Jersey City Says the Word: Reparations

Share this

Dear New Jersey Institute for Social Justice friend,

Last night, Jersey City became the tenth location in New Jersey to pass a resolution endorsing state legislation (S386/A938) to establish a Reparations Task Force in New Jersey!

Go, Jersey City!

Jersey City follows East Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Plainfield, Montclair, Newark, Trenton, and Essex and Mercer Counties.

The Institute and a vibrant multiracial, multifaith coalition are waging a Say the Word: Reparations campaign for passage of the task force legislation, making the point that reparative justice is not something we should run away from. Thousands of people from around the state have contacted their legislators urging them to act.

With the legislature not having moved the bill forward even to a hearing, cities, towns and counties around New Jersey are springing into action.

We need you to join them! Go to 400YearsNJ.org to easily contact your elected officials or help #SaytheWord on social with our toolkit.

Finally, we’ll leave you with this powerful quote from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop upon passage of the resolution:

“I know the word reparations evokes strong emotions on all sides, but I can only view this issue from my own personal experiences. My family are Holocaust survivors with 28 out of 35 of my immediate family members being murdered by the Nazis in the gas chamber at Auschwitz. The German government paid reparations to my grandparents, and although it would never correct what happened to my family, it was an important step.

“Regarding reparative justice for Black people, there is no question slavery is a terrible stain on our history and there is no question that New Jersey participated in a way that altered lives of future generations. The legislation proposed in the New Jersey Legislature is simply to have a commission and conversation to discuss this issue formally and make recommendations, and I would be a clear hypocrite if I didn’t think our history justified this. I am very gratified that our Council agrees and is endorsing this resolution.”

Thank you, as always, for standing with us.

You can find other opportunities to take action for social and racial justice here, and you can donate to our work here.

Onward!

Jean-Pierre Brutus

Senior Counsel, Economic Justice Program