Since Saint Paul’s founding, African Americans have faced discrimination that has included redlining, racial covenants restricting the sale of real estate, and the destruction of the Rondo residential neighborhood and business district to make way for I-94. Disparities in homeownership, economic prosperity, education and healthcare resulted.
On Jan 13, 2021, City Council passed Resolution 21-77 in which Council apologized on behalf of the City of Saint Paul for the City's role in the institutional and structural racism experienced by its residents. In addition, the resolution calls for the creation of a limited-term Legislative Advisory Committee to create a framework in the City's Codes for a permanent commission, to be known as the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission.
Resolution 21-886, passed by City Council on June 16, 2021, established the Saint Paul City Council Legislative Advisory Committee on Reparations appointing Veronica Burt, Trahern Crews and Yohuru Williams as the conveners and Theresa Cunningham, Lynette Harris, Amber Jones, Benjamin Mchie, Nick Muhammad, Jessica Nickrand, Jose Perez, Khulia Pringle, Vic Rosenthal and Jerry Thomas as members.
The Reparations Legislative Advisory Committee will meet for up to 1 year: July 2021 through June 2022. The committee will produce a written report for City Council no later than Friday, June 10, 2022 and will present its recommendations on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
The Advisory Committee will lay the groundwork for the establishment of the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission, which will be a permanent standing commission of the city.
Once established, the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission will recommend actions to address the creation of generational wealth for the American Descendants of Chattel Slavery and boost economic mobility and opportunity in the Black community.