Suburb in Chicago Decides to Pay Reparations to Black Residents as ‘Test Run’ For Bigger Program

[Photo Credit: By Егор Кислых - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,]

The town of Evanston Illinois is now reportedly paying reparations to its black residents in what advocates believe will be a ‘test run’ for future, more widespread policies.

The roughly 75,000-person community located just north of Chicago pledged $10 million over 10 years for local reparations in 2019. Since then, several additional American cities and towns have started the process of making amends.

Evanston is the only city that is keeping its promise nearly four years later. It aims to have given $25,000 to 140 largely older residents who were at least 18 years old and stayed in the city between 1919 and 1969, when the city established a fair-housing legislation, by the end of this year.

Taxes on marijuana and real estate transfers are used to pay for the payments, which can be made in cash or voucher form.

Last month, a task panel in California suggested allocating billions for reparations. It’s anticipated that many of the initiatives would have a difficult time getting adopted.

More than 670 persons who either resided in Evanston during the time of the worst harm or were their offspring submitted petitions to a local committee for reparations.

The first 16 recipients of $25,000 vouchers that may be used to pay down mortgage debt, contribute to a down payment, or rehabilitate homes were chosen by public lottery held by the city.

The U.S. House of Representatives has never had a vote on a federal measure that would create a comparable task group to examine reparations on a national level and has been proposed year since 1989, according to activists. It is also unlikely to be under Republican leadership.

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