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City survey to gauge sentiment over reparations


Helping to map Black LA experience

The city’s Reparations Advisory Commission launched a survey recently for Black current and former residents of Los Angeles to share their experiences and views on how the city can address issues that have impacted their lives.

The survey, led by researchers at Cal State Northridge, is part of an effort to map the Black experience in Los Angeles and is expected to include historical research as the basis for a future reparations program, according to the commission.

“As the commission continues its work, I urge all African-Americans who are, or at some time were, residents of the city of Los Angeles, to take this survey to help our commission shape and scope of reparations in Los Angeles,” Commission Chair Michael Lawson, who is president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, said in a statement.

“The results of this survey, combined with rigorous academic and historical research, will inform the scope and nature of reparations in our city. It is essential that all who have been affected are given an opportunity to make their voices, and the voices of those who have passed away, heard during this important process.”

In June 2021, the city of Los Angeles established the Reparations Advisory Commission, a blue ribbon task force composed of leading voices in activism, academia, law, and racial justice–which aims to advise the city on a future reparations pilot program for a group of Black residents.

Researchers are hoping to receive thousands of responses to the survey, which will close this fall. The study includes an interactive online history map showing how the distribution of Black communities in Los Angeles has changed from 1930 to 2022. The study is expected to be fully complete next year with recommendations for city leaders on reparations by early 2025, according to the commission.

“The Reparations Advisory Commission is developing the first reparations program in Los Angeles, addressing generations of systemic discrimination that denied Black Angelenos access to their health, their wealth and their liberty,” said LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox.

“We know that racial covenants and redlining held Black Angelenos Back–but there are so many stories we have yet to uncover. Today, we’re giving current and former residents of Los Angeles the chance to make their voices heard. Take this survey and tell our story.”

To take the survey, visit The survey takes about 25-30 minutes to complete.