She Got The First American City To Pass A Reparations Bill

Ald. Robin Rue Simmons wanted to deliver something historic: a reparations bill in her hometown of Evanston. She kept it under wraps.

Robin Rue Simmons, The Woman Who Brought Reparations To Evanston
Robin Rue Simmons, Former Evanston Alderman
Robin Rue Simmons, The Woman Who Brought Reparations To Evanston
Robin Rue Simmons, Former Evanston Alderman

She Got The First American City To Pass A Reparations Bill

Ald. Robin Rue Simmons wanted to deliver something historic: a reparations bill in her hometown of Evanston. She kept it under wraps.

Evanston, Illinois is the first city in the United States to fund a reparations program for black residents with local tax dollars. That’s thanks to Robin Rue Simmons.

She was a graduate of Evanston Township High School, just a one-term city council member, and a local official with a plan: keep it simple, keep it focused, and offer no apologies.

She tells Aarti Shahani how reparations came to be, the obstacles the program had to overcome, and why the story didn’t make national news “until we made international news.”