To the Editor:
We are dismayed by the decision of the Logan Foundation to contribute $100,000 to allow a small advocacy group to pursue a lawsuit opposing the Obama Presidential Center. The donation may have been well intended, but the Logan Foundation, run by a North Side family, clearly does not understand the South Side, its repugnant history of redlining, and the racial quagmire into which it has unwittingly wandered. If their staff were to venture into the South Side neighborhoods and talk to residents, they would learn that the people who live there are supportive of positive change and are not fooled by the arguments that a tiny corner of Jackson Park surrounded by high-traffic roads – 3.5% of the park’s total area – be preserved, as is, at all costs.
The Obama Foundation seeks to spend a billion dollars supporting once-in-lifetime opportunities for young people. (Read its mission at: https://www.obama.org/mission/.) The Logan Foundation’s money will be used to block those efforts by supporting a sleazy lawsuit that echoes the South Side’s sad history. A decision on the case is expected in May. We can only assume that the need for on-going funding at this stage means that supporters of the suit expect to lose and that their tactic going forward is continuous appeals that wear down the City, stymie the building of the OPC indefinitely, and undermine the first major investment in South Side communities for decades.
There are countless ways the Logan money could be creatively used to make our city a better place for all. Here are a few examples of how other donations of $100,000 have been used towards a positive end:
$100k could pay for construction job training, transportation to job sites, tool sets and work gear: https://ccdi.org/donate-chicago/
Alpha Kappa Alpha donated $100k to Chicago State: https://www.essence.com/news/alpha-kappa-alpha-sorority-donates-100000-to-chicago-state-university/
Boeing donated $100k to YMCA Urban Warrior Program, which helps victims of gun violence and trauma in Chicago:
We have to ask: if supporters of the lawsuit and opponents of the Jackson Park site care so passionately about its preservation then why, during the many decades of its decay, did they not actively work to maintain something they suddenly purport to care about so much? Instead, it has been largely inaccessible and ignored. The Logan Foundation claims its donation supports the intent of Fredrick Law Olmsted, the creator of Jackson Park. We are just glad that Olmsted has not been around to witness the demise of his creation and the cynical efforts now being employed in his name to keep out the very people his park was intended to serve. Shame! Respectfully,
Judith McCue; Erin Adams; Kineret Jaffe;
Liz Moyer; Alisa Starks;