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  • Ed Gaines

Evanston, Illinois First City in US to Pay Reparations to Black Residents

The City Council in Evanston, Ill., voted 8-1 late Monday to approve a plan to make reparations available to Black residents over past discrimination and the lingering effects of slavery.

The plan is to distribute $400,000 to eligible black households. Qualifying households in the city of 73,000 would be eligible to receive $25,000 for home repairs or down payments on the property.

Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, the lawmaker who proposed the initiative back in 2019, called the approval a first step but said more needs to be done.

She said "It is the reckoning. We’re really proud as a city to be leading the nation toward repair and justice."

The funding for the program will come from the 3% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana and donations. The city expects to spend about $10 million over 10 years.

** Qualifying residents must either have lived in or been a direct descendant of a Black person who lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969 and who suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices.

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