The Saint Paul City Council voted on January 13 to appoint a commission to study public reparations to Black Americans for the slavery and racist conditions endured by their ancestors before and after the Civil War. The vote creates a Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission.

All seven council members, led by Jane Prince, signed onto the resolution. Prince said the intent is to figure out how to make investments that help the city’s Black community and address disparities. One source of funding might be a special tax on tobacco or legal cannabis products.

Prince worked on the initiative with former mayoral candidate Trahern Crews, journalist Georgia Fort and a larger group. Ideas were shaped in discussions over a two-year period. The three spoke on January 13 of the need for racial healing through reparations.

The council apologized for past actions, ranging from the landmark Dred Scott pre-Civil War dispute over slavery, redlining of neighborhoods to keep Blacks out, and the destruction of the Rondo neighborhood to make way for I-94.

Council members said the newly created commission will look broadly at possible solutions. One key issue to be addressed is the inequity in city resources between largely white neighborhoods and other more diverse parts of Saint Paul.


— Jane McClure


The Villager welcomes comments from readers. Please include your full name and the neighborhood in which you live. Be respectful of others and stay on topic. We reserve the right to remove any comment we deem to be profane, rude, insulting or hateful. Comments will be reviewed before being published.


house ad


Leave a Reply