Evanston, Illinois Prepares to offer residents reparations
Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, is set to be the first city to offer reparations to black residents.
According to NBC News, “They approved a plan in 2019 to “financially compensate its black residents to address the wealth and opportunity gaps they have experienced because of historical racism and discrimination.”
However, activists are now saying the city’s plans are not going far enough to pay for the racial transgressions.
How does the city plan on providing the residents with their reparations? They will use the tax revenue that they collect from sales of marijuana. Evanston’s leaders have said they will spend $10 million on reparations over a 10-year period. The city officials have put together a plan that will disburse the money with the first $400,000 going to addressing the housing needs in the black community.
Under the program’s first phase, qualifying residents would get $25,000 to use toward homeownership, home improvement, and mortgage assistance, Robin Rue Simmons, an alderman in Evanston’s 5th Ward, who introduced the legislation said. To qualify, residents must either have lived in or been a direct descendant of a Black person who lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969 who suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices.
To qualify for Evanston’s reparations program, Black residents must have either lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969 and suffered from housing discrimination, or be a direct descendant of someone who did.
It was during that period that Evanston’s Black families suffered from redlining and other discriminatory housing policies that prevented them from purchasing property in desirable neighborhoods, Dino Robinson, a historian and the founder of the Shorefront Legacy Center, told Newsweek.