City Council approves community members to Reparations Committee


Daily file illustration by Emma Ruck

City Council approved four members to serve on the Reparations Committee, which will continue the work of the Reparations Subcommittee, Monday.

Delaney Nelson, City Editor

City Council approved four community members to serve on Evanston’s Reparations Committee Monday.

Of the over 30 people who applied, four were chosen: Dementia-Friendly Evanston Initiative member Bonnie Lockhart, Elder Law &  Wellness Initiative Executive Director Claire McFarland Barber, outgoing Ald. Robin Rue Simmons (5th) and retired teacher Carlis Sutton.

The four committee members were recommended by Mayor Steve Hagerty, who received input from Mayor-elect Daniel Biss. Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd), Bobby Burns and Devon Reid will also serve on the committee once the next council is seated in May. 

The Reparations Committee will continue the work of the Reparations Subcommittee, which is being dissolved. 

In March, City Council passed the Restorative Housing Program, which will dedicate the first $400,000 of the reparations fund the city established in November of 2019 to housing grants and assistance. 

The city is expected to open applications for the program this summer, allowing eligible residents to apply for grants of $25,000 to purchase a home, pay off a mortgage or pay for housing repair. The program will provide assistance to around 16 households throughout Evanston.

The committee will be responsible for implementing the program and recommending future funding allocations for housing and economic development initiatives.

“I’m grateful to all those who’ve contributed to our City’s first bold steps towards acknowledging, addressing and repairing the damage done to generations of Evanston families by systemic racism and White supremacy,” Biss said in the release. “I look forward to working with the Reparations Committee, the City Council and our community to chart a successful path forward.”

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Twitter: @delaneygnelson

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