Barack Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, but likes to call Chicago his hometown, just landed the ultimate slap in the face to Chicago residents. The man without a legacy and his good friend, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, just pulled a disgusting bait and switch on the Chicago City Council. Instead of building a presidential library, as promised to the City Council, the Obama Presidential Center organizers plan instead, to build a massive shrine to Barack and Michelle Obama.
Will Chicago residents let Barack Obama get away with building a huge shrine to himself on prime Chicago waterfront property, or will they fight back, now that they know they were lied to?
A public park advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit Monday accusing Obama Presidential Center organizers of pulling an “institutional bait and switch” by reneging on its original planned purpose of building an official presidential library in historic Jackson Park.
The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance in 2015 for the parkland to be leased to the Obama Foundation for the purpose of housing former President Barack Obama’s official presidential library.
But operations have since changed. Obama now plans to use the parkland to build a $500 million personal museum and monument dedicated to his person. The National Records and Archives Administration will operate his presidential library somewhere else.
The lawsuit, Protect Our Parks, Inc. filed against the city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District argues public parkland is “prohibited by law” from being given to a private entity such as the Obama Foundation for private use.
The complaint accuses the City of Chicago of dealing with the Obama Foundation “in a classic Chicago political way, known as a short con shell game, a corrupt scheme to deceive and seemingly legitimize an illegal land grab, one that will endure for centuries to come, regardless of future changing public park needs and increasingly consequential environmental conditions.
A spokesman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stood by the Obama Presidential Center in a statement to the Sun-Times.
“The Obama Presidential Center is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest hundreds of millions of dollars that will create good jobs on the South Side, bring our communities together and honor the legacy of Chicago’s favorite son and daughter. While some choose to stand in the way of progress for the South Side, we are focused on making progress in every community in Chicago,” mayoral spokesman Grant Klinzman said.