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Chicago Moves Forward Legislation on Obama Presidential Center

The former president's Obama Presidential Center, to be constructed in Chicago's Jackson Park, has faced opposition from nearby residents concerned about its effects on the area.
October 12, 2018, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Jonah Anderson

A committee of Chicago's City Council has approved an agreement laying out how the Obama Foundation can use its Jackson Park site. Lolly Bowean reports, "for the first time, the committee revealed language in the legislation that seeks to protect current homeowners and residents who live closest to the selected site. As part of their agreement, which the panel approved unanimously, the city will monitor property values and other indicators of demographic changes near the center site. If there are dramatic changes, the city will implement measures to keep residents in their homes [...]"

The legislation, however, does not stipulate the exact nature of those measures. Some residents, who have advocated for a community benefits agreement with the Obama Foundation, are "unsatisfied." The full City Council will vote on the agreement on Oct. 31.

Community activists have waged various campaigns to influence the direction of the future Presidential Center. "The new language about property values was the latest in a series of steps the Obama Foundation and city officials have taken to address concerns related to the $500 million development. In January, the foundation scrapped plans for an aboveground parking garage after some community activists opposed it."

See also: First Look at the Future Obama Presidential Center

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Published on Thursday, October 11, 2018 in The Chicago Tribune
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