Turning to the right historical mistake, Governor Newsom signs legislation to return Bruce Beach to black descendants

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SB 796 Allows Los Angeles County Supervisors to Immediately Begin Transferring Land to the Bruce Family

The state’s work to right historic injustices and advance fairness includes the nation’s first task force to study reparations for African Americans, reforms for a fairer criminal justice system, and investment in a fair recovery

MANHATTAN BEACH – Almost a century after Bruce’s Beach was illegally taken from black contractors Willa and Charles Bruce, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a law that will allow Los Angeles County to return beachfront property to their descendants, thus continuing the leadership of the state to redress historical injustices and advance equity.

The Governor signed SB 796 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) today in Bruce’s Beach, alongside members of the Bruce family, lawmakers and local leaders. The emergency measure, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, allows the county to immediately begin the process of transferring the Manhattan Beach property plots to the Bruce family.

“As we strive to redress this nearly century-old injustice, California is taking another step forward in our commitment to make the California Dream a reality for communities that have been shamefully excluded by a history of racist exclusion,” said the Governor Newsom. “We know our work is just beginning to mend our past, and California will not hesitate to confront the structural racism and prejudice that people of color face to this day. I thank the Bruce family, Senator Bradford, Los Angeles County Supervisors, and all who have fought to preserve the legacy of this place and deliver this long overdue justice.

The Bruces bought the property in 1912 and established a popular resort serving black residents that was an integral part of the community. The Bruces endured years of racist harassment and violence, and Manhattan Beach city officials finally seized their property through a prominent estate in 1924. Earlier this year, the County Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles voted unanimously to go ahead with a land transfer to the Bruce family in motions co-written by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

“SB 796 shows us that it is never too late to right the injustices of the past,” said Senator Bradford. “If you can inherit the generational wealth in this country, you can inherit the generational debt as well. The City of Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County, and the State of California owe a debt to the Bruce family. This bill was passed by the Legislature unanimously and with overwhelming community support, making it clear that our state is committed to tackling systemic racism head-on. As a member of the California Reparations Task Force, this is an example of what real repairs can look like. I applaud Governor Newsom for helping us pay off a century-old debt by allowing Los Angeles County to move forward and return Bruce’s Beach to its rightful owners, the Bruce family.

Governor Newsom signs legislation to return Bruce’s Beach to his family.

“This is an important milestone for us, and I want to thank not only Governor Newsom for enacting this bill, but Senator Bradford for his leadership and the entire state legislature for their support. unanimous, ”said supervisor Hahn. “The work is far from over. Now that LA County officially has the authority to transfer this property, my goal over the next few months will be to transfer this property in a way that not only works for the Bruce family, but is a model that other governments have. locals can follow. The return of Bruce’s Beach can and should set a precedent for this nation and I know all eyes will be on Los Angeles County as this work begins.

Under Governor Newsom, California has made strides in advancing racial justice. Earlier this year, the governor appointed people from a wide range of backgrounds to be part of the new task force to study and develop redress proposals for African Americans, which also includes Senator Bradford. The country’s first task force was established under a law drafted by then-member Shirley Weber, which the governor enacted last year.

Targeting structural racism and systemic injustice, the governor has declared a moratorium on the death penalty, which is unfairly applied to people of color, among other groups, and signed critical reforms to create a fairer criminal justice system . These efforts include legislation signed earlier today to create a system for revoking the certification of peace officers for serious misconduct, and reforms banning carotid restraint, requiring the attorney general to investigate some shootings involving officers and transforming the juvenile justice system to put more emphasis on rehabilitation. In support of a fair recovery, the governor advanced unprecedented relief for Californians hardest hit by the pandemic, made historic investments in funding schools to increase opportunities at all levels, and funded targeted supports for underserved communities.

Continuing the state’s leadership in righting historic wrongs, Governor Newsom last week signed a law allowing Caltrans to transfer ownership of Blues Beach in Mendocino County to local Native American tribes, following the announcement. last year of administration support for tribal access, co-management and the acquisition of ancestral lands. As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to identify and correct racist place names, the State Park and Recreation The Commission voted today to advance the park’s first name change in the state of California, renaming Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park in honor of the area’s original name used by the Yurok people.

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