Chicago town to hold vote, may become the first city to fund reparations for black residents

Evanston City, a suburb of Chicago could become the first city to fund reparations for black residents.

The City council is set to vote on the payments which would be funded by a 3% tax on legal marijuana sales, next week.

The legislation was introduced by Robin Rue Simmons, an alderman in Evanston’s 5th Ward.

Rue Simmons called the effort “the most appropriate legislative response to the historic practices and the contemporary conditions of the black community.”

Evanston Communications Manager Patrick Deignan told the Washington Examiner “in June of 2019, the City Council adopted a commitment to end structural racism and achieve racial equity, which was the impetus for the creation and adoption of a reparations Fund, which was adopted as part of the City Council’s 2020 budget process.”

Per the Washington Examiner “the first phase of the plan, titled Restorative Housing Reparations, seeks to address “past discriminatory policies/practices in housing by the City of Evanston between 1919 to 1969 towards Black residents of Evanston,” according to a draft document on the City Council’s webpage. That program is budgeted at $400,000 and would provide home purchase assistance to qualifying black residents up to $25,000.”

“If passed, funds may not be used for taxes or aiding with building equity but can go toward mortgage principal, interest, or late penalties. To be eligible, someone must be a resident or a direct descendant of a black resident of Evanston between 1919 to 1969 who experienced discrimination in housing as a result of a city ordinance, policy, or practice,” the report adds.