Around New England

Amherst Reparations Supporters Eyeing Draft Bill To Give Money To Individual Blacks

July 28, 2022

Reparations supporters in Amherst are considering draft language for a bill in the state legislature that would allow town officials to give individual African-Americans money from town funds.

Reparations is a proposal to use public funds for black people to make up for slavery and discrimination.

Without a special state law, town officials would be limited to using reparations funds for projects designed to benefit groups less directly, such as for below-market-rate housing or for grants to certain non-profit organizations, according to the Hampshire Daily Gazette.

The African Heritage Reparation Assembly, an advisory group created by the Amherst Town Council, began reviewing draft language earlier this week, the newspaper reported. The assembly is also working on what it calls a “reparative justice plan” designed to present ways the town can address oppression of black people, which it hopes to finish by June 2023.

The town council expects to see a draft at its meeting scheduled for Monday, August 15.

Town officials plan to divert revenue from marijuana businesses in Amherst to the town’s reparations fund — hoping the reparations fund will reach $2 million in 10 years.


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