Mar 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Illinois city first in U.S. to approve reparations for Black residents

A man walks by a sign welcoming people to the city of in Evanston, Illinois, on March 16
A sign welcoming people to the city of in Evanston, Illinois, on March 16. Photo: Kamil Krzacznski/AFP via Getty Images

The City of Evanston, Illinois, on Monday night approved a plan to distribute $10 million in reparations to Black residents for housing and mortgage assistance.

Why it matters: The city of 73,000 people, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, is the first in the country to pass such a measure.

By the numbers: The measure passed 8-1, per the Daily Northwestern.

The big picture: The City will pay for the reparations via revenue raised from tax on cannabis, per council information.

  • People who've lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969, their descendants or those who can show that they faced discrimination over housing policy would eligible for reparations.

What they're saying: Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who was behind the initiative, told the New York Times the action was "a start."

  • "It is the reckoning," she added. "We're really proud as a city to be leading the nation toward repair and justice."

Go deeper: Catholic order commits to making $100 million in slavery reparations

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