especially because the bill says compensation must be paid by Los Angeles, not the state.

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