Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0866
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Full Text of HR0866  101st General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, 300 years ago people of African descent were
3forcibly brought to Illinois as slaves; and
4    WHEREAS, The French brought the first slaves of African
5descent to Illinois Country in or around 1720; at that point,
6slave labor became the economic engine responsible for Illinois
7developing one of the largest economies in the world; and
8    WHEREAS, Slaves of African descent in Illinois Country
9worked in the lead mines and the American Bottom, famous for
10its fertile soil, in the modern day Metro East area; they also
11provided free labor for the highly profitable saltworks
12industries in the Salines; and
13    WHEREAS, Slaves of African descent were required to till
14the land, plant crops, forge and mine for lead, make lucrative
15salt, construct infrastructure, and build shelter in the
16following Illinois counties: Alexander, Jackson, Randolph,
17Gallatin, Franklin, Pope, Jefferson, Johnson, Wayne, Hamilton,
18White, Fayette, Union, Marion, Monroe, St. Clair, Madison,
19Bond, Washington, Montgomery, Green, Pike, Sangamon, Morgan,
20Fulton, Edgar, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence, and Edwards; many of
21these counties have been further subdivided in mid-2020; for
22example, modern day Pulaski, Massac, Saline, Hardin, Perry,



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1Effingham, and Williamson counties were all pro-slavery
2counties; and
3    WHEREAS, The French had a specific law called Code Noir,
4designed to oversee the slaves of African descent in the Metro
5East area; Code Noir was first implemented in Haiti in 1685 to
6regulate the slave trade of people of African descent; and
7    WHEREAS, In 1763, after France's loss to the British in the
8French and Indian War, Illinois Country was ceded to the
9British via the Treaty of Paris; at that point, Britain had
10established itself as the dominant colonial power in North
11America; and
12    WHEREAS, Like the French, the British had long-standing
13laws for regulating slaves of African descent in the Metro
14East; beginning with the Barbados Slave Code of 1661, the
15British continued to revise their Slave Codes in various
16jurisdictions and ultimately shaped the body of law supporting
17Slave Codes and Black Laws in Illinois; and
18    WHEREAS, In 1789, following Britain's loss in the American
19Revolutionary War, Illinois Country became part of the new
20Northwest Territory; even though slavery was prohibited in the
21Northwest Territory by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, most
22territorial governors ignored the slavery ban and continued



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1profiting from African descent slave labor; and
2    WHEREAS, In 1800, Illinois Country was absorbed into the
3Indiana Territory as America began to expand west by war or
4purchase; notably, the Indiana Territory had its own Slave
5Codes on the books entitled "An Act Concerning the Introduction
6of Negroes and Mulattoes into this Territory"; these Slave
7Codes allowed people of African descent to be brought into the
8territory and indentured; and
9    WHEREAS, In Gallatin County, African descent slave labor
10was the catalyst for Illinois Country reaching a very large
11agreement with the federal government regarding the abundance
12of salt springs in the region of the Wabash and Saline rivers;
13the two principal springs were known as the Half Moon Lick and
14Nigger Springs; there were salines in Vermilion County, the Big
15Muddy Saline and a saline at St. Genevieve, Missouri, but the
16Gallatin County saline produced more than all the others
17combined; and
18    WHEREAS, An Act of Congress dated March 26, 1804 provided
19among other things that "all salt springs, licks, wells with
20the necessary land adjacent thereto were reserved from sale as
21the property of the United States."; the territorial governor
22of Illinois Country was authorized to lease these salt wells
23and springs to the best interests of the general government; on



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1April 30, 1804, Governor Harrison appointed Isaac White of
2Vincennes to be a government agent and reside at the works and
3collect the revenue due America; he assumed his duties and was
4assisted by John Marshall, who probably resided at Shawneetown;
6    WHEREAS, In 1809, propelled by its slave labor, Illinois
7became its own territory after being severed from Indiana
8Territory; people of African descent in the new Illinois
9Territory continued to be subjected to the body of law
10contained in the Indiana Slave Codes; and
11    WHEREAS, Not even three decades after the signing of the
12Treaty of Paris, which formalized Britain's recognition of the
13United States of America, the two countries were again in
14conflict in the War of 1812; resentment for Britain's
15interference with American international trade, combined with
16American expansionist visions, led Congress to declare war on
17Great Britain on June 18, 1812; and
18    WHEREAS, At this point, Illinois had to prove to the
19pro-expansion supporters that it was capable of producing
20benefits and revenue to help the U.S. both finance wars and
21acquire more land; African descent slave labor from the
22saltworks was key to Illinois' success in this regard; and



