The Friends of the Parks in their most recent newsletter said the debate regarding the Obama Presidential Center is “getting ugly,” the newsletter cited articles that were published in the Herald and other newspapers last week that discuss current issues revolving the Obama Center including activists that are calling for a CBA and a local south side community group that has filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Chicago Park District for withholding documents.
“We are thrilled that so many more voices are weighing in about the various challenges associated with using a historic public park for a presidential center and with problems with the process,” said Friends of the Parks in the newsletter.
Friends of the Parks also maintains its position that the Obama Center would be better suited for Washington Park as opposed to Jackson Park.
“For Friends of the Parks, whether one loves Obama or not or whether one values economic development is not the issue here. One can simultaneously desire to see Obama’s legacy honored and African-Americans on Chicago’s long-disinvested South Side benefit from economic development. In fact, locating the Obama Presidential Center on vacant land across the street from Washington Park-as we’ve suggested all along-would both eliminate controversy about Obama’s legacy, as one who did a lot to protect public lands during his presidency, and bring the touted economic benefits to Chicago’s south side.”