Amherst Creates Fund to Pay Reparations to Black Residents

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A Massachusetts town has approved creating a fund to pay reparations to Black residents.

The Amherst Town Council on Monday voted 12-1 in favor of setting up the fund and requiring a two-thirds vote of the council to authorize any spending from it, The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said establishing the fund means the town can now begin accepting contributions for the effort and decide on a plan to finance reparations work going forward.

The council is weighing a proposal to designate more than $200,000 in surplus budget funds as an initial seed investment.

The council on Monday also approved creating the African Heritage Reparations Assembly, to develop the town's reparations plan by Oct. 31, the newspaper reported.

It will be made up of six Black residents and one representative from Reparations for Amherst, a local advocacy group.

Councilor Mandi Jo Hanneke voted against the fund because she said it was premature to establish it before forming the assembly.

Michele Miller, the cofounder of Reparations for Amherst, said Thursday her group hopes to establish a private fund to bolster the town's efforts.

"We look forward to supporting the African Heritage Community to implement a robust and sustainable reparative plan," she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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