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1    WHEREAS, On April 8, 1818, President James Monroe signed
2into law "An Act to Enable the People of Illinois Territory to
3form a constitution and state government and for the admission
4of such state into the Union on an equal footing with the
5original states."; Illinois was now a state on the path to a
6burgeoning economy largely driven by African descent slave
7labor; and
8    WHEREAS, In 1818, Illinois became a state divided between
9English-speaking and French-speaking citizens; the first
10Governor of the State of Illinois, Shadrach Bond, held slaves
11of African descent; he further supported the introduction of a
12pro-slave constitution; in a three-way race, French-speaking
13Pierre Menard won the race for lieutenant governor; Menard also
14held slaves of African descent; and
15    WHEREAS, When the 1818 Illinois Constitution was adopted,
16it revised several aspects of the status of slaves of African
17descent to conform with the federal guidelines for statehood;
18for example, it is clear that Illinois simply abolished slavery
19to comply with the federal balance of slave states versus
20non-slave states in the new America; and
21    WHEREAS, The 1818 Illinois Constitution additionally
22limited the right to vote to free white men, excluding all
23others; Illinois also constitutionally excluded people of



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1African descent from serving in the militia; in other words,
2Illinois would not be policed by anyone of African descent and
3would remain a slave state; and
4    WHEREAS, The Constitution further kept an exemption
5allowing slavery at the Illinois salines and other salt springs
6near Shawneetown; according to historians, African descent
7slave-operated saltworks contributed one-third of the revenue
8for the new Illinois; and
9    WHEREAS, The initial legislatures followed the examples of
10the French and British Slave Codes and their own beliefs when
11they created Black Codes, effectively establishing two classes
12of citizenship in Illinois; the new legislatures, sitting in
13Vandalia, focused on restricting the movement of people of
14African descent and made significant financial investments
15into the state's roads, bridges, and yet another economic
16engine, prisons; and
17    WHEREAS, The new legislatures passed laws requiring people
18of African descent to produce on demand a Certificate of
19Freedom, verifying that they were a free person of color;
20people of African descent were additionally required to post a
21bond guaranteeing their good behavior under the new Black
22Codes; and



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1    WHEREAS, Notably, the good behavior bond requirements
2ranged as high as $1,000, which was virtually unobtainable for
3people of African descent at that time; consequently, most
4people of African descent had to rely on a white person to
5serve as their surety when posting their good behavior bond;
6this was equally unobtainable for a person of African descent;
8    WHEREAS, The Black Codes received their first test in the
9elections of 1822; the governor's race had four candidates, two
10judges, a business man, and the eventual winner, a true
11anti-slavery candidate; and
12    WHEREAS, The pro-slavery faction carried both houses of the
13legislature in the 1822 elections; yet, the pro-slavery faction
14split the vote in the governor's race allowing Edward Coles, a
15former federal envoy from Virginia, to win by a small margin;
17    WHEREAS, Governor Coles, who had earlier emancipated his
18own slaves of African descent and purchased land for them,
19pursued an ambitious anti-slavery plan; he sought to free the
20remaining slaves in Illinois (those who had been in the land
21before the ordinance of 1789), loosen the harsh Black Codes,
22and stop the kidnapping and enslavement of free people of
23African descent; and



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1    WHEREAS, The pro-slavery legislature was not interested in
2such a proposal; instead, it recommended that a referendum
3question be put on the ballot asking voters to decide whether
4Illinois should call a constitutional convention and amend its
5constitution to become a slave state; and
6    WHEREAS, Such a measure required a two-thirds majority in
7the legislature; while the state Senate garnered the votes for
8the proposal, it seemed destined to fall one vote short in the
9House of Representatives; however, the pro-slavery forces in
10the legislature unseated a man whose election had been
11disputed, and they replaced him with one who supported their
12slave state objective; the convention measure passed; and
13    WHEREAS, Citizens celebrated in the streets, holding
14processions, parades, and public dinners; at one, this toast
15was said to be offered, "The State of Illinois: the ground is
16good, prairie in abundance; give us plenty of negroes, a little
17industry, and she will distribute her treasures."; and
18    WHEREAS, The next election was August 2, 1824; the
19political campaign that ensued was impassioned, fractious, and
20intense; the subject was addressed tirelessly in the pulpits
21and the newspapers; the turnout on August 2nd was enormous
22compared with the presidential election that fall, where 4,532



