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Why No Community Benefits Agreement For The Obama Library?

Nine months after Chicagoans lined up overnight for a chance to hear President Barack Obama's farewell address, Chicagoans are again lining up overnight to engage the officials responsible for the Obama Presidential Center and neighborhood developments.

They want to know: Why don't officials from the Obama Foundation, as well as the City of Chicago and University of Chicago, commit to a Community Benefits Agreement?

When: Sept. 13 (Wed.), 5:30 p.m. to Sept. 14 (Thurs.), 5:30 p.m.

First press conference Sept. 13 (Wed.) at 5:30 p.m.

Where: In front of Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. MLK Drive

Who: Obama Library South Side Community Benefits Agreement Coalition

About 20 residents from across neighborhoods affected by the Obama library will camp out and line up for the 24 hours preceding an Obama Foundation meeting.

At the meeting, officials will ask for "ideas on how the Obama Foundation can be a vital part of the South Side community."

Michelle Williams, a resident of a subsidized building across the street from where the library will be located, is participating in the camp-out and says "We are camping out and lining up so that we will be the first ones in the meeting so we can ask officials why they have avoided growing calls for a CBA."

A CBA should legally bind those institutions to deliver on their own promises for more/better jobs, business, housing, schools, transportation, and parks for the neighborhoods surrounding the future Obama library.

And it should bind together in one plan the many calls and opportunities of the groups and plans that are springing up around the Obama library. Thus, we all can realize the Obama library's exciting potential to support the kind of communities that President Obama fought for. And we can fight the history and threat of long-time residents' displacement.

As President Obama has said, "Communities ha[ve] to be created, fought for, tended like gardens."

#, @ObamaCBA

Mark your calendar: #GetItInWriting Summit: Sept. 20 (Wed.), 6 p.m., at Hyde Park Academy, 6220 S. Stony Island.

This event is organized by the Obama-Library CBA Coalition, led by the Bronzeville Regional Collective (BRC), Kenwood Oakland Community Org. (KOCO), Prayer and Action Collective (PAC), Southside Together Organizing Power (STOP) - with Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights.

Allied with Alliance of the Southeast (ASE), Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC), Chicago Jobs Council (CJC), Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO), Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Wolfpack, Woodlawn East Community And Neighbors (WECAN).


See also:

Town Hall For An Obama Library Community Benefits Agreement, April 18, 2017.

Note: Video is first 15 minutes and last 15 minutes.


Longtime Residents Want Protections Put In Writing.


Comments welcome.


Posted on September 13, 2017

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