Statement of support.
On April 14th, 2021, Protect our Parks and a group of 5 individuals filed suit here in Chicago seeking to stop construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. This is the second lawsuit against the OPC filed by Protect our Parks. This time, they claim the years-long federal regulatory review of the OPC was improperly done as the government did not consider the possibility of building the Center elsewhere. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Chicago and the country are dealing with so many challenges at this time. We have a public health crisis, a reckoning on race, economic challenges, and inequities that have plagued our community for decades. We need additional resources in our city to invest in our children and create more opportunities for promise and possibility. The Obama Presidential Center and its planned programs and amenities is an important step in that direction providing much needed safe, positive, spaces for our youth and our families. This lawsuit threatens to further delay, and even prevent, construction of the OPC and the vital community resources it will bring such as the educational programming, Chicago Public Library, and increased greenspace. Not to mention the new track & field in Jackson Park which could be ready as soon as this summer! We cannot afford another delay. We need your help. Voice your support for the Obama Presidential Center now.
If you agree that construction should continue without delay, please add your support on this page. Below, please enter your name (first and last), your contact info (email) and neighborhood. Then, please add your support in the statement field, along with the reasons why you support the center. This will help us defend against this additional attempt at delaying the construction of the OPC. The information and statement of support that you provide (including your name and neighborhood) may be used to support the OPC in its litigation against Protect Our Parks and the other plaintiffs.
Anyone is welcome to submit your statement here but if you are on the west or north side of Chicago, consider adding your name to the Hope Coalition's Statement of Support page. Please only submit to one site though!
Kineret Jaffe, Hyde Park/Kenwood
As a long-time Southsider, I am thrilled that the Obamas have chosen Jackson Park for the OPC, and I am very frustrated and disheartened that there are still those who would seek to prevent its construction. At a time when many on the South Side—and indeed throughout the city and the country—feel that their needs and aspirations have been ignored for too long, the Obamas selected this site because the park and its neighbors will benefit tremendously from this investment. After attending countless community meetings and participating in the thorough and lengthy Section 106 Review process, I do not understand how the plaintiffs can argue that the review process was flawed and reached “faulty conclusions.” Further, their argument that Olmsted’s “basic conception has been continuously maintained since the park’s founding” is derisible. Not only have there been vast changes in JP since 1871, but returning a highway to parkland would be something Olmsted himself would celebrate.
Tonya Trice, South Shore
On behalf of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, we are in full support of the Obama Presidential Center being constructed in Jackson Park. The surrounding communities have suffered from disinvestment, high unemployment rates and little to no support from banking institutions for much needed capital for home loans and small businesses. The OPC promises to be the catalyst for investment. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity and the groups that oppose the OPC community to Jackson Park are not the right voices to represent our communities.
Mary Anton, Hyde Park
I support the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, and have been a consulting party to the Section 106 review from its inception. At every stage, team members transparently explained the process, listened, and encouraged our active input. What is described in the POP law suit is a very different interpretation of the process, its factual findings, and the legitimacy of decisions based on my experience and that of most participants. The thoughtful planning and designed use of about 20 acres of the 560 acres of Jackson Park harms neither its ecological or historic features. If anything, it highlights a key tenet of Olmsted’s design ethic: he designed parks to improve the lives of people and meet their changing needs for recreation, culture and leisure in a natural setting. I find it impossible to understand what POP thinks it is protecting in bringing its suit. It is certainly not to the long-term benefit of Jackson Park or Chicago’s children and families.
Alisa Starks, South Shore
I support the location of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park as well as the process and findings of the Section 106 Review. Having lived in South Shore nearly all my life, I have personally witnessed “white flight” in the 1960s and 1970s and the resulting decades of disinvestment. The Obama Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to preserving the historic significance of Jackson Park while helping to revitalize three surrounding neighborhoods – South Shore, Woodlawn, and Washington Park. The organization is seeking racial equity, inclusiveness, justice, and real democracy for local Black residents. On the other hand, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit trying to delay the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park are making frivolous claims in a desperate effort to maintain a status quo that ignores the health, welfare and desires of a vast majority of area residents.
