Blue City Mayor Launches Black Reparations ‘Task Force’

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced on Monday that he had signed an executive order to create a new “task force” to study reparation payments for black Chicagoans.

The Black Reparations Co-Governance Task Force will study “all policies that have harmed Black Chicagoans from the slavery era to present day and make a series of recommendations that will serve as appropriate remedies,” Johnson said in a press release obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The Chicago Office of Equity and Racial Justice will lead the task force, which has already overseen 25 departments in the city who have submitted “racial equity action plans,” according to their 2024 equity report.

“The legacy of slavery and its aftermath echoes, even today, and the executive order names the cumulative impact the legal institution of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and other discriminatory practices upheld by public and private institutions has had on Black Chicagoans, which include disparities in life expectancy, unemployment, homeownership rates, home value, incarceration, and more,” Johnson said.

Increased attention on reparations has been a focus of the Chicago area, with northern suburb Evanston beginning reparations payouts in 2019 as the first city in the country to do so. Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the city in May, alleging the program to be unconstitutional in its use of “race as an eligibility requirement for a reparations program,” they said in a press release.

Alameda county in California started a task force in 2023 to investigate reparations payouts. Their initial budget was $51,000, but ended up in the task force asking for an additional $5 million in 2024.

 

The executive order charged the task force to make a “City of Chicago definition and framework for Black reparations” within 12 months of their first meeting. The task force will work closely with the Chicago City Council Black Caucus comprising 20 members of the city council.

Chicago City Council Black Caucus Chair Stephanie Coleman said in the press release that the executive order was a “major step forward,” and applauded the Johnson administration’s embrace of “continued support and commitment to addressing the deep wounds inflicted by centuries of injustice against the Black community.”

The Chicago Mayor’s office deferred to the press release when asked for comment.


Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments