Chicago Suburb To Vote On Reparations

(Kamil Krzacynski/AFP via Getty)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
Font Size:

A Chicago suburb will vote Monday to provide $10 million over the next 10 years to Black residents or their descendants who lived in the city between 1919 and 1969, according to Yahoo News.

During this time period, Black residents in Evanston, Illinois, suffered from discriminatory housing practices enforced by local governments or banks, according to Yahoo News.

Robin Sue Simmons, alderman of Evanston’s 5th Ward, poses for a picture in Evanston, Illinois (Photo by Kamil Krzacynski: AFP via Getty Images).

“This is a first step in Evanston – one that I’m really proud of,” Alderman Robin Simmons, who presented the initial reparations plan to Evanston City Council more than two years ago, told Yahoo News. “And I hope that we have continued to support.” (RELATED: ‘They Have Turned Racism Upside Down’: Leo Terrell Blasts ‘Reparations’ In COVID-19 Relief)

The reparation funds will be raised by incorporating a 3% tax on marijuana sales, Yahoo News reported. The first installment of $400,000 will be allotted to 16 Black families who will each receive $25,000.

Rose Cannon, 73-year-old lifelong Evanston resident who is black, said the City Council measure does not do enough to amend grievances.

“Somewhere along the line it changed from, [city officials saying] ‘I want cash money’ to ‘We’re going to offer you this housing program.’ … It’s broken the community apart,” she said.

Evanston Rejects Racist Reparations, a Facebook group that formed in March, posted that the reparations do not go far enough. The post states, “We reject racist reparations and demand a better, more responsive, more complete program that provides access to reparations acts of actual repair to Black folks.”

Edward Blum, president of the Austin-based nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, called the plan unconstitutional and said, “Past discrimination cannot be remedied by new discrimination.” Blum presented the 2015 federal complaints against Harvard University’s discriminatory admission standards against Asians and will provide legal counsel to those who do not qualify for Evanston’s program, according to Yahoo News.