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Eugene City Council considers reparations

"I'm looking for a way for us to begin to move forward from the not-so-distant past," councilor Greg Evans said.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 6:22 PM
Updated: Jun 23, 2021 6:23 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- On Wednesday, the Eugene City Council weighed possible options for reparations for residents that are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

RELATED: EUGENE CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS REPARATIONS WEDNESDAY

"The history that Oregon has with white supremacy and other discriminatory practices, that history is part of the fabric of Eugene," said Jason Dedrick, the policy analyst for the city.

Dedrick said when considering options for reparations, or what he referred to as "reparative justice," local context should be considered.

The council appeared to largely be on board with the decision to implement some sort of reparative justice but didn't seem to make much progress in regard to what type. The concept of reparations is typically associated with financial compensation, but this meeting introduced more infrastructure-level changes, like housing and income equality.

"I'm looking for a way for us to begin to move forward from the not-so-distant past," councilor Greg Evans said.

During the session, they discussed some of the strategies other cities across the country used to provide compensation for the history of racial prejudice in the United States. 

Many of the members said speaking the truth about the past is the first step.

"Having an idea of a commission to discuss our history in real terms is very important," councilor Mike Clark said.

This was the first of two sessions on the matter.

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