Montage: Julie Cowan

The vote by Evanton’s City Council to approve the release of funds for a housing grant-based reparations program for Black residents reverberated far beyond our City borders. The decision, the first of its kind by a municipality in the U.S., was covered far and wide by news organizations across the country and around the world. 

Mainstream national newspapers like the The New York Times and the Washington Post noted the significance of the event with prominently positioned stories on their websites and print pages. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, a paper with roots dating back before the Civil War, reported the decision and observed that “the debate over the feasibility of reparations for Black Americans is no longer a fringe issue.”  The article also noted the recent decision by the Amalgamated Bank to endorse Congressional Bill  H.R. 40, which has languished for decades in the House of Representatives, to create a commission to develop reparation proposals for African Americans.

The Los Angeles Times ran the Associated Press syndicated story detailing Evanston’s program and referenced the “hundreds of communities and organizations” in the U.S. that are considering initiating  reparations programs, including the state of California; Amherst, Mass.; Iowa City, Ia.; the Episcopal Church; and Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

Rolling Stone magazine and Leafly, an online cannabis retailer and journal, highlighted the funding approach — allocating the revenues from the City’s  3% tax on sales of recreational cannabis to its Reparations Fund.

Evanston’s fame even made its way onto late night comedy shows: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah featured the decision during the Ray of Sunshine Segment on March 23. The Onion, in its American Voices section, asked readers earlier in March what they thought about the idea.

The global news service Reuters discussed whether Evanston’s reparations program could become a “national model.” News organizations overseas such as the Belfast Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Sydney Morning Herald also covered the decision.

Readers may travel around the U.S. and world to discover how other news organizations reported on this landmark decision in Evanston. Links and headlines from news organizations are listed below.

Reuters: Chicago suburb’s plan to pay Black residents reparations could be a national model.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Evanston, Illinois, approved the country’s first reparations program for Black residents.

Rolling Stone: Evanston, Illinois Will Use Weed Tax to Fund Nations’s First Government Reparations Program.

The Hill: Evanston lawmakers approve reparations to Black residents in first for any US city.

Leafly: Illinois city uses weed sales tax for reparations

BBC News: Black residents to get reparations in Evanston, Illinois.

Toronto Star: America must pay reparations for slavery. Evanston, Illinois, could lead the way.

Los Angeles Times: Illinois city becomes first to offer reparations to Black residents

Financial Times: Financial atonement for racial discrimination in the US ‘blue bubble’.

The Guardian: Illinois city approves first reparations program for black residents.

The Sydney Morning Herald: On the road to repair First compensation for black Americans ‘a critical step’.

The Belfast Telegraph: City becomes first in the US to offer black residents reparations.

The Daily Mail: Chicago suburb of Evanston approves America’s first reparations program for black residents whose descendants lived in city between 1919 and 1969 and experienced housing discrimination.

The Onion: First U.S. City To Start Funding Reparations to Black Americans.

One reply on “Landmark Reparations Vote Echoes Around the World”

  1. There is no mention of the potential for litigation challenging this approach or its equity. Will the litigation costs come out of the $10 million reparations fund from cannabis sales or the general fund from property taxes?

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