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St. Louis mayor signs bill allowing voluntary reparations

April 2, 2022 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis mayor has signed a bill allowing taxpayers to voluntarily donate to a slavery reparations fund.

Tishaura Jones, the city’s first Black female mayor, described the move in a statement Friday as an effort to “reverse generational wrongs,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The bill, passed last month by the Board of Aldermen, will allow residents and companies to contribute to the fund by adding donations to yearly property tax bills or to the joint water and refuse collection bills issued quarterly.

When the measure was considered by an aldermanic committee, members expressed concern about the bill’s lack of detail on how the money would be disbursed.

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The statement from the mayor’s office said community stakeholders and academics would work together to develop a plan. It also described the bill as a “first step.”

Mayoral spokesman Nick Dunne didn’t say what further reparations ideas might be looked at here, saying “it’s in the exploratory stages.”

Last June, Jones was among 11 mayors around the country who pledged to develop high-profile pilot projects in their cities to set an example for the federal government on how a nationwide program might work.