City council approves community members on reparations committee

City Council approved four community members to serve on the Evanston Repairs Committee Monday.

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

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

The reparations committee will continue the work of the reparations subcommittee, which is in the process of being dissolved.

In March, the city council past the Restorative Housing Program, which will dedicate the first $ 400,000 of the repair fund the city created in November 2019 to grants and housing assistance.

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

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

“I am grateful to all who contributed to our city’s first bold steps to recognize, address and repair the damage done to generations of Evanston families by systemic racism and white supremacy,” Biss said in the statement. “I look forward to working with the Repairs Committee, City Council and our community to chart a successful course.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @delaneygnelson

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