HAYWARD (CBS SF) — The Hayward City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday apologizing to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) for past city policies that racially discriminated against them while formally acknowledging the institutionalized racism that has left a legacy of inequity.
The resolution cites Hayward’s participation, along with the real estate and banking industries, in the practice of redlining, which prevented minorities from owning property within Hayward city limits. The discrimination steered Black and Latino families into neighboring unincorporated areas of Hayward, which lacked municipal services. The lasting effect has been the denial of intergenerational wealth-building; a disproportionately higher rate BIPOC renters in Hayward; and economic, medical and emotional strain.READ MORE: KPIX Reporters Remember Slain Security Guard Kevin Nishita; 'Just the Kindest Man'
Prepared and recommended to the council by the Hayward Community Services Commission, the resolution also acknowledged Hayward’s role in urban renewal projects in the 60s and 70s that resulted in mass displacement of largely Black households without fair compensation. The example cited is Russell City, an unincorporated community along the Hayward shoreline established in 1853.READ MORE: UPDATE: News Crew Security Guard Shot in Oakland Dies From Injuries; Photo of Suspect Vehicle Released
Russell City became home to a commercially and culturally vibrant Black and Latino community, but by the 1950s Hayward’s city leaders considered the area a blight and looked to rebuild it as an industrial park. In 1963, Alameda County and Hayward began a forced relocation of Russell City residents, bulldozed the entire community and rezoned the land for industrial use, the city said.
Hayward’s resolution is also intended to guide future city policy and spending on issues of housing, employment, displacement, wealth creation, quality of life and access to municipal, educational and recreational services.MORE NEWS: Burlingame Shoppers Show Up for Small Business Saturday
In addition to the apology resolution, the Hayward Community Services Commission has developed a list of ten other steps the city could take to redress past wrongdoings and complicity in historical institutional racism and racial bias, including working with surviving Russell City residents and descendants to determine appropriate restitution.