A Chicago suburb is slated to become the first American city to offer reparations to their black residents. But now some activists are saying the city’s plans do not go far enough to pay for past racial transgressions.
What is the background?
Evanston, Illinois, a city about 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, approved a plan in 2019 to “financially compensate its black residents to address the wealth and opportunity gaps they have experienced because of historical racism and discrimination,” NBC News reported.
The city plans to pay for reparation payments using tax revenue collected from sales of recreational marijuana. Evanston pledged to spend $10 million on reparations over a 10-year period.
What is happening now?
City leaders recently unveiled plans for the Restorative Housing Reparations, the first round of reparations payments. According to WLS-TV, the program “would distribute up to $25,000 for housing per eligible resident.”
More from Newsweek:
To qualify for Evanston’s reparations program, Black residents must have either lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969 and suffered from housing discrimination, or be a direct descendant of someone who did.
It was during that period that Evanston’s Black families suffered from redlining and other discriminatory housing policies that prevented them from purchasing property in desirable neighborhoods, Dino Robinson, a historian and the founder of the Shorefront Legacy Center, told Newsweek.
However, community activists who spoke to WSL say the reparation plans don’t go nearly far enough.