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Meanwhile, there's nothing "sacred" when it comes to Obama flouting his ego with a $1billion library, and no such word as "confiscate" in the lexicon of community organizers.

Obama’s Parkland Grab for Vanity Presidential Library

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By —— Bio and Archives January 10, 2018

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Obama's Parkland Grab for Vanity Presidential Library
Watch your back, University of Chicago political scientist Charles Lipson, and keep an eye over your shoulder on your job too!

Ditto for the 99 faculty members who signed a public letter asking former President Barack Obama to—move his presidential library.

Given the undisputed power of those who control the land acquisition process in the Rahm Emanuel-run City of Chicago, they may as well expect the Rocky Mountains to relinquish their God-given location on Planet Earth.

But sincere kudos to you, Mr. Lipson for having the courage to declare that Mr. Obama is “indulging himself” by building “a monument along the lakefront, where it will have a lot less positive impact than it could have had elsewhere.” (WashingtonTimes, Jan. 9, 2018)

“Grass-roots activists, conservationists and academics on Chicago’s South Side say the Obama Presidential Center, as currently planned, does not do enough to benefit neighborhoods badly in need of economic revitalization. The Obama Foundation rejected a proposed Washington Park site that would have made the center easily accessible through public transportation, opting instead for a lush Jackson Park location that overlooks Lake Michigan.”

As an accomplished political scientist, Charles Lipson would know that this is the one land battle that is destined to go down as the colossal, classic ‘You Can’t Fight City Hall and Win Armageddon Of all Time’.

The mayors of all towns and cities exert heavy influence over their planning departments and the land acquisition process, but nowhere is it quite as obvious as it is in Chicago.

Emanuel, the twice-elected Mayor of Chicago, is Obama’s former chief of staff, and has, from the get-go, been the key public official pushing the lush Jackson Park location for his former boss’s Library.

It was Rahm Emanuel who introduced an ordinance that would allow the transfer of prime parkland in Chicago for the Obama vanity library in the first place.

Emanuel’s the official who will get to slam the final gavel down paving the way for the library’s yoga facility and Michelle’s ‘testing kitchen’.

“Back in his community-organizing days, Barack Obama would have been the one fighting to save historic public parks from developers. Today, the 44th president finds himself on the other side of the underserved communities he once championed.” (Washington Times)

Unfortunately, there’s no “back” in Obama’s “community organizing days” because Obama, the president who put the community organizer industry on the map, is still out there community organizing with no one but 100 members of the U of C faculty trying to curb his over-the-top ambitions.

“A spokesperson for the Obama Foundation said the center has earned the support of “thousands of people in our community and across the city who have weighed in at public meetings, online, and in residential meetings around the area. (Washington Times)

“The center will “bring upwards of 760,000 people to the South Side every year” and “strengthen the economic climate in the region.”

“While we don’t expect everyone to agree with every element of the plan, we look forward to working with people across the community and the city to make the most of the opportunity to create a global destination that will showcase the South Side to the world,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Despite such claims, a coalition of eight community groups on the South Side is demanding the Obama Foundation sign an agreement guaranteeing neighborhood involvement in the development and maintenance of the Obama Center.

“The Obama Library South Side Community Benefits Agreement Coalition says “low-income, working-, and middle-class communities” will be “directly impacted by the development of the Obama Presidential Center.”

“The coalition wants the Obama Foundation to provide job-training programs for local residents, support minority-owned business development, improvements to neighborhood schools and affordable housing and property tax relief for longtime residents.



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“Member groups include the Black Youth Project 100, the Bronzeville Regional Collective and Southside Together Organizing for Power.

“The Obama Presidential Center is being financed with private contributions, but the center was initially sold to the public as Mr. Obama’s presidential library, which would have been administered by the federal National Archives.

“Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit, said the Chicago park system is the only one outside of New York designed by Olmsted and Vaux, and is “terribly important as a designed park system.”

“We remain steadfast in our opposition to the confiscation of any of the parkland designed by Olmsted and Vaux,” Mr. Birnbaum said.

“Mr. Lipson said the dispute over the center, like the objects and exhibits it will house, is a “deeply, personally revealing” reflection of the 44th president.

“It won’t be a disaster,” he said. “It really won’t. But it would have been so much better if the president had had the courage of his convictions to try to actually revitalize a neighborhood that needs it. To take a little off of what he could get for himself.”


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“The ultimate responsibility lies withthe president and First Lady themselves. When they announced the decision and ended the charade of keeping their distance from the site selection process, they cited, of course, their deep attachment to the South Side of Chicago. This part of the city makes perfect sense for the Obama library for many reasons. But if the Obamas are so rooted on the South Side, you’d think they wouldn’t be quite so indifferent to the gravity of developing part of its most important park, which, for reasons that don’t require much explanation, is,or was, indeed sacred.” (RAHM EMANUEL’S GIVEAWAY, May 14, 2015)

Meanwhile, there’s nothing “sacred” when it comes to Obama flouting his ego with a $1billion library, and no such word as “confiscate” in the lexicon of community organizers.

But should the University of Chicago 100-member faculty win the Obama Library parkland grab, there will be no more truth in the expression: “You can’t fight city hall and win”.

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh,, Drudge Report,

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