Chicago suburb set to be first in U.S. to pay reparations to black residents

Residents will be offered $25,000 towards home ownership.

Published: March 11, 2021 3:24pm

Updated: March 11, 2021 4:18pm

A Chicago suburb is set to become the first municipality in the U.S. to pay reparations for its black residents, pledging to pay out $10 million over the next decade.

The city of Evanston set up a fund in 2019 to pay for housing inequities by using a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales. The fund will help black residents with mortgage assistance and funding to complete home improvements. 

Evanston officials are expected to vote March 22 on the distribution of the first $400,000 from the fund. To qualify, residents must have lived in Evanston between 1919 to 1969. But they can also qualify if they are the direct descendant of a black person who lived there during that period of time.

As Just The News reported Thursday, the idea isn't supported by everyone.

"A solid majority of voters are opposed to extended cash payments to black Americans as reparations for the historical injustices of slavery," according to a Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Nearly 60% of the voters express opposition to such a plan, which has been proposed and debated for several decades. Fewer than one-third of all voters support it. However, idea has renewed energy now that Democrats control the House, Senate and White House. The House again has a bill to appoint a reparations commission.

President Biden supports the idea behind the bill, and Vice President Kamala Harris as a senator endorsed it.

Activists and others have argued over many years that black Americans have been preemptively disadvantaged by the 250-year-long institution of slavery that saw millions of black men, women and children enslaved throughout the country. 

The survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted by Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from March 4-6, 2021.

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