On March 22, the Evanston City Council voted eight to one to adopt a resolution that will allow it to become the first city in the nation to implement a program to fund reparations for its Black residents, approving plans to budget $400,000 for the program, NBC Chicago reported.
The "Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program and Program Budget" resolution was adopted, putting the final touches on a program that was first approved two years ago.
The program will give 16 Black families in Evanston $25,000 each in funds to use for the purpose of buying or improving homes, as well as mortgage assistance. This is the first part of a larger, $10-million program.
According to NBC News, residents must either have lived in, or been a direct descendent of a Black person who lived in Evanston from 1919 to 1969, and suffered discrimination in housing because of city ordinances, policies or practices to be eligible to apply for the funds.
"I think this step is going to pull all of America forward, and it's really critical we take that first step," Ald. Melissa Wynne said. Ald. Cicely Fleming was the lone "no" vote on the resolution, saying that while she supports the idea of reparations, she feels the program was rushed and that residents did not have enough of an opportunity to weigh in on the measure.
Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, who first proposed the reparations initiative, called the development a first step, according to a Politico Illinois Playbook item that cited Pioneer Press.
The full article is at www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/evanston-passes-resolution-approving-reparations-payments-to-black-families/2468561/.