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1votes were cast in Illinois; and
2    WHEREAS, On the slavery question in August of 1824, 11,612
3went to the polls; when the votes were counted, the pro-slavery
4faction lost, 6,640 to 4,972; and
5    WHEREAS, The following counties voted in favor of Illinois
6becoming a slave state in 1824: Alexander, Jackson, Randolph
7(the home county of the first lieutenant governor and
8slaveowner Pierre Menard), Gallatin (saltworks), Franklin,
9Pope, Jefferson, Wayne, Hamilton, White, and Fayette; and
10    WHEREAS, In August of 1824, Johnson County voted equally on
11the question of whether Illinois should become a slave state;
13    WHEREAS, The following counties voted in opposition to
14Illinois becoming a slave state in 1824: Union, Marion, Monroe,
15St. Clair, Madison, Bond, Washington, Montgomery, Green, Pike,
16Sangamon, Morgan, Fulton, Edgar, Clark, Crawford, Lawrence,
17and Edwards; and
18    WHEREAS, In 1827, Illinois intensified production in its
19African descent slave saltworks to obtain federal funding for
20infrastructure and capital improvements; after intense
21negotiations, Illinois ultimately passed a capital bill with



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1federal funds tied to revenue from the saltworks; and
2    WHEREAS, The captured federal funds for capital
3improvements were distributed using a regional approach; the
4eastern half of the state invested its portion of capital funds
5in infrastructure, roads, and bridges, all to be supported by
6African descent labor; and
7    WHEREAS, The western portion of the state invested in the
8privatization of a new business, prisons; in 1831, the Illinois
9State Penitentiary was built in Alton, with large cost overruns
10because of soil integrity issues; much later, a prison now
11known as Menard Correctional Center followed in Randolph
12County; and
13    WHEREAS, During this time, the industrial revolution in
14Great Britain was intensifying, leading to more opportunities
15for Illinois businesses; Europe's textile factories needed
16more cotton that was produced by slave labor, and the world
17demand was increasing for salt, lead, and coal; and
18    WHEREAS, The 1840 Illinois Constitution specifically
19banned slavery in section 16 of its Declaration of Rights,
20specifying "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary
21servitude in the State, except as a punishment for crime
22whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."; however, it



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1included a requirement that the General Assembly pass laws to
2prohibit the emigration of free African Americans into the
3state and to bar slaveholders from bringing slaves into the
4state for the purpose of freeing them; and
5    WHEREAS, There was, of course, opposition; the "Colored
6People of Chicago", for example, met to draft resolutions
7opposing the new constitution and the "unjust and partial laws"
8in the state, but the General Assembly failed to adopt them;
10    WHEREAS, The 1848 Illinois Constitution continued to limit
11the right to vote to only white males and excluded people of
12African descent from serving in the militia; and
13    WHEREAS, Subsequent legislation led to one of the most
14restrictive Black Code systems in the nation until the American
15Civil War; and
16    WHEREAS, In 1848, Belleville in the Metro East became home
17to the first underground coal mining operation; the new
18industry spread along shipping areas to ease access to large
19commercial centers like St. Louis and Chicago; however, it was
20not until the Civil War, when Illinois railroads grew by leaps
21and bounds, that coal mining in Southern Illinois began to
22rapidly develop; and



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1    WHEREAS, The broader tri-state area lead mining region, the
2coal region in northern Illinois at the end of the nineteenth
3century, centered around places like Spring Valley, Braidwood,
4and Coal City, and the area around Vermilion County and
5Danville all had significant numbers of miners of African
6descent; and
7    WHEREAS, According to the Illinois Secretary of State's
8current website, "The 1853 Black Law passed in Illinois was
9considered the harshest of all discriminatory Black Laws passed
10by Northern states before the Civil War."; and
11    WHEREAS, The 1853 Black Law prohibited any person of
12African descent from outside of the state from staying in
13Illinois for more than ten days, and if a person of African
14descent remained beyond the ten-day period, they would be
15subject to arrest, detention, a $50 fine, or deportation; and
16    WHEREAS, The 1853 Black Law was often a tool used against
17whole communities when white citizens found that the increase
18in black population had reached an unacceptable level; people
19of African descent who violated the law faced punishments that
20included being advertised and sold at public auction; and
21    WHEREAS, The 1853 Black Law served, according to one



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1author, "as grinding reminders of apartheid intentions and
2legal subjugation, and they offered white authorities and mobs
3excuses for harassment and violence against blacks."; and
4    WHEREAS, A wealthy freeman of African descent by the name
5of John Jones was instrumental in repealing the 1853 Black Law;
6with prodding from John Jones and the logic propelled by the
7results of the Civil War, the Illinois General Assembly
8repealed the Black Laws in early 1865; and
9    WHEREAS, The repeal of the Black Laws did not confer
10suffrage or civil rights on the state's people of African
11descent; instead, they had to wait for ratification of the 14th
12and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the Illinois
13Civil Rights Act of 1885; and
14    WHEREAS, The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 to help
15ensure the rights of newly freed people of African descent; men
16of African descent were given the right to vote in 1870 by the
17passage of the 15th Amendment; and
18    WHEREAS, The 1870 Illinois Constitution also provided
19those rights; the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 1885 was also
20passed forbidding discrimination in public facilities and
21places, such as hotels, railroads, theaters, and restaurants;



