ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA)- Asheville City Council has unanimously passed a resolution in favor of reparations for Black residents.
The resolution calls for changes in how government is money is allocated with the goal of helping bridge generational wealth inequality among Blacks and whites, rather than doling out cash directly to black families.
The resolution also offers an apology.
“The City Council of the city of Asheville…apologizes, makes amends for its participation in and sanctioning the Enslavement of Black People…[and] apologizes and makes amends for its enforcement of segregation,” the resolution reads.
The resolution lists oppressions of Black people, from slavery, to segregation, to housing and wage discrimination. It directs the city manager to create a plan to build generational wealth and boost economic mobility in the Black community. It will also build a new commission to repair damage caused by systemic racism.
“We really want to be looking to change the investments that we make as a city, the policies that we have as a city, the programs that we have,” said Councilwoman Jule Mayfield.
Mayfield saids the conversation around reparations runs parallel to conversation about defunding or “reimagining” the police.
“There should be resources that are now going to the police that can go to other things,” Mayfield said. “How much that is, we don’t know. How long that will take we don’t know.
She said the city isn’t looking to raise taxes right now.
Mayfield also said she expects the city manager to come up with some priorities as part of this process to be included in the next budget cycle.