Evanston City in Illinois is set to vote this month on giving payments to black residents as an effort to combat perceived systemic racism, a measure that would make it the first city to approve such reparations in the nation.
The suburb north of Chicago would use a 3% tax on marijuana sales for the payments, which would provide credits and financial assistance to black residents.
"In June of 2019, the City Council adopted a commitment to end structural racism and achieve racial equity, which was the impetus for the creation and adoption of a reparations Fund, which was adopted as part of the City Council's 2020 budget process," said Evanston Communications Manager Patrick Deignan.
The first phase of the reparations program would come in the form of housing assistance, where direct descendants of black residents who lived in Evanston City between 1919 and 1969 could receive up to $25,000 in housing assistance.
The funds would be used to pay late fees, interest, and mortgage principle.
The city council has also set aside $10 million to combat policies and institutions where systemic racism has been perceived to exist. Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who introduced the measure, said such elements "remain embedded in policy, including zoning and other government practices."
Others, including the far-left group Evanston Rejects Racist Reparations, says the measure is not enough, and that city officials must go through "a racial equality, anti-capitalist process" before implementing such programs.