EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Evanston, Illinois, on Monday turned the primary U.S. metropolis to make reparations accessible to its Black residents for previous discrimination and the lingering results of slavery.
The Chicago suburb’s City Council voted 8-1 to distribute $400,000 to eligible Black households. Each qualifying family would obtain $25,000 for house repairs or down funds on property.
The program is being funded by way of donations and income from a 3% tax on the sale of leisure marijuana. The metropolis has pledged to distribute $10 million over 10 years.
Qualifying residents should both have lived in or been a direct descendant of a Black one that lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969 and who suffered discrimination in housing due to metropolis ordinances, insurance policies or practices.
Alderman Rue Simmons, who proposed this system that was adopted in 2019, mentioned pro-reparations teams have supplied pro-bono authorized help if this system is challenged in courtroom.
“This is set aside for an injured community that happens to be Black, that was injured by the city of Evanston for anti-Black housing policies,” Simmons mentioned.
The City Council acted after dozens of residents addressed the physique and the plan acquired some pushback from a number of.
Alderman Cicely Fleming, the lone vote in opposition to the plan, mentioned she helps reparations, however what the City Council was debating is a housing plan that’s being referred to as reparations. She mentioned the individuals ought to dictate the phrases of how their grievances are repaired. Fleming described this system as paternalistic, and it assumes Black individuals can’t handle their very own cash.
Hundreds of communities and organizations throughout the nation are contemplating offering reparations to Black individuals. They vary from the state of California to cities like Amherst, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, Asheville, North Carolina, and Iowa City, Iowa; non secular denominations just like the Episcopal Church; and outstanding faculties like Georgetown University in Washington.
The efforts, a few of which have been underway for years, have gained momentum within the wake of the dying of George Floyd in police custody final May in Minneapolis. President Joe Biden has even expressed assist for making a federal fee to check Black reparations, a proposal that’s languished for many years in Congress.
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