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1    WHEREAS, In the midst of these Constitutional wins,
2pro-slavery, segregation, and disenfranchisement laws know as
3"Jim Crow" were enacted; these laws required de jure
4segregation in all public places and a specific etiquette,
5while supposedly creating a separate but equal position for
6people of African descent; and
7    WHEREAS, Unfortunately for the people of African descent,
8the United States Supreme Court helped undermine their
9Constitutional protections with the infamous Plessy v.
10Ferguson (1896) case; this decision legitimized the
11pro-slavery Jim Crow laws and the Jim Crow etiquette; and
12    WHEREAS, The Civil War Reconstruction period brought a
13migration of people of African descent to Cairo in Alexander
14County; racial tensions under pro-slavery Jim Crow were always
15high in the community, but as the shipping and ferrying
16industries declined, jobs grew more scarce, and the racial
17unrest intensified; and
18    WHEREAS, Moreover, these laws solidified the position that
19America had two sets of citizens, those of European descent, or
20first class citizens, and people of African descent, or second
21class citizens; and



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1    WHEREAS, Jim Crow etiquette further separated and
2essentially enslaved people of African descent; for example, a
3male person of African descent could not offer his hand to
4shake hands with a white male because it implied being socially
5equal; and
6    WHEREAS, At the same time, a male person of African descent
7could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a
8white woman because he risked being accused of rape; and
9    WHEREAS, Similarly, people of African descent and white
10people were not supposed to eat together; if they did eat
11together, whites were to be served first, and some sort of
12partition was to be placed between them; and
13    WHEREAS, Without exception, a male person of African
14descent was not to offer to light the cigarette of a white
15woman; such a gesture would imply intimacy; and
16    WHEREAS, People of African descent were not allowed to show
17public affection toward one another in public, especially
18kissing, because it offended whites; and
19    WHEREAS, Pro-slavery Jim Crow etiquette required that
20people of African descent be first introduced to white people,
21never the opposite; at the same time, white people were not to



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1use courtesy titles of respect when referring to people of
2African descent (i.e. Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma'am); and
3    WHEREAS, Instead, people of African descent were called by
4their first names and had to use courtesy titles when referring
5to white people; people of African descent were not allowed to
6call white people by their first names; for example: "Mr.
7Reagan (the white person), this is Malcolm (the person of
8African descent), that I spoke to you about."; and
9    WHEREAS, With respect to transportation, if a person of
10African descent rode in a car driven by a white person, the
11person of African descent sat in the back seat or the back of a
12truck; and
13    WHEREAS, Finally, white motorists had the right-of-way at
14all intersections; and
15    WHEREAS, These pro-slavery Jim Crow laws sparked race riots
16in Illinois as people of African descent began to relocate from
17the South; the first race riot occurred in 1908 in Springfield;
19    WHEREAS, The fact that the riots occurred in Illinois, "The
20Land of Lincoln", proved that people of African descent were
21mistreated and brutalized not only in the south but everywhere;



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1in this case, a white mob of 5,000 people beat people of
2African descent throughout Sangamon county; and
3    WHEREAS, In mid-August 1908, the white population of
4Springfield reacted to reports that a white woman had been
5assaulted in her home by a man of African descent; soon
6afterward, another instance of an assault by a man of African
7descent on a white woman was reported; these incidents, coming
8within hours of each other, sparked a gathering of a mob; and
9    WHEREAS, Mob leaders carefully directed the participants
10to destroy only homes and businesses either owned by blacks or
11which served black patrons, thus leaving nearby white homes and
12businesses untouched; and
13    WHEREAS, This white mob looted businesses that served those
14of African descent and lynched several people of African
15descent; and
16    WHEREAS, Throughout World War I, people of African descent
17continued migrating north for jobs, education, and
18opportunities and to escape Jim Crow; another race riot
19occurred in East St. Louis in 1917; and
20    WHEREAS, Up to 250 people of African descent were beaten,
21shot, lynched, and killed; nine white people were killed, and



