As the city of San Francisco debates how to pay for a legacy of racism, its slavery disclosure ordinance asking businesses that contract with the city for voluntary donations to “ameliorate the effects of slavery” has not received a donation in seven years.
San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission released a memo in December 2022 that advocated the city give $5 million to each eligible Black resident. The U.S. Census estimated about 42,390 Black residents in the city in 2021. The commission didn’t say how many people would be eligible for the $5 million.
In 2006, San Francisco created a “slavery disclosure” ordinance under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. The ordinance requires businesses that contract with the city to research its company’s history and report any financial transactions and activity that may have been part of the slave industry.
In 2015, two businesses acknowledged in their affidavits that they had ties to predecessor banks that benefitted from the slave trade.
Bank of America stated it couldn’t find an instance where any Bank of America legacy banks made a profit from slavery but did confirm “a direct connection to slavery by Southern predecessor banks.”
U.S. Bank National Association stated it acquired southern banks and identified records of founders or directors of predecessor banks who owned slaves. It also included a record showing the use of a slave as collateral for a loan.