Black community activists led a chant on Tuesday in front of Saint Paul's City Hall denouncing the Council's choice to staff the reparations committee with a non-African American policy aide.
Simply put, according to Crews of the Star Tribune, "we need someone who has the lived experience, knowledge of reparations, knowledge of the racial wealth gap and how it impacts the St. Paul descendants of slavery."
Leader of Black Lives Matter Twin Cities Chauntyll Allen, who is also a member of the Saint Paul school board, concurred with others during the Tuesday newscast that the City Council should reevaluate the applicant pool and give qualified Black applicants some consideration. Additionally, they recommended that the council re-post the job opening and seek out African-American applicants.
The hiring of Jennifer Lor, who now works as a policy assistant for Council Member Nelsie Yang, was criticized by Tyrone Terrill, president of the African American Leadership Council, as showing "complete disdain for the Black community.
"We're not going to stand for it," he continued.
Early in June, the council advertised a position for a senior policy aide, stating that the successful candidate will be responsible for district liaison duties and devote half of their time on reparations policy.
The idea that we can't be given a full-time position to work on something that requires so much effort, is so ingrained in history, and requires so much work is in and of itself a problem, Allen added. "We're talking 400 years of oppression here, and that needs to be addressed."
The primary author of the reparations bill, Council Member Jane Prince, responded to complaints from Black leaders by claiming that she had minimal role in the selection procedure for the aide position.
By failing to acknowledge the African American community's involvement in a representational process, the council failed its first reparations test, according to Prince.
She described Lor as a "smart, talented, and highly capable professional" and said that going forward, the commission will be able to provide advice on the selection process.
The council decided in January to establish an advisory board that would advise the city's officials on budgetary issues and proposals pertaining to reparations for enslaved people's heirs. The commission appointed 11 new members in June.
Later this year, the commission intends to convene its inaugural formal meeting.
Jennifer Lor and the City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.