Asheville postpones $1M funding resolution allocated for reparations to Black residents

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The city of Asheville is postponing its vote on how to allocate $1 million in reparations for Black residents.

The resolution supporting reparations passed unanimously during a city council meeting in July, WLOS reported.

The Asheville mayor said a majority of the council members asked her to remove the proposed resolution from the agenda. She said the council still supports the resolution, but the delay would give them time to develop a road map on moving forward with it.

The council adopted the resolution as a way to recognize the city’s role in slavery and systemic racism and to provide funding for Black residents who city leaders said were denied housing through racist practices.

When the resolution was first passed, officials said it recognized centuries of injustices and worked toward righting wrongs.

“There’s this concept that there is this American dream, that we all have an equal opportunity to generate wealth that brings meanings to the words life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, even though Black Americans have been denied that,” Asheville City Councilman Keith Young told our news partner WLOS.

The resolution calls on organizations in Asheville to apologize and make amends with the Black community.

It also pushes for generational wealth and is looking to create a Community Reparations Commission, among other steps.

Young said the community needs to be equal in all areas -- health care, education, employment, criminal justice and business ownership.

“As far as being here all my life, the change we are witnessing right now is historic in nature,” Young said.

Young said while removing monuments is necessary, he believes this is an essential first step in the right direction.