Meleika Speaks On Evanston

I was assisted in this reposting by a bottle of Frisson – Falcon Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. Dry Creek Valley. Young but excellent vintage for this wine. Strong – bold structure. Dry. Moderate tannins and acidity. Leading in with notes of oak, toasty vanilla, and chocolate. Earthy sustain, with rich fruits. Ending in tobacco, plum, vanilla, and chocolate. Long – silky finish.

“Money in its proper place is a worthwhile and necessary instrument for a well-rounded life, but when it is projected to the status of a god – it becomes a power that corrupts and an instrument of exploitation.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This May 30, 2022 post – written by concerned citizen Meleika Gardner, is part of the continuing saga of the Evanston “reparations” program. Written by an actual resident of Evanston, Illinois. This repost is taken from the nicely done Meleika Communications Blog ( “The Voice of the People.” The right questions to the right people are being asked here. Hopefully, properly aware Evanston Freedmen will flex the power of their constituency and shut this travesty down. This mess has gone on long enough.

Here It Is:

Evanston Reparations: Unanswered questions continue to grow…

No one can answer after three years; how much money is in the Reparations Fund? And why would the Reparations Committee be entertaining getting anything that resembles a loan for Evanston Reparations? Because so many questions have been left unanswered regarding Evanston Reparations, which is leading more residents to further not trust the Reparations system, I wrote yet another email on May 23, 2022 to Evanston City Council:

Dear City Council:

CPAH* made clear they were working for free. At the last Reparations meetings, a Committee member asked if the $269K from the City’s general fund be transferred to the Reparations Fund. It was explained that people might have to get paid for their work in Reparations with the 16 recipients. Who are these people getting paid and how much? Are they already on City salary as an employee? Is CPAH changing their terms and want to get paid now?

It was also asked if the public can finally get the amount from the cannabis taxes. The response was that it was still against the law to reveal that amount to the public. The public is not asking for monthly updates. A Committee member said it’s been three years now with expenditures… the public has a right to know at this point.

The public in Evanston and cities around the country are still waiting on a response from Evanston City Council on what happens when a recipient does not use all of their $25K on home improvements? Who pockets the remaining? The language was changed to “up to $25K”, but the promotion in the media and what was promised in the commitment was an allotment of $25K to each individual.

And, as much as you all are excited about the Tribeca Film release coming in June on the Big Payback, we know it’s about money and career advancement for Erika Alexander, Whitney Dow, Joy Reid, and the rest of the production. I worked in Los Angeles for many years. The industry will sell out Black people for a dollar all day everyday. This is just another example of selling a lie for the almighty dollar in Hollywood. The documentary is not going to tell the truth of Evanston Reparations.

Mayor Biss, Black people would much prefer cash payments like your grandmother received until the day she died over receiving new windows as a form of Reparations. I know you and others on the Council like Melissa Wynne believe we should be celebrating new windows as a start when your grandmother received payments until her passing to help her family/community. You say those payments were nothing. But did your grandmother refuse any of them? Did any Jewish person refuse their cash payments? A white man just destroyed a Black family… take these new windows as a start. Sounds fair.

Thank you for your time.


Meleika Gardner


*CPAH – Community Partners for Affordable Housing.

About The Author: Meleika Gardner is a Community Engagement Specialist, the owner of Evanston Live TV, and a board member of Art Encounter and WE WILL, an organization dedicated to involving women and children in the legislative process. Meleika is also the co-host and producer of the Chicago Heal with State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, addressing Chicago violence, trauma, and mental/emotional health services on iHeart Radio WVON, WCPT Progressive Talk Radio, and CAN TV. Support Her Project Space:

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976: Allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair Use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. No copyright infringement intended. ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.

Published by Freedmen Absolute

Black Atheist - Jazz Lover - Marketer - Investor - Political Junkie - Reparationist

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