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16,000 people of African descent were left homeless; and
2    WHEREAS, A large number of people of African descent fled
3East St. Louis; the enrollment in local public schools
4plummeted by 35% in the fall; in other words, 1 out of 3
5children left the City of East St. Louis after the riots of
61917; and
7    WHEREAS, From 1918-1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic killed
823,500 people in Illinois and 675,000 in America; and
9    WHEREAS, At the same time, the summer of 1919 was called
10"the Red Summer" due to the bloodbath in race riots in 26
11American cities, including 38 people killed in a Chicago race
12riot; and
13    WHEREAS, Chicago was a laboratory for segregation; the
14tools of analyzing real estate and racial data were being
15created in Chicago in the early 20th century; other tools, such
16as restrictive covenants, to segregate the city based on race
17were created in Chicago; and
18    WHEREAS, In 1927, the City of Chicago continued with racist
19housing practices during the Great Migration; the Chicago Real
20Estate Board (CREB) sent representatives throughout the city to
21promote restrictive covenants; and



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1    WHEREAS, The board representatives provided model
2contracts drafted by the Chicago Plan Commission as part of
3their efforts; by 1928, the Hyde Park Herald reported that the
4covenants prevailed throughout the South Side; and
5    WHEREAS, Most neighborhoods of people of African descent
6were bounded by covenanted areas, since 85% of Chicago was
7covenanted; and
8    WHEREAS, After the stock market crash of 1929, FDR
9introduced the New Deal; contained in this bold plan was the
10creation of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) with the
11purpose of aiding homeowners in default to prevent
12foreclosures; and
13    WHEREAS, In the early 1930s, it was soon discovered that
14pro-slavery ideals remained in housing; the racist attitudes
15and language found in HOLC appraisal sheets and Residential
16Security Maps created by the HOLC gave federal support to
17racist land use practices that helped to further marginalize
18people of African descent in Illinois; and
19    WHEREAS, This practice of "redlining" in the 1930s locked
20neighborhoods of African descent into concentrated poverty by
21systematically diminishing home ownership, home values, and



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1median credit scores; and
2    WHEREAS, During World War II, people of African descent
3emigrating to Chicago were directed to the "Black Belt" for
4their housing needs; this area was generally bounded between
512th and 79th streets and Wentworth and Cottage Grove avenues;
7    WHEREAS, Approximately 60,000 people of African descent
8moved to Chicago during 1940 to 1944 in search of jobs; in an
9effort to keep the newly arriving people of African descent out
10of their neighborhoods, white people formed restrictive
11covenants; and
12    WHEREAS, This housing system in Chicago led to overcrowding
13in the Black Belt; such overcrowding, while difficult in
14itself, also contributed to generally poor housing conditions
15for people of African descent; and
16    WHEREAS, Demand for housing far exceeded its supply after
17World War II; this led to rent gouging, a practice where
18exorbitant rental amounts were charged for small kitchenettes
19with no heat, no bathroom, and deplorable conditions; and
20    WHEREAS, These conditions of ramshackle and dangerous
21housing, neglect and indifference from city officials, and poor



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1sanitation resulted in infestation by rats in the Black Belt;
2infant mortality and overall death rates were higher in the
3Black Belt than in the rest of Chicago; and
4    WHEREAS, The "Southern Illinois Black Belt" in East St.
5Louis has an aging housing stock where people of African
6descent have lived since 1720; in 1985, as the housing stock
7aged and there were inadequate resources to preserve it, HUD
8placed the East St. Louis public housing system under federal
9administrative receivership; and
10    WHEREAS, According to the U.S. Government Accountability
11Office, "[r]eceiverships at housing authorities have generally
12resulted from long-standing, severe, and persistent management
13problems that led to deterioration of the housing stock."; and
14    WHEREAS, Yet, for 32 years, HUD did little to
15comprehensively address issues concerning the aging complexes
16in East St. Louis, which severely compromised the housing stock
17for the people of African descent in East St. Louis; many of
18the people of African descent say that the public housing stock
19was infested with rats; and
20    WHEREAS, In 2017, HUD officially transitioned housing
21authority of the City of East St. Louis to local control after
2232 years of federal administrative receivership; HUD's



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1oversight of East St. Louis was the first and longest
2receivership of a local public housing authority in HUD's
3history; and
4    WHEREAS, The East St. Louis housing authority may be
5eligible for Replacement Housing Factor Fund grants, which are
6awarded to housing authorities that have removed units from
7inventory for the purpose of developing new public housing
8units; and
9    WHEREAS, Only two other housing authorities in America are
10under federal administrative receivership; one is in Cairo, and
11the other is in Gary, Indiana, just outside of Chicago; and
12    WHEREAS, In 1988, after electing a person of African
13descent as mayor, some white residents living in Chicago's
14"Bungalow Belt" (i.e. single-family homes built in the 1910s
15and 1920s in a collar on the northwest side and southwest side
16of Chicago's city limits), pushed for reforms and insurance if
17persons of African descent moved into the Bungalow Belt and
18property values dropped; in response, the legislature created
19three home equity taxing districts for the white home owners
20living in the Bungalow Belt; and
21    WHEREAS, On a most basic level, all homeowners in these
22taxing districts pay a small tax to a fund; homeowners



