Chance the Rapper slams aldermen over Obama Center community benefits agreement

SHARE Chance the Rapper slams aldermen over Obama Center community benefits agreement
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Chance The Rapper on stage at the MCA Chicago for a discussion with Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, on Monday, March 5th, 2018. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Chance the Rapper took to Twitter on Wednesday to call out city officials for approving plans for the Obama Presidential Center without a community benefits agreement in place.

“I’m excited for the Obama Presidential Library but if there’s no Community Benefits Agreement, if City Council won’t hear the residents of Woodlawn and Southshore, it ruins the legacy and puts folk at risk #ObamaCBA,” the South Side emcee wrote.

Obama Foundation officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It’s exciting to see that Chance supports us,” said youth organizer Kyana Butler, who is part of the Obama Community Benefits Coalition. “He’s bringing more voice to what we’ve been said for months.”

It was the latest political statement made by the Grammy-winning rapper, who is the son of Ken Bennett — a friend and former aide to both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former President Barack Obama.

Chance performed at the inaugural Obama Foundation summit last fall, but he has been a vocal critic of Emanuel over his plan to build a new, $95 million police and fire academy.

A Jones College Prep grad, he also donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools last year while railing against Gov. Bruce Rauner over the cash-strapped district’s budget crisis.

Obama — who has refused to sign an agreement that would hold the Obama Foundation accountable for economic investments in the center’s Jackson Park neighborhood — tweeted out thanks for the latest step for his future center, which is still under federal review.

“This Center is for the leaders of tomorrow who are ready to step up and build the world as it should be. Michelle and I are grateful to Chicagoans and the Chicago City Council for making it happen,” the former president wrote.

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