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Orlando Mayoral Candidate Asks City for Reparations Program


Orlando mayoral candidate Aretha Simons called for a reparations program today. 

Simons says the program would act as an apology for the inequalities that resulted from slavery.

Aretha Simons says the program would apply to Orlando residents who are the descendants of slaves.

It would offer financial incentives including discounts on some city services and entrance fees to cultural institutions.

"There’s no way you can repay anyone, but because people are still suffering, because people are still going through oppression, let’s find a way to help them to make a difference."

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She says reduced housing permits and rents could especially help first-time home and business owners.

But opponent Shantele Bennett says she’d rather focus on current policies that perpetuate racial inequality.

“The high cost of living is increasing the cost of housing, is increasing over the medium income range for the population at their end. Those are the type of policy changes and economic challenges that we really need to focus on.”

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That's why she says she wants to make affordable housing and high-income jobs more accessible.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s campaign had no comment.
If you'd like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.