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1voluntarily enroll in the equity program, and if the appraisal
2is less than the original purchase price when they decide to
3sell then that homeowner receives a cash claim for the
4difference; very few, if any, people of African descent are
5enrolled in this well-funded program; and
6    WHEREAS, In February of 2016, the Alexander County Housing
7Authority in Cairo (ACHA) was placed under federal
8administrative receivership; there was strong evidence that
9the ACHA failed to maintain the Elmwood and McBride complexes,
10resulting in significant degradation in the quality of the
11housing in Cairo where people of African descent reside; and
12    WHEREAS, A year later, HUD announced to 185 families that
13the Elmwood and McBride housing complexes in Cairo would be
14closed and its residents relocated; this meant that almost 400
15people would be forced to leave the city as there was not
16sufficient HUD-sanctioned housing in town; and
17    WHEREAS, In reported interviews, HUD explained it was
18hesitant to take Cairo into receivership as it could take many
19years to execute, require four to five full-time employees, and
20cost more than $5 million; and
21    WHEREAS, From 2012 to 2018, for every $1 banks loaned in
22Chicago's white neighborhoods, they invested just 12 cents in



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1the city's neighborhoods of African descent; JPMorgan Chase,
2for instance, lent 41 times more money in Chicago's white
3neighborhoods than African-descent neighborhoods; and
4    WHEREAS, During that same time period, Bank of America lent
529 times more money in Chicago's white communities than it did
6in African-descent communities; Wells Fargo lent 10 times more
7in white areas than African-descent areas, and Guaranteed Rate
8lent 15 times more in Chicago's white communities than its
9African-descent communities; and
10    WHEREAS, The air quality in communities of African descent
11is far below acceptable standards; the National Resources
12Defense Council (NRDC) recently reported that people of African
13descent in minority neighborhoods on the West and South Sides
14of Chicago have the greatest exposure to toxic air pollution
15and other environmental health hazards in the city; and
16    WHEREAS, The communities of Englewood and Roseland rank
17remarkably high for pollution exposure in Chicago according to
18the NRDC; Chicago has acknowledged that there are
19disproportionate pollution problems across Chicago; and
20    WHEREAS, Midway through 2020, the world faces a pandemic
21like it did in 1920; so far, this pandemic has killed 120,000
22in the U.S.; in Illinois, as of May 15, 2020, approximately



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16,300 Illinoisans have died; and
2    WHEREAS, During the course of this pandemic, like it did in
31920, racial uprisings occurred throughout communities of
4African descent after a white police officer, while on openly
5conspicuous videotape, suffocated a man of African descent for
6nine minutes because he committed, if at all, a petty crime;
7prior to that, a white Chicago Police Officer shot an unarmed
8teenager of African descent 16 times for committing, if at all,
9a petty offense; and
10    WHEREAS, The new currency in life is compassion; while
11Illinois has grown and become a global power, the people of
12Illinois cannot ignore the contributions of people of African
13descent who were the catalyst to the economic growth of
14Illinois; and
15    WHEREAS, The people of Illinois also can not ignore the
16injustices that were and continue to be barriers to an equal
17society; without question, there is a marked contrast between
18the communities for people of African descent, other minority
19communities, and the majority white community; and
20    WHEREAS, Illinois currently has 3,123 census tracts, 9,691
21block groups, and 451,554 census blocks; and



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1    WHEREAS, Census tracts generally have a population size
2between 1,200 and 8,000 people, with an optimal size of 4,000
3people; a block group is a cluster of blocks within a census
4tract; and
5    WHEREAS, In the urban cores of most older cities, census
6blocks are small because development preceded the introduction
7of urban transportation technologies (such as interurban
8railways, streetcars, and the automobile) and the
9decentralization of industries and jobs; surrounding these
10urban cores in the eastern and southern regions of the nation,
11one typically finds dense, irregular street patterns and an
12extensive system of connecting roads due principally to the
13metes and bounds survey; and
14    WHEREAS, Today, the energy sector has the ability to create
15no cost electricity from the earth that was worked by slaves in
16Illinois for 300 years; there is currently legislation in
17Illinois designed to exponentially increase renewable energy
18generation, but the companies leading this effort are not
19businesses led or owned by people of African descent; and
20    WHEREAS, For example, a microgrid of unknown cost is
21currently underway for an community of African descent in
22Chicago; it will be located in an area bounded from 33rd Street
23to the North, 38th Street to the South, State Street to the



