December 11, 2023

Democrats Abroad Reparations Task Force Submits Joint Letter to Governor Hochul in Support of New York State Reparations Commission


The Democrats Abroad Reparations Task Force was honored to initiate a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul urging her to sign S1163A/A7691—legislation to create a New York State community commission on reparations remedies—without further delay.

The letter to the governor, copied below, brings together more than 100 grassroots organizations, faith groups, and community leaders in support of reparative justice in the Empire State.  Our joint campaign demonstrates the urgent need for redress in New York, and the overwhelming multiracial, intergenerational, and interfaith demand for a reparations commission. 

The Reparations Task Force thanks our stateside partners and fellow Democrats Abroad caucus and task force leaders for joining this historic campaign for justice. We encourage New York voters around the world to continue to make their voices heard with our action toolkit.

For questions, please contact [email protected].

The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, New York 12224

December 11, 2023

To the Honorable New York Governor Kathy Hochul:

We are representatives of a multi-racial, intergenerational, interfaith campaign for justice comprised of New York voters and allies living around the state, the country, and the world. We are writing to you to express our support for the creation of a New York State community commission on reparations remedies via S1163A/A7691.

In early June 2023, New York made history by becoming the second state after California to pass legislation out of its Assembly and Senate which recommends the establishment of a reparations commission. The body would be tasked with examining the long-lasting effects of chattel slavery and racial discrimination in New York, as well as developing proposals to address ongoing injustices.

As S1163A/A7691 recalls: New York State’s position as an economic and cultural hub of the world was built and shaped by slavery. The expropriation of labor and human resources of enslaved Africans provided the economic foundation upon which New York’s trade and commerce was built. Indeed, some of our state’s most prestigious institutions and infrastructure were built using these stolen resources—depriving generations of Black New Yorkers the accumulated fruit of their ancestors' labor. Despite our state’s great wealth, New York has the highest income disparity in the contiguous United States. The resulting racial wealth gap is in large part the legacy of our former slave system.

Today, historically-deprived communities are suffering the ravages of systemic racism in wealth, education, employment, health, housing, and mass incarceration. As we saw in the May 2022 racist mass shooting in Buffalo, such disparities leave Black New Yorkers particularly vulnerable to white nationalists looking to prey upon disaffected communities. Ultimately, the tragedy in Buffalo shows us that repairing the harms of racism is not exclusively a matter of reconciling with our past, but also with our shared present, in order to protect our collective future.

The only way to build a better, safer New York is to face our history and repair the harm of white supremacy’s legacy, which has hurt Black New Yorkers since the state’s foundation. Signing S1163A/A7691 is a necessary, critical step toward ensuring an equal, thriving future for Black New Yorkers. If not signed by midnight on December 31, 2023, this bill will die—signaling an opportunity missed to score the biggest legislative win in Black New York history. We know you can chart a positive path forward by enacting a New York State reparations commission. Doing so would send a strong message to Black New Yorkers that their governor stands with them, and when Black voters choose you, you deliver.

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, encourage you to sign S1163A/A7691 into law without further delay. Let’s not let this historic opportunity pass us by. Together, we can create a New York that lives up to its promise of freedom and justice for all.


Advancement Project
African American Redress Network
African Ancestral Society
Albany County Young Democrats
All Souls Movement
American Humanist Association
Amnesty International USA
ARTs East New York Inc.
Black Music Action Coalition
Black Veterans for Social Justice
Black Veterans Project
BLIS Collective
California Black Power Network
Call BlackLine
Campaign For Justice: Redress NOW For Japanese Latin Americans!
Capital District Democratic Socialists of America 
Catherine Mbali Consulting LLC
Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College
Citizen Action of New York
Color Of Change
Community Rising Project
December 12th Movement
Decolonizing Wealth Project
Democrats Abroad Global Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus Steering Committee
Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Chair
Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus Chair
Democrats Abroad Global Environment and Climate Crisis Council Steering Committee
Democrats Abroad Global ERA Task Force
Democrats Abroad Global LGBTQ+ Steering Committee
Democrats Abroad Global Progressive Caucus Steering Committee
Democrats Abroad Global Reparations Task Force
Democrats Abroad Global Seniors Caucus Chair
Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus Steering Committee
Democrats Abroad Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair
Democrats Abroad Global Youth Caucus Steering Committee
El Grito
ERASE Racism
Fund for Reparations Now!!
Get Free
Get Free New York
Haitian Bridge Alliance
¡High Mi Madre! LLC
Human Rights Watch
Incarcerated Nation Network
Institute of the Black World 21st Century
International Association Against Torture
Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America
John Brown Lives!
Middle Collegiate Church
NAACP Williamsbridge Branch
National Action Network Brooklyn Central Chapter
National Black Cultural Information Trust, Inc.
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America
N’COBRA New England Chapter
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York Day of Remembrance Committee
New York University Student Government Assembly: Diversity Committee
New York Working Families Party
Next Generation Action Network
NY for Social & Economic Equity
NYU Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law
Our Revolution
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Progressives Educating New Yorkers, Inc.
ProJect Access To AFreeKa
Rebel Noires
Reconciliation Ministry Without Walls & Safe, Healthy Spaces-KS
Releasing Aging People in Prison Campaign
Reparation Education Project
Reparations Circle Denver
Reparations Finance Lab
Reparations United
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition
Segregation by Design
Sésé, Birthing Freedom
Showing Up for Racial Justice NYC
Solidarity Society
Staten Island Urban Center
Troy Democratic Socialists of America
Tsuru for Solidarity
Wake the North Country, a project of Jane Haugh
Women's All Points Bulletin WAPB
Working Families Party - Capital District

With support from:

Ambassador Adé Olaiya, M.A.
Attorney Nkechi Taifa
Cynthia Davis
Darrick Hamilton
Don Rojas
Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey and Amy Jacques Garvey
Five Mualimm-ak
Gerald Briscoe
India Walton
Jorge DeFendini
Kayla Matos
Lassane Ouedraogo, Africa Solidarity Centre Ireland
Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.
Marie Lemy
Phoebe Brown
Rev. Samuel L. Pendergrast
Rev. Stephen A. Green
Tahira Ahmad
Tamika Mapp
Vivian Warfield