A Chicagoland suburb is set to initiate a historic reparations program that will be funded through revenue generated from the marijuana sales tax.
Officials in Evanston, Illinois on Monday “approved the first expenditures in the city’s landmark municipal reparations program designed to compensate Black residents for codified discrimination,” according to the Chicago Tribune, an initiative that is “designed to address the discriminatory housing policies and practices faced by Black residents.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that the $10 million “will be funded through marijuana sales tax revenue along with some donations,” a move that was greenlit by aldermen in Evanston back in 2019 that directed “all sales tax revenue collected from recreational marijuana purchases, with a cap of $10 million, to the local reparations fund.”
The resolution that was passed in 2019 was backed by a number of civil rights activists, including the actor Danny Glover. One of the Evanston leaders who spearheaded the charge for the reparations measure, Alderwoman Robin Rue Simmons, said that the policy helped remedy two racial disparities: the disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for marijuana, and the inability for many Black residents to find affordable housing.
“Well, we know the history here in America. And it is not any different in