Commentary: Reject the Draft SF Reparations Plan

By Richie Greenberg

This plan is unconscionably detrimental to our city.


In the wake of the tragic George Floyd murder, COVID-19 lockdowns and the Defund the Police movement, a special committee was formed at the direction of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to study reparations to Black residents of the City.

Initially convening June 2020, the committee created a 60-page analysis and action plan. The resulting document entitled Draft San Francisco Reparations Plan was presented to the Board in January 2023, resulting in immediate condemnation from across the City by a multitude of San Franciscans, the subject reaching heated debate by analysists and activists across the nation. It has been largely misunderstood; readers, reporters and national media alike have been led to believe The Plan is about righting a wrong due to slavery prior to 1863, but digging deeper, we see very clearly it strays far beyond that. Bottom line: A 15-member committee spent a year and a half to produce a 60-page plan which essentially advocates for an insanely, costly and unworkable self-segregation of the Black community.


We have federal and state laws which exist to prevent a government’s awarding of resources to groups of people based on race, gender or ethnicity, in terms of employment, contracts and education. But this is precisely what The Plan aims to do. The Plan clearly violates California Prop. 209, as well as the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, The Plan committee laments this legal dilemma in its opening paragraphs, reiterated throughout its 60-pages, then pivots to a call to action: Let’s focus on organizing a repeal of Prop. 209 in California. Realistically, the repeal of any state proposition is a very high hurdle (along with the Federal 14th Amendment issue). If instead the reparations committee seeks to ignore the laws, this would guarantee an avalanche of lawsuits from the start, dooming their effort. Yet, though unlawful, authors of the reparations plan submitted it anyway. At this stage, The Plan is dead in the water.


Reading through 60-pages, readers are struck by an obvious omission: no details of who would be liable to pay reparations. The Plan spells out which Black San Franciscans would be eligible to receive reparations, largely based on years being resident in the City and several categories of victimhood. Yet, as for paying out those monies, there is no indication whether individual residents would be responsible (forced) to fork over funds, or just a portion of residents, or businesses, or government agencies. 


At the crux of criticism is The Plan’s desire to levy a reparations tax (though by law, only voters may approve or reject a proposed tax); its blueprint to establish neo-Apartheid segregation and rule in San Francisco, encompassing a massive separation of the Black minority community (approximately 5% of the City’s population) into a preferred, prioritized class of residents through funding of Black-owned banks, a Black health care system, a Black-run education system with Black cultural-centric curriculum, Black-priority home ownership, Black community spaces, even Black mental health therapists to counter alleged current “White Supremacy” curriculum; it also seeks cancelation of Black consumers’ credit card debt and loans, along with exemptions for property tax and business taxes for Black recipients. A new successor reparations management committee will be formed once the current committee closes (“sunsets”) this June. This new committee aims to receive all reparations funds, empowered to manage the disbursements to Black recipients. The committee seeks to operate outside the auspices of the City of San Francisco government. This is absolutely ludicrous.


The Plan’s authors seek to self-impose a psychological “walling-off” of their own Black community in the southeast section of the City from the rest of San Francisco. Such a drastic separation would be accomplished by the reversing of San Francisco’s current integrated education, health care, banking, town squares, tech hubs, housing and cultural aspects, replaced with Black-only or Black-emphasized counterparts. At a time in our City’s history (and indeed the history of our nation), the last thing San Francisco should ever consider is to fully segregate any portion of the population by race, enclosed by a wall literal or figurative, even if that segment of the population desires it. No good has ever come from walling-off residents (think historic ghettos, Berlin, the racial segregation walls of Detroit and Miami’s past Jim Crow era).


This is an incredibly unserious, incomplete, unlawful, impossible to fulfill and astonishingly exploitive plan, already igniting racial tension, thrusting propaganda onto a gullible and vulnerable segment of San Francisco’s population. Any City Hall official who has read all 60 pages would not support it. Those officials who regardless support it anyway need to take a hard look in the mirror and decide if they should continue serving in office.

Please visit for more information and insight.

Richie Greenberg
Twitter:  @richieSF2016

Richie Greenberg is a 21-year resident of San Francisco, a political commentator, former candidate for mayor and chairman of City Hall Watch. For more information, go to

1 reply »

  1. I’m against this plan … but for reparations. I do not think that $5M dollars is the blanket sum that should be awarded. Most folks in SF don’t have a net worth of $5M so it is hard to argue that racism played a part in most black folks not having $5M. As of 2022, $5.1 million was considered wealthy in San Francisco.

    I can’t tell you what that number should be. It takes a net worth of $1.7M to be financially comfortable the bay area according to Schwab. The net worth of the average 35 year old is $73k and of the avg 65 year old is $250k nationwide. San Francisco probably doubles that.

    I would like to understand the reasoning behind the $5M number. While we do need to make reparations, it is best for it to be fair. Funding a $5M payout when the avg net worth of the citizenry is an order of magnitude smaller may not be the best approach and will certainly cause a backlash for other geographies …


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