GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Voters in a Maryland city have passed a referendum to establish a commission to study reparations for African American and Native American residents.

The referendum asked Greenbelt residents if they wanted the city to establish a 21-member council to review, discuss and make recommendations related to local reparations. It passed with a vote of 1,522 to 910 on Tuesday, according to city spokeswoman Chondria Andrews.

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The idea was proposed by Mayor Colin Byrd and the city council voted in August to put the referendum on the ballot, news outlets report. Byrd has said that reparations could reverse harm to families of color and reduce the racial wealth gap.

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The city in the Washington, D.C, suburbs is one of three planned communities created as part of the New Deal to provide work and affordable homes, but federal laws prohibited Black people from buying homes. The city has grown to 23,000 residents, with nearly 47 percent identifying as Black or African American, according to census data.

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