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1West, and South Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Drive to the East; and
2    WHEREAS, Phase I of the project will include 2.5 MW of load
3and require reconfiguration of an existing feeder and
4installation of battery storage and solar photovoltaics; it
5will directly serve approximately 490 customers; and
6    WHEREAS, Phase II of the project will add approximately 570
7customers and an additional 4.5 MW of load and 7 MW of
8Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), enough to meet the peak
9electricity demand of customers within the microgrid footprint
10and maintain service when the microgrid is islanded from the
11main grid; the completed project will serve approximately 1,060
12residential, commercial, and small industrial customers; and
13    WHEREAS, This microgrid project contemplates that 1 MW of
14energy will service 150 customers from a base load perspective;
15if DERs are included in the calculation, the number of
16customers would climb to 300; and
17    WHEREAS, Notably, the microgrid contemplates that
18customers will be either homes, businesses, and/or small
19industrial business; and
20    WHEREAS, In 2013, natural gas utilities Peoples Gas, Ameren
21Illinois, and Nicor Gas began performing infrastructure



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1upgrades; for example, in Chicago, The Peoples Gas System
2Modernization Program (SMP) is underway; and
3    WHEREAS, SMP is an accelerated, comprehensive,
4multi-decade program to remove and replace 2,300 miles of 100
5year-old, deteriorating cast or ductile iron pipe and upgrade
6its blow pressure natural gas delivery system to a medium
7pressure system; and
8    WHEREAS, The broadband sector has also engaged in enhanced
9wireless and internet capabilities; Cook, Mason, and
10Washington counties are targeted for significant technological
11upgrades; and
12    WHEREAS, An integration of wired and wireless technology is
13the current movement of society; soon networks will be
14virtualized, and there will be enhanced experiences on mobile
15devices; and
16    WHEREAS, In 2018, the median property value in Illinois was
17$203,400, and the homeownership rate was 66%; notably, the
18median property value in Chicago was $271,600, and the
19homeownership rate was 45.7%; and
20    WHEREAS, Alternatively, the median property value in East
21St. Louis was $55,000, and the homeownership rate was 43.5%; at



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1the same time, the median property value in Cairo was $30,500,
2and the homeownership rate was 58.5%; and
3    WHEREAS, Finally, the median household incomes in East St.
4Louis, Cairo, Chicago, and the State of Illinois as a whole are
5$20,659, $24,549, $57,238, and $65,030, respectively; the
6disparities between the communities of African descent and
7other communities is apparent both visually and from the data;
9    WHEREAS, Black homeownership rates are lower today than
10they were 50 years ago when housing discrimination was
11outlawed, and they are particularly bad in Chicago; and
12    WHEREAS, There has never been a successful affirmative
13action housing policy in the State of Illinois for people of
14African descent; such a plan is not a novel concept, as one was
15proposed during the Civil War while the pro-slavery movement
16began to suffer defeats; and
17    WHEREAS, General William T. Sherman entered Executive
18Field Order #15 on January 16, 1865; his field order first
19designated certain captured lands along the coastlines of South
20Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (i.e. Charleston to
21Jacksonville along the coastline and then 30 miles inward); and



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1    WHEREAS, By General Sherman's order, subject to
2ratification by President Lincoln, the specified coastal tract
3of land was gifted to people of African descent for their own
4agricultural and housing purposes following slavery; by the
5order, each family of African descent was awarded "a plot of
6not more than forty acres of tillable ground"; and
7    WHEREAS, Before it was ratified, President Abraham Lincoln
8was assassinated; President Andrew Johnson, from Raleigh,
9North Carolina, assumed the presidency; and
10    WHEREAS, President Johnson soon revoked General Sherman's
11order hampering efforts by people of African descent to gain
12economic independence after the Emancipation Proclamation;
13President Johnson was later the first president to be impeached
14for abuse of power and other high crimes and misdemeanors; and
15    WHEREAS, The regressive policies of the State of Illinois
16relating to people of African descent are well documented and
17date back 300 years; and
18    WHEREAS, Among other things, the regressive policies have
19created a stark contrast in the housing available to people of
20African descent and the housing available to people of
21non-African descent; and



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1    WHEREAS, There is an immediate need to drastically improve
2the housing stock and the communities where people of African
3descent reside; and
4    WHEREAS, There is a compelling need to drastically improve
5the housing conditions of people of African descent residing in
6the State of Illinois; and
7    WHEREAS, The least restrictive means of drastically
8improving the housing stock, communities, and conditions of
9people of African descent is for the current Governor of the
10State of Illinois to act; and
11    WHEREAS, The Governor must act to shape a narrowly tailored
12approach to drastically improve the housing stock,
13communities, and conditions of people of African descent
14residing in the State of Illinois; and
15    WHEREAS, Immediate affirmative action by the Governor is
16needed to counteract continuing conscious and unconscious
17biases and prejudices against people of African descent in the
18housing sector; and
19    WHEREAS, Such affirmative action in Illinois would not rise
20to the level of discrimination against other minorities, as no
21other minority group, apart from people of African descent, was



