Protect Our Parks Inc has filed a lawsuit against the building of the Obama presidential Library on public park land, especially when there is vacant land across the street they could use and still leave the park alone. Why would they do that? Perhaps Obama who has always tried to protect himself from blacks he considers himself to be above, decided he didn’t want his library near a park where people he considers to be the wrong element will gather, creating a blight on his monument to himself. The plan was for the park commission to sell the land to Chicago for a nominal price and then lease it to the library under a long term lease.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the property deal was expected to involve the Park District selling the land to the city for a nominal price, with the city subsequently entering into a long-term lease with the Obama Foundation. The lawsuit alleges that such a transaction would violate state law and represents “a short con shell game, a corrupt scheme to deceive and seemingly legitimize an illegal land grab.”
“The City and Park District clearly realize and fully understand that this established law precludes the Park District from arbitrarily transferring possession, use and control of this dedicated ‘open, clear and free’ public parkland in Jackson Park to a private nongovernmental … entity’s self-determined use,” the complaint read.
The Obamas are accused by the plaintiffs of thoroughly changing the original plans for the Jackson Park site, which was proposed to become home to a national presidential library that would house historic documents and archives from former President Barack Obama’s presidency under the supervision of the National Archives and Records Administration.
The city now accuses the plaintiffs of trying to stop economic progress on Chicago’s south side:
“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.”
Yes, I am very sure that the south side of Chicago is brimming with museum and library curators just aching for high paying jobs. They might allow them to clean the bathrooms and sweep the floors, though. Would the urban youth and other residents use the presidential library than they would the park? I don’t think so.