L.A. County offers free beaches and museums for a day as part of reparations efforts

LOS ANGELES, CA -SEPTEMBER 12, 2022: Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell speaks during a press conference where it was announced that a $236 million settlement between the County of Los Angeles and the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights was reached. Millions of dollars will be committed in new funding to bring outreach and supportive services to some of the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell speaks during a press conference in September 2023. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is still working to figure out how the county should make reparations to Black Angelenos discriminated against over the decades by government actions.

But the five-member board unanimously voted this week to at least provide a day of free access to beaches and museums to Black residents as the county continues to study reparations proposals.

Supervisor Holly Mitchell made the proposal at a board meeting Tuesday, calling the offer a "small token" representing the county's continued commitment to exploring reparations.

The proposal, which allows Angelenos to attest to their eligibility rather than requiring them to submit proof, will be valid on or about the Juneteenth holiday, the supervisor said. The county approved the motion.

It came as part of a larger motion by Mitchell directing the county to consult with each department to determine what actions the county might take on reparations.

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The county will also be reviewing a state task force report on reparations to develop language for a board resolution that "acknowledges and apologizes to African Americans and their descendants on behalf of the County and the County's role in structural racism, acts of violence, and other such harms," according to the motion.

The county's chief executive and its executive director of racial equity for the Anti Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative will have 120 days to study the state report and return with suggestions for local initiatives to advance the reparations effort.

"It is not enough for the County to acknowledge its historical wrongdoings and systemic harm perpetuated against the African American community," Mitchell wrote in the motion. "The County must also develop a framework to provide families displaced by racist policies with ample and substantial resources to address the harmful effects of eminent domain through reparations."

The motion also called for the county to report back within 180 days on prioritizing housing "for those whose descendants were displaced from their homes in Los Angeles" along with "a framework for financial restitution to individuals who have suffered particular injuries."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.