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Evanston mayor to discuss city’s reparations program

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Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss will discuss his agenda for the city over Zoom.

CARBONDALE — Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss will discuss the agenda for his city, including a slavery and racial discrimination reparations program, during a virtual conversation next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Biss will talk with John Shaw, institute director, at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 6 in a Zoom event. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Evanston — which is 12 miles north of downtown Chicago — earlier this year became the first city in the nation to offer reparations to some of its Black residents to address “historical wealth and opportunity gaps that African American/Black residents of Evanston experienced,” according to the city’s website.

Biss and Shaw will also talk about Evanston’s recent designation as an “All-America City” by the National Civic League. The award is given annually to 10 cities to recognize “the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration,” according to a statement by the organization.

Biss took office as Evanston’s mayor in May 2021. He previously served in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the state Senate. Biss was elected to the Illinois House in 2010, the state Senate in 2012, and in 2018 ran for Illinois governor.

An Indiana native, Biss earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He relocated to Illinois when he was in his 20s to teach math at the University of Chicago.

“Mayor Biss is one of the most innovative and impressive leaders in Illinois,” Shaw said. “We are eager to learn more about his commitment to public service and his vision for Evanston.”

Registration is required to access the online event. Visit paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/events to register. The event is part of the institute’s Meet the Mayor series of virtual conversations with mayors from Illinois communities.

Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for Biss with their online registration or email questions to paulsimoninstitute@siu.edu.

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