Reparations resolution removed from Common Council’s agenda due to missing information

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 1:50 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Reparatory Justice resolution that was set to be discussed by the South Bend Common Council at a meeting on Monday evening has been removed from the agenda.

In a statement released Monday morning, Council President Sharon McBride and Vice President Sheila Niezgodski said every resolution “must be accompanied by a separate cover letter from the party initiating the resolution” that provides specific information about the bill, including the bill sponsor, a requested committee to hear the bill, and dates at which the sponsor would like the bill to be heard.

The statement goes on to say the proposed resolution, which was filed last month by South Bend Councilmember Henry Davis Jr., does not have an accompanying cover letter required by law that contains that information and therefore could not be filed. Since the proposed resolution was unable to be filed, it won’t be considered at Monday’s meeting.

The resolution calls for a formal apology and for money to be invested into the city’s minority communities. The resolution also calls for a truth and reconciliation group to be set up for South Bend.

“This community needs a lot of resources…needs support. We have schools closing. We have high crime. We have retail in certain areas. We need better housing throughout the entire city. This resolution is asking the city to make an intentional effort in satisfying a lot of these issues,” said Davis.

Davis said the clerk gets to decide whether or not a cover letter is needed.

“No, there was not a cover letter because the clerk has the discretion to accept or not accept a piece of legislation with or without a cover letter,” said Davis.

“What she does not have the authority to do is to change anything on the council’s agenda and that meeting that we had on Thursday for the weekly agenda to set up the meetings, and the draft that went out, there was nothing about the resolution...on the agenda for tonight’s meeting,” said McBride.

McBride also claimed council members never saw the resolution.

“That you have council that’s bringing resolutions without council even knowing what’s coming on our agenda,” said McBride.

“It’s been well-received not only by certain council members but also by the community...I’ve been serving on the South Bend Common Council since 2008. I have passed over thirty pieces of legislation and never have I ran into a problem,” said Davis.

The full public statement from McBride and Niezgodski regarding the removal of the reparations resolution from Monday’s meeting is provided below:

(City of South Bend)
(City of South Bend)

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