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Bill For Reparations For Black Evanston Residents Soon To Go Up For Vote; Some Say It's Insufficient And Could Make Things Worse

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- The Evanston City Council is set to vote Monday on a bill to give reparations to Black residents.

Under the proposal, eligible Black residents of the north suburban city will receive up to $25,000 to use toward housing.

But some residents are voicing objections – saying it does not live up to what a reparations program should be.

"This is a flawed program, which only harms your people more, and may endanger them from receiving full reparations and repair under a national program," said Rose Cannon of Evanston.

"Now is the time that we should be getting good input from the community about what they truly want, not some sort of botched housing program – because that's not what reparations is meant to be. Reparations is meant to repair harm, not to cause further harm."

On Saturday, about a dozen members of the community held a news conference. They said they want the current Evanston City Council to rename the proposal to something other than "reparations," or put it on hold until after next month's elections.

In November 2019, the Evanston City Council approved a measure to direct the first $10 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales to a reparations fund after recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois effective Jan.1 of this year. The goal is to address Evanston's decline in Black residents and help African-Americans thrive in Evanston, among other issues.

The hope is that by allocating $10 million of marijuana tax revenue into the reparations fund, it will encourage minority business startups and help longtime residents like Walker – ultimately eliminating the wage disparity.

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