Last week, city council members in Evanston, Illinois voted to use marijuana sales tax revenue towards a fund meant to provide reparations to its Black community.
The city council voted 8 to 1 to institute a three percent tax on cannabis sales. The first $10 million generated over the next 10 years will go towards a plan to provide financial resources to Black individuals for a variety of uses. The plan is forecasted to generate between $500,000 and $750,000 a year, and the fund for reparations will also be open to other kinds of donations.
The plan is a multi-faceted strategy to combat the variety of issues facing Evanston’s Black community, which has also had to battle historic redlining practices, in addition to high rates of property tax and racist lending practices.
“This is something radical to preserve the Black population,” said Robin Rue Simmons to the Washington Post of the reparations fund. Simmons is an alderman from Evanston’s Fifth Ward, which has been home to a large segment of its Black residents.
“Our community was damaged due to the war on drugs and marijuana convictions. This is a chance to correct that,” she said. “Our disadvantage and discrimination has