We support OPC and our parks

To the Editor:

We note with interest that former President Obama recently felt the need to drop into Hyde Park to visit with some of his core local supporters and try to reassure them that progress on the Obama Presidential Center was on track – with only a few obstacles. As president of Preserve Our Parks, a plaintiff in the lawsuit that is one of those “few obstacles,” let me make clear that POP has always supported an Obama Center located on Chicago’s South Side, but is committed to faithfully respecting and complying with the many state and national laws enacted to protect dedicated public parks and preserving the unique distinction of specific locations with historic value. It’s called the rule of law.

The key issue in dispute is the City and Park District trying to locate that proposed OPC in the legally protected and world renowned historic Jackson Park. Had the University of Chicago, former President Obama, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel only made a more sensitive and less controversial choice for the location of this OPC no one would have had grounds to oppose such a project, and construction without doing irreparable harm to the historic public park (like clear cutting ancient trees in the park), and with universal support, the project would already be well under way. Now is the time for a right location decision to be made.

Herbert Caplan
President
Protect Our Parks