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1enslaved in the State of Illinois from as early as 1720; and
2    WHEREAS, Moreover, no other minority group was
3discriminated against by being subjected to separate Slave
4Codes in Illinois; to that end, no other minority group was
5required in an apartheid-like fashion to produce a Certificate
6of Freedom and proof of a behavior bond to travel in public in
7Illinois; and
8    WHEREAS, Furthermore, no other minority group in Illinois
9was discriminated against by being subject to Jim Crow laws and
10in many cases victims of Lynch Law, where they were hung, shot,
11burned at the stake, castrated, beaten with clubs, or
12dismembered; and
13    WHEREAS, Further still, no other minority group was
14discriminated against by being subject to redlining and
15restrictive covenants in Illinois' housing sector; and
16    WHEREAS, Finally, no other minority group, apart from
17people of African descent, was discriminated against by being
18subject to the greatest exposure to air toxicity, air
19pollution, and other environmental health hazards; therefore,
20be it



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2it is in the best interest of the people of Illinois for the
3Governor of the State of Illinois to immediately act to shape a
4narrowly tailored approach to drastically improve the housing
5stock, communities, and conditions of and for people of African
6descent residing in the State of Illinois; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we urge the Governor of the State of
8Illinois and the Illinois General Assembly to invoke the
9principles of the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of 2020 with
10all deliberate speed; and be it further
11    RESOLVED, That there is an immediate need for legislation,
12emergency rules, and/or a gubernatorial executive order to (1)
13authorize funding and matching grants to municipalities and
14private investors for the construction of housing, commercial
15real estate, microgrids, water, sewer, gas, broadband
16technology, and clean energy generation and storage in
17low-income communities, (2) authorize funding and matching
18grants to municipalities and private investors for urban
19beautification, greenspace, and community gardens in
20low-income communities, (3) create heightened home equity
21taxing districts, opportunity zones, empowerment zones,
22enterprise zones, tax increment financing districts, and
23Special Service Areas in low-income communities, and (4)
24authorize funding and matching grants to municipalities and



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1private investors to construct community centers, grocery
2stores, gymnasiums, and natatoriums in low-income communities;
3and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That there is long term need for legislation,
5emergency rules, and/or a gubernatorial executive order to (1)
6fund existing and created housing programs for people of
7African descent which shall include, but shall not be limited
8to, professional services, property tax relief, and navigators
9of and counselors for the land use process, (2) provide rent
10subsidies for elderly and disabled people of African descent,
11(3) provide specific property tax relief for the elderly and
12disabled people of African descent, (4) provide property tax
13relief for adults 21 years of age to 18 years of age for people
14of African descent, (5) enable people of African descent to
15make no or very low down payments to obtain mortgages; to
16authorize funding in conjunction with the Creating American
17Investment, Redevelopment, and Opportunity (CAIRO) Task Force
18Act to address the housing crisis in Cairo, (6) underwrite and
19secure mortgages for people of African descent who choose to
20reside in a census tract designated by the Equitable Economic
21Land Use Plan of 2020, (7) authorize the acquisition of real
22estate designated by the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of
232020 via eminent domain and quick take authority, (8) partner
24regularly with the Chicago Department of Planning and
25Development (DPD) to provide insight and information regarding



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1their efforts to invest in communities of persons of African
2descent, and (9) appoint an Emergency Task Force to facilitate
3the purposes of the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of 2020;
4and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That there is long term need for legislation,
6emergency rules, and/or a gubernatorial executive order to
7reform the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure and the Mortgage
8Act and to further fund existing and created housing programs
9that will assist people of African descent in the facilitation
10of the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of 2020; and be it
12    RESOLVED, That the real property in census tracts
13designated by the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of 2020
14should be valued as of July 1, 2020 and should be based upon
15its fair cash market value at its highest and best use on July
161, 2020 for purposes of the Equitable Economic Land Use Plan of
172020; and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That because Pierre Menard was a slaveowner in
19the Metro East, the name of the Menard Correctional Center
20should revert back to the Southern Illinois Penitentiary; and
21be it further
22    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be



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1delivered to Governor JB Pritzker, House Speaker Michael
2Madigan, Senate President Don Harmon, House Minority Leader Jim
3Durkin, Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, U.S. Senator Dick
4Durbin, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Chicago Mayor Lori
5Lightfoot, Cairo Mayor Tyrone Coleman, East St. Louis Mayor
6Robert Eastern III, the Illinois Department of Commerce and
7Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Department of Corrections,
8and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.