Keeping the Obama Center out of Jackson Park isn’t really about saving parks

SHARE Keeping the Obama Center out of Jackson Park isn’t really about saving parks

Obama Presidential Center rendering. | Obama Foundation

If all those who are celebrating the frivolous $100,000 Logan Foundation donation to the group that is suing the keep the Obama Presidential Center out of Jackson Park were to venture to the South Side and actually talk to residents, they would learn something: The people who live there understand that the opposition to the Jackson Park site has little to do with the so-called preservation of historic public parkland.

The site will continue to be owned by the city, easily accessible and open, for free, to the public. The center will serve as a hub for education and civic engagement, to name only a few of its benefits.

The Logan money could have been used to support the mission of the Obama Foundation, which is raising money to build the OPC. Instead, by furthering the lawsuit, it will be used to undermine unprecedented opportunities for young people, regardless of the social and economic costs to the South Side and its children.

If the tactic is to wear down the city and stymie the building of the OPC indefinitely, presumably we can expect more such handouts from this uber-wealthy family.

If opponents of the Jackson Park site care so passionately about its preservation then why, during the decades of its decay, did they not actively work to maintain the park they suddenly purport to care about so much?

Rather than attracting people, the northwest corner of the park has been largely ignored. We’re glad Frederick Law Olmsted isn’t around to see the demise of his creation and the cynical efforts now being employed by the rich to keep out the very people the park was intended to serve.


Erin Adams, Kineret Jaffee, Edward Kibblewhite, Judith McCue, Paraisia Winston, Hyde Park

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Historic mayoral election ignites hope 

My thoughts turn to the life of my dear late mother on this historic occasion of the first black woman being elected mayor of Chicago.

Although my mother was successful in her career, she was held back by Jim Crow laws and that special brand of racism unique to Chicago. Had there been a level playing field for her, there is no telling what she could have accomplished.

There are plenty of black men, like myself, who are happy with the dawn of this new era. For our mothers’ sake, for our daughters’ sake and for the unbridled futures of generations of black women to come.

Graham Grady, Chicago

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Hey Joe, maybe it’s time to bring in the clowns along with the acrobats, jugglers and stand-up comics that you’re so famous for. It doesn’t seem possible the North Siders could play any worse.

Bob Ory, Elgin

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