Robin Simmons, the alderman who proposed the reparations bill, said the hope was to “implement funding to directly invest in black Evanston”.
Ms Simmons said the source of the reparations fund was fitting, given the federal government’s “war on drugs” campaign disproportionately affected African Americans for several decades.
African Americans accounted for 71 per cent of all those arrested for marijuana possession in Evanston during the past three years – a trend which mirrors the national picture.
Ms Simmons added that the reparations plan would also help African Americans who have been priced out of the city by high property taxes and racially biased lending practices.
US census figures show Evanston’s black population fell from around 22.5 per cent in 2000 to under 17 per cent in 2017.
“This [reparations fund] is something radical to preserve the black population and let the black community know that we see the flight,” Ms Simmons told the Washington Post
However, not all of the city’s lawmakers support the measure. Alderman Thomas Suffredin voted against the proposal, arguing more detail was needed on how the funding will be dispensed.
“In a town full of financial needs and obligations, I believe it is bad policy to dedicate tax revenue from a particular source, in unknown annual amounts, to a purpose that has yet to be determined,” he said in a message to his constituents.