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REPARATIONS - Prepared By Dr. Willie Wilson
State of Illinois
House Joint Resolution No.
Offered By: Representative Will Davis
SECTION 1- TITLE
This Act shall be known as The Illinois State Community Commission On Reparations Remedies for People of African Descendant-Citizens in the State of Illinois
SECTION 2 Definitions
As used in this Resolution the following definitions shall apply:
Poverty: The state of being extremely poor.
Federal Poverty Level: Is a measure of income used by the U.S. Government to determine who is eligible for subsides, programs and benefits. A household of one the federal guidelines are $12,060. The poverty level for a family of four is $24,600.
Non-Labor Force Participant – person who is not engaged in employment in the national labor market – may or may not be actively looking for employment
Labor Force Participation Rate – the ratio of number of person active in the labor force to the number of persons in the labor force
People of African Descent – an international designation identifying all people globally whose ancestors were forcibly removed from the African continent via the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and were subsequently endured ongoing crimes against their humanity in the Western Hemisphere.
Citizen – a citizen of the United States of America
Crimes Against Humanity – official category of egregious crimes committed by a government or with government sanction by corporations, institutions, and individuals against a civilian population. Internationally recognized forms of crimes against humanity – the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery, Apartheid (Jim Crow Segregation), Colonialism and Genocide
Full Reparations – international standard for reparations. Full reparations establishes the goal of reparations, i.e. that of wiping out “all consequences’’ of the harms committed. Full reparations has 5 five essential components – cessation and guarantees of non-repetition, restitution, compensation, satisfaction and rehabilitation.
International Decade of People of African Descent – A United Nations declaration establishing 2015 to 2024 be designated as a decade to address the global injuries of people of African descent resulting from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery and Apartheid (Jim Crow Segregation), under the theme “Recognition, Justice, Development.”
SECTION 3. Eligible Class
The individuals eligible for Reparations for the purpose of this Ordinance must be both a person of African descent and a United States Citizen officially residing in the state of Illinois.
SECTION 4- FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that 400 years ago, the transatlantic slave trade began from the west coast of Africa to America; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States from 1619 through 1865; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that the institution of slavery was constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned by the Government of the United States and its predecessor Colonies from 1619 through 1865; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that the institution of slavery, Jim Crow, the Black Codes, Dejure, and Defacto discrimination provided significant advantages to white individuals and corporations, while disadvantaging African Americans and their descendants; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that The U.S. Public Health Service in 1932 began the Tuskegee experiment on African American males which left hundreds of men and their family members with untreated Syphilis until a reporter broke the story in 1972; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that on Dec 3, 1969, the Cook County States Attorney, along with the Chicago Police Department, engaged in pre-dawn illegal attack on the home of the Black Panther Party leadership in Illinois that resulted in the murder of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that African Americans continue to suffer extraordinary disparities in economic, educational, health, housing, unemployment and poverty outcomes; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that African Americans have been disproportionately incarcerated and been victims of torture and police abuse; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that African American residents account for 13.8% of the State’s population; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that more than 26% of African American families live below the poverty line in Illinois compared to 9% for White families; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that in 2018 the unemployment rate for African Americans in Illinois is approximately 9.5%and for Whites it is less than four 4%; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that the median family income for African Americans is $34,400 compared to $64,000 for Whites and $48,000 for Latino families; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that, in 2017, African American students are expelled 6 times the rate of Whites; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that the infant mortality rate for African American infants is approximately three times higher than Whites and the community areas with the highest rates of infant mortality cluster on the south and west sides of the city; and
WHEREAS, in 2019 the City of Evanston created a Reparations Fund as part of its 2020 Budget. The City Council committed to utilize up to $1 million per year for 10 years from the sale of recreational cannabis to support the fund; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that the City Council in 2000 passed a resolution in support of U.S. House Resolution 40 (HR 40) The Commission to Study Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act;
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that in 2002 the City of Chicago passed a SLAVERY ERA DISCLOSURE ORDINANCE (2-92-585) that made it mandatory for all businesses seeking city contracts, not just insurance companies, to research and report any slave trade history, with documentation to be filed with the city's Department of Procurement; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that in the 99th and 100th Illinois General Assemblies, the House passed unanimous resolutions calling on a Presidential Commission to Study Reparations - specifically to detail the economic impact of the slave trade and the use of slave labor; and how Emancipation, while freeing enslaved Blacks of their literal bonds, and ending an immoral practice, did not guarantee equality in education, employment, housing, and access to quality affordable health care; and a proposal for reparations, and how those reparations can help overcome obstacles that still exist today in education, employment, housing, health care, and justice; and
WHEREAS, the state of Illinois acknowledges that Illinois State Senate Joint Resolution 0031 passed in the Ninety-Fourth General Assembly and established the Illinois Transatlantic Slave Trade Commission. The Commission examined the institution of slavery and its lingering impact on African Americans in Illinois. The Commission filed two reports in 2007 and 2008 with recommendations to deal with structural racism and inequity; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the state of Illinois shall undertake with all deliberate speed to create and implement the following initiatives to remedy the structural inequities impacting people of African descent-citizens residing in the state of Illinois.
