Video: Will County Board Democratic Caucus Moves Reparations Forward
Will County Board member Rachael Ventura representing Joliet in District 9 is proposing reparations to the democratic caucus to be paid through the collection of marijuana sales in Will County.
Ventura wants to form a committee to repair the the transgenerational damage done through slavery, the Black Codes, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration in Will County. The resolution would call for a committee to be formed made up of
nine Black or African Americans to secure one hundred percent of state and local tax revenues received through the sale of cannabis, for allocation to fund the program(s) to be agreed upon by the Committee.
Among other things the resolution would affirm Will County’s commitment to the eradication of the effects of systemically racist policies and practices, both past and present by County Government all County-affiliated organizations. Plus condemn and reject the actions, speech, and attitudes of those who promote hatred of any race of ethnicity, or promote hatred on any other basis, in an effort to intrude upon the inalienable rights of any human being. To read the entire resolution, go to our website, WJOL.com.
RESOLUTION OF THE COUNTY BOARD
WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Repairing the Transgenerational Damage Done through Slavery,
the Black Codes, the War on Drugs, and Mass Incarceration in
Will County, IL
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has a history of enslavement and oppression of Black and African
Americans, as well as overall promotion of white supremacy; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois made legal, tolerated, and enabled the institution of slavery
throughout our early statehood; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois relegated Black and African Americans, through the Black Codes,
to an inferior social, legal, and economic status; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois and all its counties owe an incalculable debt to our Black and
African American brothers and sisters, for the systemic injustices, brutal physical abuse, insanable
emotional damage, and economic limitation and theft visited upon them throughout our history; and
WHEREAS, Black and African Americans in all parts of Illinois continue to be brutalized in body
and spirit by our systems of power, and stifled through the widening racial wealth gap; and
WHEREAS, it is our undeniable responsibility to rectify and compensate for the suffering, though
we can never be absolved of it, that Black and African Americans in Illinois have endured; and
WHEREAS, the Illinois General Assembly last year enacted Public Act 101-0027 (“ACT”), an Act
concerning the legalization of recreational use of cannabis, the manufacture and sale of it for such use,
and the taxation thereof, which became effective on 1 January 2020; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Act, each County government shall receive 8% of the state tax levied
within the respective County; and
WHEREAS, the County Board of the County of Will (“BOARD”) last year approved an additional
tax of 3% in municipal areas and 3.25% in unincorporated, which became effective on 1 June 2020, on
cannabis sales; and
WHEREAS, the County of Will received, over the course of the first four months of this year,
greater than $26,000 in associated state tax revenue; and
WHEREAS, the County of Will is home to many victims of the War on Drugs and the resulting
mass incarceration; and
WHEREAS, vast social and economic inequities have resulted in the County of Will, from the
incarceration of individuals for nonviolent drug offenses; and
WHEREAS, should any section or provision of this Resolution or the proposed Committee to
Repair the Transgenerational Damage Done through Slavery, the Black Codes, the War on Drugs, and
Mass Incarceration in Will County, IL (“COMMITTEE”) be declared to be invalid, that decision shall not
affect the validity of this Resolution or Committee as a whole or any part thereof, other than that part
so declared to be invalid.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board, that the Committee, as proposed, is hereby
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Will County Executive is hereby authorized and directed to
take such other and further action as is necessary to effectuate the intent of the foregoing Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Preamble to this Resolution is hereby adopted fully as is set
forth herein. This Resolution shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and approval as provided
County of Will
Committee to Repair the Transgenerational Damage Done
Through Slavery, the Black Codes, the War on Drugs, and Mass
Incarceration in Will County, IL
SECTION 1: The Board hereby declares the County of Will an anti-racist county, which strives to
value all citizens and residents, be a welcoming place to all people, and examine its own practices that
may intentionally or unintentionally exclude, oppress, or deject our neighbors; particularly Black and
African Americans and other people of color.
SECTION 2: The County of Will hereby acknowledges its share of the blame for the history of
racially-motivated policies and practices in the State of Illinois, apologizes for the immeasurable harm
that these have caused to our most vulnerable, and declares that it stands unequivocally against white
SECTION 3: The County of Will hereby condemns and rejects the actions, speech, and attitudes
of those who promote hatred of any race or ethnicity, or promote hatred on any other basis, in an
effort to intrude upon the inalienable rights of any human being. Furthermore, with the understanding
that the lives and rights of our Black and African-American brothers and sisters have been perpetually
and structurally devalued and denied, the County of Will declares without reservation that Black lives
SECTION 4: The County of Will hereby affirms its commitment to the eradication of the effects of
systemically racist policies and practices, both past and present, by County Government and all County-
affiliated organizations. As the elected Board, charged with representing the County of Will and its
residents, we do hereby commit to participate in routine racial equity and inherent/implicit bias
trainings in order to deepen our understanding of how our decisions can hinder or promote equity for
all. These same trainings will be mandatory for all employees of entities with which the County of Will
does business. Additionally, the County of Will commits to joining the Government Alliance on Race
and Equity (GARE).
SECTION 5: The County hereby establishes the Committee to Repair the Transgenerational
Damage Done Through Slavery, the Black Codes, the War on Drugs, and Mass Incarceration in Will
County, IL (“COMMITTEE”). The purpose of the Committee shall be to design and deliver a
comprehensive policy to satisfy the intentions laid out in the preceding Resolution,and to ensure
effectiveness and compliance in perpetuity.
SECTION 6: The Committee shall be composed of nine (9) members, all of whom shall be Black or
African American. All Committee members shall be appointed by the Board by a date not to exceed
ninety (90) days from the passage of the preceding Resolution. One (1) Committee member shall be
selected from the Board, and eight (8) Committee members shall be selected from the local
community leadership and activist community. Men and women shall, at all times, serve on the
Committee in equal proportion.
SECTION 7: The Board shall immediately secure one hundred percent (100%) of state and local
tax revenues received through the sale of cannabis, for allocation to fund the program(s) to be agreed
upon by the Committee. The Board hereby prohibits the use of any portion of such funds for any
purpose not approved by a two-thirds (2⁄3) majority of the Committee. No portion of such funds shall be
allocated or spent by the Committee prior to receipt of a report of 2020 tax revenues from cannabis
sales. This report shall be delivered by the Board to the Committee no later than 15 January 2021.
SECTION 8: The Board hereby approves a monthly stipend of five hundred dollars ($500) for each
Committee member, and allocates an annual sum of fifty-four thousand dollars ($54,000) to fund such
stipends. No portion of the funds allocated for Committee stipends shall be drawn from tax revenues
received through the sale of cannabis, nor may the stipends be financed through any new tax that
increases the tax burden on families or individuals living below 210% of the federal poverty level. The
allocation of stipend funds shall be subject to automatic annual renewal until such time as the Board
approves their alteration or elimination by a two-thirds (2⁄3) majority vote. Any such approved change
to the allocation of stipend funds shall not take effect until the start of the nearest future fiscal year.
SECTION 9: The term of service for any Committee member shall not exceed two (2) years. No
committee member shall serve greater than two consecutive terms, nor shall any committee member
serve greater than three (3) terms overall. In the event of the death, resignation, or removal of a
Committee member, or such member’s departure for any other reason, the Board shall appoint a
replacement according to the guidelines laid out in Section 2. No Committee seat shall be left vacant
for a period greater than thirty (30) days).
SECTION 10: The Board hereby grants and assures all powers and responsibilities here assigned
to the Committee, as well as any additional powers and responsibilities that shall be deemed necessary
for the full and faithful execution of the intent of this document.