St. Louis will repair the harms Black people suffered from years of racial discrimination, but discussions postponed

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St. Louis, Missouri – The deadline for the St. Louis Reparations Commission has been pushed to September 9.

In November, they asked Mayor Tishaura Jones of St. Louis for more time. They need it for extra public discussions. These talks are about how to make up for past racial injustice against Black people in St. Louis.

St. Louis Reparations Commission needs financial help from the city

The commission also needs financial help from the city. This help is for creating their final suggestions and a report for the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. Originally, their work was supposed to finish this spring.

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Vernon Mitchell, who works with the mayor and the commission, said in a recent online meeting that this extra time is good. It lets the commission work better and lets the city give the needed support.

Mitchell mentioned that this delay reflects the administration’s dedication to the commission’s efforts. It gives the members more time to prepare detailed and careful work for the city this autumn.

The online meeting saw attendance from members Dr. Will Ross, Kimberly Franks, William Foster, David Cunningham, and Chairperson Kayla Reed. Reed emphasized their focus on engaging with the public, but noted they need city funds for basic expenses.

Reed explained that costs are involved in writing reports and reaching out to the public. She pointed out the public’s frustration with how they’re informed about the commission’s activities. Reed suggested using newspaper, radio, and social media ads to broaden their reach but highlighted the lack of funds for such promotions.

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Reed also mentioned that expenses for venue reservations and flyer production have been covered by donations from commission members and their organizations.

Franks and Ross showed their disappointment with the mayor’s office for not allocating a budget to the commission. Ross, however, said that they plan to propose a budget to Mayor Jones soon.

The next public meeting of the commission is scheduled for January 31. At a meeting in February, Jones and Neal Richardson from the St. Louis Development Corporation will talk about the city’s economic justice action plan.

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