The Creation of the state of Illinois People of African Descent-Citizens Reparations Commission. The purpose of the Commission shall be to engage the state of Illinois and its residents who are people of African descent-citizens in full reparations measures with the following:
1) Cessation and Guarantees of Non-Repetition
a. Seek all state laws and policies that have a disproportional negative effect on People of African Descent citizens and dismantle or neutralize the injurious law and/or policy.
b. Put in place mechanisms that examine all future public policy to ensure that a racial bias/outcome does not materialize.
c. Immediately pass legislation that would halt and greatly deter the degree of wrongful deaths of people of African descent-citizens in Illinois by any city or quasi-city department or agency.
a. Preservation of Black neighborhoods and communities through investment in business development, homeownership and affordable housing at the median income of each neighborhood- with a full range of housing services: and strengthening of institutions – which shall include without limitations schools, parks and community centers.
b. Build and develop a Vocational Training Center for People of African Descent-Citizens VTCPADC, with satellites throughout the State to address the racial disparity in the building trades and the de-skilling of Black labor through the historic discrimination in the building trade unions. The VTCPADC shall also have departments for legitimate activities in the Informal Economy and Apprenticeship.
c. Ensure proportional economic representation in all state contracts - review and update of the State of Illinois’ procurement and contracting requirements and procedures with the express goal of increasing the number of African American vendors and contracts for services to an equitable level reflecting their population in the state (14 percent).
a. Create and enforce a Illinois Slavery Era Disclosure Bill mandating that in addition to disclosure, an affidavit must be submitted entitled “Statement of Financial Reparations” that has been negotiated with the Commission established under this resolution and the corporation or institution that disclosed ties to the enslavement or injury of people of African descent in the United States of America.
b. Establish a Community Trust Fund with annual contributions from the State of Illinois as well as corporations and institutions cited above that will benefit the African American communities in Illinois. Said Community Trust Fund would be administered by the Commission established under this resolution.
c. The State of Illinois shall make the initial investment of $1,000,000 to fund the Commission.
a. An apology from the State of Illinois, Governor and State Assembly, consistent with international norms for apologies for gross crimes committed by a government.
b. That the State of Illinois will partner with Black Cultural Institutions that contribute to the restoration of dignity to people of African descent residing in Illinois.
c. The State Colleges of Illinois in collaboration with other appropriate agencies shall develop a plan to provide free education to People of African Descent Citizens.
d. Inclusion of reparations curriculum in the public school system consistent with, and beginning with, the United Nations declaration that Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery, Apartheid (Jim Crow Segregation) were crimes against humanity and the continued post Jim Crow acts of red-lining, mass-incarceration, sub-prime lending, and police terrorism are continued and exacerbating crimes that compound the injury of the previous harmful eras of enslavement and segregation.
a. Establish a Center for Trans-generational Epigenetic Research, Diagnosis, and Proscription that seeks to understand and counteract the deleterious effects of centuries of trauma on the DNA of people of African descent-citizens in Illinois.
b. Institute a full range of health services, via the Department of Health, at state health clinics including but not limited to mental health services; trauma recovery services, prenatal/neonatal services, and drug treatment.
c. Develop a plan to reduce persistent health disparities and food deserts in African American communities.
FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED That the Commission be established to perform the following duties:
1. To ensure equity, equality, and parity for African American descendants of slavery mired in poverty.
2. To ensure that the measures above are being implemented and progress is being made.
3. To hold hearings to discuss implementation of the above recommendations.
4. To educate the public on Reparations for People of African Descent Citizens.
5. To report annually to the state of Illinois their findings regarding implementation of the Joint Resolution.
RESOLVED, That the members of the Commission shall include the Governor or his designee, One member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House, One member shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, One member shall be appointed by the majority leader of the House, One member shall be appointed by the Majority leader of the senate. Three members shall be appointed by the National Coalition of Blacks for reparations in America (N.C.O.B.R.A).
Ten members from the state of Illinois, at least eight (8) members from the public must be members from the eligible impacted community. The Chairperson of the Commission shall be elected from the members during the first meeting; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the appointed members shall be from diverse backgrounds including businesspersons and those without high school diplomas; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Commission shall broaden outreach by using established channels, including publicly supported media, and electronic, computer-assisted communication systems; and be it further
RESOLVED, That one year from the passage and implementation of this Resolution, and annually thereafter, the Commission shall report to the Governor and State Legislature its findings and further recommendations to assist people of African descent-citizens in Chicago, consistent with the goals of the International Decade of People of African Descent and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Commission shall become a permanent department in the State government for 20 years to ensure, monitor and comply with the intended outcomes and dictates of this ordinance.
SECTION 4. This Resolution shall take full force and effect 90 days upon its passage.