Reparations panel hopes to finish work by June


The head of the Evanston City Council’s Reparations Subcommittee, Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, has outlined a scheduled for the committee that calls for completing its work of devising a plan for implementing the reparations program by this June.

At Friday’s meeting of the committee Rue Simmons distributed a timeline for its fortnightly meetings, prepared by Acting Assistant City Manager Kimberly Richardson. The schedule shows the following progression:

  • Feb. 21 — Discussion of remedies for redlining and other forms of housing discrimination in the city.
  • March 6 — Reports from community outreach groups discussing the reparations issue.
  • March 20 — Report on efforts to involve local banks and other financial institutions in reparations efforts.
  • April 3 — Discussion of potential mental health and emotional healing efforts related to reparations.
  • April 17 — Discussion of involving local businesses in reparation effots.
  • May 1 — Additional reports on community outreach and on all focus areas for the reparations project.
  • May 15 — Schedule an evening town hall event to discuss outcomes from the community outreach process.
  • June 5 – Subcommittee submits recommendations to the full City Council.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said that by the time of the May town hall she anticipates that subcommittee members will have met with potential institutional donors to the program — like Northwestern University, the two hospitals, real estate groups and banks — and will be able to report “on who’s inclined to support us and who needs a little more lobbying.”

About 20 spectators turned out for the noontime meeting of the subcommittee.

Rainey said she is seeking “not just cash, but services that they don’t normally render for free” from such organizations.

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