Well, this is embarrassing. Faculty members at the University of Chicago – where Barack Obama taught for more than a decade – are protesting the proposed location of the Obama Presidential Center across from the university’s campus, calling it “socially regressive.”
More than 100 faculty members have signed a letter asking the Obama Foundation to move the library to a new location. According to the professors, the current proposed location will not provide the “promised development or economic benefits” to the surrounding neighborhoods and could cost more than $100 million in state funds.
Gee, Obama breaking promises? That sounds familiar.
— Crain’s Chicago (@CrainsChicago) January 8, 2018
The proposed Obama Center will sit on the shore of Lake Michigan, next to the Museum of Science and Industry and across the street from the University of Chicago campus. Notably, it will steal large swaths of land from two historic parks, including 21 acres from Jackson Park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places – highly ironic considering Obama’s pension for stealing private land to convert to national parks. Construction of the center – which for some reason will feature a test kitchen – will also force the closure of Cornell Avenue, a major South Side thoroughfare, leading the professors to deem the project a “traffic jam in the making.”
The limited leftover land will also leave no room for economic development. “There is no available adjacent land in which to start a new business, set up a new café or restaurant, [or] bring another cultural center to the neighborhood,” the professors write, adding that the only new jobs created by the library “will be staff to the Obama Center.”
Obama running people out of business in order to do something in honor of himself? Gee, that sounds familiar too.
And, of course, the Obama Foundation doesn’t care one bit about the professors’ concerns. “While we don’t expect everyone to agree with every element of the plan, we look forward to working with people across the community and the city to make the most of the opportunity to create a global destination that will showcase the South Side to the world,” a Foundation spokesperson said in a statement.
Obama might not be president anymore, but he’s still up to his same old self-aggrandizing tricks.
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