Don Nash Park Advisory Council, South Shore
The members of Don Nash Park Advisory Council represent the voices of a vast majority of South Shore residents who support the location of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. We are anxiously awaiting the opening of the Obama Presidential Center and the positive impact it will have on Jackson Park and the communities surrounding it. For decades, our residents have had to endure the deteriorating conditions in Jackson Park and the lack of investment in South Shore, Woodlawn, and Washington Park. With private funds generated by the Obama Foundation and public funding, the park and nearby roadways will get major upgrades with no negative impact on Jackson Park or Frederick Olmsted’s legacy. A new landmark will sit inside a historic park and be more connected to neighboring residents than ever before. And finally, after decades of neglect, there will be positive redevelopment of the areas surrounding Jackson Park. -Alisa Starks, President, Don Nash Park Advisory Council
Farah Tunks, Woodlawn
I highly favor and support the OPC in Jackson Park! It will be an amazing opportunity for the communities, citizens and children and families! Jackson Park is amazing and I frequent daily!
Ahmad Starks, Jackson Park Highlands
I am a big supporter of the OPC!
Zenobia Johnson-Black and Timuel Black, Kenwood
We enthusiastically support the OPC in Jackson Park. It will bring jobs and tourism dollars to the south side. Let's break ground!
Michael Kelley, Jackson Park Highlands
The benefits of the OPC will far outweigh any perceived negative impact to the park. Enough already with the delays.
Sofia Anastopoulos, Jackson Park Highlands
We wholeheartedly support the Obama Presidential Center. It will go far to create a museum campus on the Southside- similar to the one centrally located. The Obama PC deserves to be a jewel on the south side and the south side deserves the jewel that the OPC promises to be. We have long been ignored for development, economic investment and growth, and, simply, civic attention. The OPC keeps with the intention of Frederick Law Olmstead- a living park. Further, that people who do not live in the community and likely have no interest in the development continue to weigh in by filing frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit that serve to delay this very important project is offensive, if not, blatantly, racist. Please allow this important, community changing, much wanted project to go forward uninterrupted.
Charlotte Denise Taylor Powers, South Shore
I am in support of the Obama library in my neighborhood. I think it will revitalize the neighborhood and bring in jobs and infrastructure and a wonderful place for tourists and locals to visit. I think that the groundbreaking is overdue and hope that this project will begin soon.
Larry Orr, South Shore
I’m hoping ground breaking presumes the area needs this Chicago needs this jobs culture to name a few
Monica Mitchell, South Shore
I wholeheartedly support the OPC project. As a homeowner in the area for 21 years, I have seen no progress whatsoever. Only increased violence and lack of attention to the area. The OPC would bring positive attention and commerce and a sense of pride in revitalization to the area.
Azusena Olaguez, South Shore
I support the OPC!
Antonio Davis, Washington Park
I support center because it will bring much need support to the surrounding neighborhoods also the center being there will bring hope and safe space for the youth of Chicago
Brandon Phillips, Jackson Park Highlands
My household fully supports the Obama Presidential Center as a beacon of hope & positivity for Chicago's South Side.
Kevin Considine, Woodlawn
My family has lived in Woodlawn for 13 years. We strongly support the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. For the community, It will be a point of pride, a city-wide attraction, a job creator, and a space for the community to come together. For those of us who live nearby, it will provide opportunities for education, recreation, and employment. Please do not delay. Please begin construction as soon as possible.
Nancy Fritz, Jackson Park Highlands
As a resident of Hyde Park--and then the Jackson Park Highlands--for the last 30 years, I am enthusiastically supportive of the Obama Presidential Center. Living here, I have witnessed firsthand the economic and safety issues that have challenged both the South Shore and Woodlawn communities. I believe by bringing jobs and visitors to the community, the Center will have a strong positive impact on both of these issues. Additionally, the Center--which will be built on beautiful but underused and somewhat neglected parkland--will be able to provide important cultural and historical perspectives for vastly greater numbers of visitors than it currently does in this lovely and historical spot.
