Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

In all the puffery and agitprop employed by Mayor Emanuel, and sprinkled like powdered sugar in the amended ordinance adopted by City Council on Halloween, Oct. 31, to promote the construction of an Obama Center in historic and nationally landmarked Jackson Park, as proponents they have chosen to ignore two fundamental facts and mandates of the law: (1) Jackson Park is dedicated public park land and is owned and held in trust for the benefit of all the residents and taxpayers of Chicago and Illinois; and (2) the ownership interest of the taxpayers in the public parks cannot be summarily taken without “just compensation” and “due process of law.” The City has lost its voice and plays dumb on the critical Constitutional issues but this has all been detailed in the Complaint now pending for trial in federal court, the first step to obtaining a far reaching Supreme Court decision.

The acts of the mayor and his rubber stamp City Council have been arbitrary, deceptive by design, without court sanction, and objectively do not meet even minimum requirements of  “due process of law”. Pronouncements of the mayor are not law.

The decision of the mayor’s rubber stamp Park District Commissioners to one day at his direction blithely agree to violate the controlling laws, their oath of office, and their sworn duties to act as trustees to the public owners of landmarked Jackson Park are  blatant denials of “due process of law”.

Fortunately, there are courts to protect the public and correct the erroneous acts of imperial local governments, and that has resulted in the pending civil right action filed in district court on behalf of the residents, citizens and taxpayers of Chicago and Illinois – the citizens that the mayor, City Council and Park District are each pledged to serve, but whom these defendants have chosen to treat instead as if everyone is no more than a dumb feudal vassal. The Supreme Court is unlikely to have the same opinion of constitutional rights.


Herb Caplan
Protect Our Parks