CHICAGO — The Chicago Plan Commission is expected to vote Thursday on whether to approve the $500 million Obama Presidential Center.
Former President Barack Obama hopes to build the center on the South Side, but some in the community are demanding guaranteed benefits before he can do so.
Moments after the Chicago Plan Commission was gaveled to order Thursday morning, protesters interrupted. Demonstrators were outside City Hall earlier Thursday to make their voices heard ahead of the vote.
The Chicago City Council needs to sign off on zoning changes, land transfers and road closures before construction can begin on the presidential center.
A vote is slated for Thursday afternoon.
The Obama Library is Off to a Rocky Start
Protesters interrupted a hearing concerning the Obama Library, “demanding a community benefits agreement ahead of today’s vote on [the] Obama Library in Jackson Park.”
Protesters interrupted the Chicago Plan Commission over opposition to Former President Barack Obama’s library being built in Chicago’s Jackson Park on Thursday.
The Commission was voting on a resolution, “recommending a proposed ordinance authorizing a long-term ground lease of approximately 19.3 acres of land within Jackson Park to The Barack Obama Foundation for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Obama Presidential Center.”
Protect Our Parks Inc. filed a lawsuit on Monday attempting to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park.
“A federal lawsuit filed by a Chicago nonprofit in an attempt to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park accuses organizers of pulling an “institutional bait and switch” by shifting the center’s purpose away from being a true presidential library.”
“Protect Our Parks Inc. also claims in its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, that the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago don’t have the authority to transfer public parkland to nongovernmental entity such as the Obama Foundation.”