Jeannette Jones, Jackson Park Highlands
I support the OPC and all of the wonderful opportunities it will bring to the South Side of Chicago!
Aparna Bapu, Edison Park
I fully support the Obama Presidential Center. It’s design is sensitive to being in a historic park while creating a legacy to our first African American president. The Obamas want to make lasting improvements to the south side and this is a huge investment in it. Why the same people continue to protest this is beyond me.
Russell Johnson Cochran, Jackson Park Highlands
I unconditionally support the Obama Presidential Center will enhance the city of Chicago and the south side in particular. The OPC can only improve the culture of the city of Chicago.
Victoria O. Ritchie Cochran, Jackson Park Highlands
I am a supporter of the OPC! The OPC will be a welcome addition to Jackson Park.
Beatrice Ritchie, Kenwood
I support the OPC! I can hardly wait to visit.
Louise McCurry, Hyde Park
The Obama Center in Jackson Park will provide a visible symbol for our diverse community of hope and revitalization. We need the completion of our track and field for our children with no further lawsuit delays. The construction of the OBAMA Center will provide needed jobs and job training in this post covid economy. This includes well paid jobs in construction for women. The OPC will provide a new public library, a new ADA accessible playground, a media center , and a multipurpose gymnasium for our children. The Obama Center will provide ADA accessible paths , community meeting space, public restrooms, and a community outdoor area for our beloved community concerts and special events like our flower sales. The OBAMA Center will provide multiple outdoor gardens, increased green park space and hundreds of new trees in our park. The Obama Center is located in Woodlawn whose citizens will directly benefit from all of these resources. I support the OBAMA Center in Jackson Park.
Micah Prochaska, Hyde Park
We fully support the OPC in Jackson Park. Please do not delay this any longer.
Lindsey B Strieter, Hyde Park
I’m outraged by the pushback to bring a place of community building at a time like this! More than ever the south side of Chicago needs a bright spot that can bring other businesses. I was hoping my children could enjoy this center but the delays are causing me to think it will not be for my children. But hopefully we will not be taking this building of hope away from other children.
Julie Shelton, Hyde Park
I fully support the OPC in Jackson Park!. I am looking forward to sharing our beautiful neighborhood and lake front with visitors from around the world. I am also looking forward to walking over myself and taking advantage of the wonderful resources it will bring to Chicago. I hope groundbreaking will move forward without further delay.
Betty Odom, Jackson Park Highlands
I very much support the OPC. The Center will enhance my already Historic community as well as the WHOLE City of Chicago. NOT just the South side. Five people have no right to determine the future of My Neighborhood.
Kennise M Herring, Jackson Park Highlands
I am an ardent proponent of the Obama Presidential Center being located in Jackson Park. The center will be a wonderful asset to a neighborhood devoid of family resources. The proposed setting for the center offers a free destination to many families who can’t afford the pricey ticket of the MSI. The public library and activities park will ENHANCE this underutilized part of Jackson Park. Those of us who walk daily by the park will have the aesthetically pleasing OPC as a compliment to the parkland. Frankly there is nothing lovely about the space as it stands now. My neighborhood has not had ANY uplifting and inspiring development in the 35 years that I have resided here. I long to take my grandchildren to the OPC and sincerely hope to work as a docent at the OPC— a place I can easily walk to from my home. The OPC in this location will be a point of pride for a neighborhood that is overlooked and under valued. Lastly it feels mean spirited that POP has persisted with this effort.
