On Wednesday, joined by advocates and community members, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed Executive Order #75, establishing a volunteer commission to explore and recommend opportunities for reparations in the City of St. Louis.
“The people closest to the problems are closest to the solution,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I look forward to reviewing this commission’s work to chart a course that restores the vitality of Black communities in our city after decades of disinvestment. We cannot succeed as a city if one half is allowed to fail.”
The Commission will be comprised of nine members. All must live in the City of St. Louis, and must represent different backgrounds, including at least one civil rights advocate, clergy member, attorney, academics, public health professional, and youth.
According to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) reparations is defined as “a process of repairing, healing and restoring a people injured because of their group identity and in violation of their fundamental human rights by governments, corporations, institutions and families.” The Reparations Commission will explore the history of race-based harms in the city; reveal the present-day manifestations of that history; and, ultimately, propose a method and potential funding resources for directly repairing the harms that have been inflicted.
As a member of Mayors Organizing for Reparations and Equity (MORE) Coalition, Mayor Jones has engaged with other Mayors across the United States to explore best practices and align goals around reparations. The commission is the latest effort by the administration to explore opportunities for reparations at the local level.
Those interested in applying to serve on the commission can apply via the City’s website. A copy of the executive order is below.