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Ann Arbor City Council to discuss feasibility of proposed municipal reparations program

Juneteenth reparations rally to demand reparations from the United States government.
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Juneteenth reparations rally to demand reparations from the United States government.

The City of Ann Arbor is considering a reparations program to remediate historical injustices.

Tonight’s City Council meeting agenda includes a resolution to study a reparations program. The resolution says that while slavery was abolished in Michigan when it approved its first state constitution in 1837, Black citizens were still subjected to discrimination and injustices.

Ward 1 Councilmember Cynthia Harrison, who is sponsoring the resolution, says there has been a significant decline in the Black population in Ann Arbor in the past several years.

“The disproportionate number of arrests of Black men who lived here in the City of Ann Arbor and the economic decline of Black businesses, including numerous closures of many brick-and-mortar shops.”

The bill directs the City Administrator to identify a funding source for the study and conduct a study into the feasibility, process and structure of a potential Municipal Reparations Program.

The resolution requires the report be completed as soon as practical with a status update to the council no later than December.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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