Chair and President
Vice Chair and Vice President
This is the charter for the City of Chicago Reparation Advisory Commission (the “Commission”), which shall govern the organization, purpose, and proceedings of the Commission.
In proposing new local African Reparations Plan for the City of Chicago Reparations Subcommittee, the Commission shall: (1) Continue its work educating about Reparations Awareness (2) organizing the community toward creating a Reparation Plans (3) Advise elected officials on passing and funding reparatory proposals.
The Commission shall comprise sixteen commissioners, who shall be independent community members selected from each of the following nine regions of Chicago: the North Side, Northwest Side, Northeast, Central, East Side, West Side, Southwest Side, Southeast Side, and Far South Side.
The Commission should include independent thinkers reflecting the city's geographic, racial, age, economic and ethnic diversity.
(a) Qualifications. To be eligible to serve as a commissioner, a person must a) be a descendant of Slavery and b) have continuously resided in the City of Chicago for the last five years.
(b) Disqualifications. Anyone with overtly partisan and political interests and connections cannot serve, including any of the following: Candidate for or elected to any federal, state, or local office, except for the Local School Councils administered by Chicago Public Schools; Elected or appointed member of a political party; Officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party, political action committee, campaign committee of a candidate for federal or state office, or current officeholder; Employee of the City of Chicago; Registered lobbyist; or Immediate family member to a person who meets one of the above disqualifications.
(a) Independent Selection Committee. The process for selecting commissioners shall be undertaken by an independent selection committee (the “Selection Committee”). Conrad Worrill Community Reparations Commission (CWCRC) sought and received recommendations for respected, independent Chicagoans to serve on the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee shall strive for a commission that is African Descendants, geographically, and economically diverse as Chicago. (b) Application. Applications for people interested in serving as commissioners shall be made available for a period of at least one month before they are due. The application shall be prepared in such a form as to give people an opportunity to demonstrate the following traits: civic-minded, compromise-oriented, impartial, and respectful of the City’s diversity. (c) Approaches to Selection. From among the applications received, the Selection Committee shall select a total of thirteen commissioners from the nine regions identified in Section 2 of this charter. The Selection Committee shall review all applications to identify applicants who are civic-minded, compromise-oriented, impartial, and respectful of the City’s diversity. The Selection Committee shall identify and interview semi-finalists. In making final selections, the Selection Committee shall give due consideration to maintaining racial, ethnic, and gender diversity and to ensuring that the Commission reflects the demographic and geographic diversity of the City.
(a) Basis for removal. If a commissioner substantially neglects the commissioner’s duties, commits gross misconduct in the performance of those duties, fails to attend at least 75% of hearings and other meetings of the Commission or committees of which the commissioner is a member, is otherwise unable to discharge those duties, or becomes disqualified as described in Section 3(b) of this charter, the Commission may act to remove that commissioner in a public meeting after notifying the commissioner at least 48 hours before the meeting. (b) Replacements. If there is a vacancy in the Commission for any reason, including because of a commissioner’s resignation or removal, the independent selection committee has chosen four alternates from different regions. One of those alternates will be seated, preferably one closest to the region where the vacancy occurred. Should all alternates be seated, the independent selection committee will review finalists and create a new pool of alternates.
6. GOVERNANCE AND OPERATIONS
(a) Commission Finances. CWCRC shall, and has, approved funding for reasonable, limited expenses to carry out this charter, including, but not limited to, hiring staff, conducting public outreach, and other administrative and programmatic costs. Each commissioner shall be compensated $5,000 at the completion of service if the commissioner has adequately satisfied the duties of being a commissioner, including attending at least 75% of hearings, as determined by CWCRC. Commissioners are expected to be active participants on at least one committee and to attend all hearings.
CWCRC has contracted for a website, technical staff, Reparations expertise, legal counsel, and administrative staff. Additional needs will be considered, within a limited budget, as necessary. The duty of any person employed or retained by CWCRC on behalf of the Commission is to act in the utmost public interest of the African descendant people of Chicago and any party, individual, or special interest regarding "Blacks", Negroes, African American."
(b) Transparency. The Commission shall comply with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Illinois Open Meetings Act as if it were a public body. Commissioners, staff, and consultants shall not communicate with any outside persons attempting to influence the reparations process, including the office of the Mayor of Chicago, outside of public meetings and public comment periods. (c) Commission Action and Quorum. Seven commissioners shall constitute a quorum. No action may be taken by the Commission outside of a meeting that is publicly noticed and held in compliance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Any action by the Commission shall require the affirmative vote of nine commissioners. The final Reparations plan to be adopted by the Commission and recommended to the City Council shall require the affirmative vote of nine commissioners, including at least one affirmative vote from commissioners selected from each of the North, West, and South Sides. For this purpose, the North Side includes the North Side and Northwest Side; the South Side includes the Central region, South Side, and Far South Side; and the West Side includes the West Side and Southwest Side. The Commission will elect a commissioner to serve as initial chair. The Commission may, in its discretion, either designate a chair to preside at all meetings or establish a rotation of commissioners to serve as chair by meeting. The chair of a meeting shall call the meeting to order and preside over the meeting according to commonly accepted rules of procedure. (d) Public Input. To identify communities of interest and obtain other information relevant to the distribution of compensation for reparations plan, the Commission shall seek public input. Before any reparations plans are drawn, the Commission shall hold public hearings across the City to solicit testimony from residents. (e) Adopting reparations. Before the Commission takes action to adopt and recommend to the City Council a final ward map, the Commission must satisfy the following requirements: The Commission shall release the proposed reparations plan for public comment. The first public comment period shall be at least fourteen calendar days. At the conclusion of the first public comment period, the Commission may, at its discretion, make changes to the reparations plan in response to public comments. The Commission shall release the reparations plan, as revised in response to public comments, for additional public comments. The second public comment period shall be at least five calendar days. At the conclusion of the second public comment period, the Commission may, at its discretion, make changes to the proposed reparations plan in response to public comments. The Commission may immediately vote to adopt the reparations plan as further revised and recommend that it be submitted to the City Council without an additional public comment period so long as the changes made after the second public comment period are minor. For this purpose, changes are considered minor if the changes do not materially alter the proposed reparations plan when taken as a whole. When releasing any proposed reparations plan, the Commission shall also release data used to create or evaluate the reparations plan as well as a brief report outlining how the reparations plan was drawn and complies with adopted criteria.
7. CRITERIA FOR REPARATIONS
The commission shall adopt and publicly release the reparations criteria it intends to follow when developing new reparation plans. This charter was unanimously approved by the commission on March 8, 2022.
There are currently no adoptions to the City of Chicago Reparations Commissions charter.