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Black Wall Street USA | Our Movement | Step 7

Step 7: Develop Legislation

Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create and administer the Black Wall Street Program to provide loans and financial assistance to designated communities for the creation of Black Wall Street Business Districts.

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Below is an example of legislation used to develop the Stony Island Black Wall Street district.


WHEREAS, Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and a thriving center of business, industry, and culture; and


WHEREAS, The Chicago Urban League has stated that "Chicago will be the new Black Wall Street"; Stony Island Avenue is one commercial strip that has 80% or more businesses owned by African Americans; it is a prime example of a Black Wall Street district in Chicago; and


WHEREAS, Since the early 1940s, African-American businesses have thrived on South Stony Island Avenue, bringing quality products and services to the community; in subsequent years, these business owners saw a growth in their profits as they were able to sustain a comfortable way of life for themselves and their families; with the downturn in the economy over recent years, some of the businesses that once flourished on Stony Island Avenue are now facing financial difficulties; and


WHEREAS, It has been determined, by the members of the Black Wall Street-Chicago, that the community will utilize the template of Black wall Street Oakland and will help build the business capacity of African-American businesses along Stony Island Avenue in Chicago; and


WHEREAS, History will show that Black Wall Street-Chicago continues the rich historical tradition of growth and prosperity with the original "Black Wall Street District" in Tulsa, Oklahoma; during the early 1900s, the area reportedly used "black dollars" instead of U.S. currency to do business inside the district; in 1921, the Tulsa Race Riot, one of the nation's worse acts of racial violence, occurred; many African-American business owners and the residents of Greenwood were burned out, shot, kidnapped, and killed in the early hours while they slept; the neighborhood has been restored and is now a part of the Greenwood Historical District; and


WHEREAS, Black Wall Street-Chicago recognizes the potential to recreate on Stony Island Avenue in Chicago the positive aspects of the historic Black Wall Street in Tulsa; through the organization's mission to sustain and increase black businesses, Stony Island Avenue is achieving stability and is one of many business districts that has African-American ownership in parity with its population; and


WHEREAS, Stony Island Avenue is currently undergoing a revitalization to cultivate a pedestrian-friendly, urban experience on the southeast side of Chicago, similar to the makeover in the southern portion of downtown Chicago; the Black Wall Street District on Stony Island Avenue includes the #1 African-American female accounting firm in the nation, a waffle house, a printing company, barbeque and soul food restaurants, women and men's clothing and shoe stores, barber shops and beauty salons, among many other flourishing businesses; and


WHEREAS, A comprehensive plan to help sustain black-owned businesses has and continues to be developed by Black Wall Street-Chicago; the plan continues to be developed during weekly meetings of the group and during Black Wall Street Economic Summits, which have been held quarterly since March of 2007; therefore, be it


RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we recognize Stony Island Avenue as a Black Wall Street District in the City of Chicago; and be it further


RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to the members of Black Wall Street-Chicago as a symbol of our esteem and respect.


HR1257 96th Illinois General Assembly


SR0432 96th State Senate






Creates the Black Wall Street Program Act.


Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create and administer the Black Wall Street Program to provide loans and financial assistance to designated communities for the creation of Black Wall Street Business Districts.

Specifies further requirements concerning Program eligibility and the disbursement of loan funds under the Program.

Requires each municipality receiving a loan under the Program to establish a municipal investment program by which loan funds are dispersed to qualified African American business entities and persons for the purpose of establishing Black Wall Street Business Districts.

Allows for the use of loan funds to invest in, issue, or sell bonds for the purpose of the construction of Black Wall Street Business Districts and all related matters.

Requires the Department to compile and make available to the public a database of qualified African American contractors and engineers.

Requires the Department to create and administer a Black Wall Street Investment Hub for the purposes of providing specified assistance to African American business entities and persons in establishing Black Wall Street businesses. Provides for the adoption of administrative rules.

Creates the Black Wall Street Fund as a special fund in the State treasury for specified purposes. Defines terms. Makes conforming changes.









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