LaTisha White, Jackson Park Highlands
I am life long Chicago resident and I also attended Hyde Park Career Academy, and I support the Obama Library/Center. It is time to do more the enhance the South Side of Chicago. The Obama Center will be a positive undertone to the South Side where now when one thinks of the South Side they think of crime. The Obama Center will provide jobs, when finished, a place for all to enjoy and bring pride to the residents of the South Side. The time is now. Please allow the Obama Center to be built. Invest in the South Side.
Jameera Jackson-Reyes, South Shore
My husband and I fully support OPC's arrival to Jackson Park. When I first moved to Chicago in 2012, I lived in South Shore. I met my now-husband here. We have bought our first home here. I have read the history of this neighborhood and desire to see it return to it's former opulence, with keeping the current residents in mind. South Shore and Woodlawn residents need this economic investment. Like any neighborhood, the needs should no longer be ignored due to a select few and their deleterious ulterior motives.
Angela Barnes, Jackson Park Highlands
I have lived on the south side of Chicago for over 40 years. I wholeheartedly support the Obama Presidential Center. As someone who has enjoyed the south side lakefront and the parks my entire life, I know that the OPC will be an amazing addition. Our community has long been intentionally ignored and has suffered from economic disinvestment and a lack of meaningful development. The Obama Presidential Center promises to be a catalyst that changes the trajectory of Chicago's south side. Please allow this important, community changing, much wanted project to go forward uninterrupted by people who should not be allowed to speak on our behalf.
Joan A Walker, South Shore
I support the location of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson. My family moved to South Shore in 1967, and we’ve watched it change in so many ways. We too, witnessed “white flight” in the 1960s and 1970s and the resulting decades of disinvestment. I believe that the Obama Foundation will revitalize South Shore, Woodlawn, and Washington Park. I’m more than ready for South Shore to receive the same benefits that other parts of Chicago seem to get so often. It is so disheartened that others would fight against it; but not surprised.
Susan Art, Hyde Park
After a long and careful review the OPC has now be cleared for construction in Jackson Park. It is beyond frustrating that a small group of people continue to attempt to block this through litigation. The OPC is well conceived as a vehicle for uplifting the surrounding neighborhoods and it will make a distinctive contribution to the culture of the south side. The siting is well thought through, and the OPC should make the park more attractive to visitors--from Chicago and elsewhere. I walk in Jackson Park regularly (at least once a week) and cannot see how the siting of the OPC will denigrate the areas just south of the MSI (Wooded Isle and Bobolink Trail) which provide such a rich support to nature. In fact, the opportunity to share the variety of birds with others enhances Jackson Park as the home of the OPC. It is past time to move forward with this project.
Marie Randazzo, Woodlawn
I wholeheartedly support the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Our beloved South Side lakefront has few amenities and institutions in contrast to all the wonderful cultural venues on the North Side lakefront; home to the Lincoln Park Zoo, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, etc., etc. I vehemently oppose the actions of the POP to stop construction of a much needed anchor that will serve to draw interest, investment and most importantly jobs for people in the surrounding neighborhoods. I beg the courts to dismiss the lawsuit immediately and allow groundbreaking to begin as planned. The frivolous lawsuits have delayed this much needed asset for our community for far too long already.
Al DeBonnett, Jackson Park Golf & Community Leadership Council
As a resident and chair of a community leadership council representing thousands of South Shore, Woodlawn, Hyde Park businesses, educational institutions, social services organizations, homeowner associations, Jackson Park recreation leagues and community residential groups that surround/patronize Jackson Park, I have attended more than 100+ community meetings, symposiums, presentations, 5th Ward meetings, Chicago Park District, Obama Foundation community forums and stakeholder membership meetings. There is overwhelming and unanimous community stakeholder support for the OPC and the long overdue investment needed within the community. As a result of President and Mrs. Obama's decision to invest in the south side of Chicago's Jackson Park, we will be able to restore a more than 122 year old golf course, in much need of repair. This enables greater community access to golf-related jobs, youth programs and makes the course (&Jackson Park) compliant with The Americans with Disability Act.
Timothy Maynie, South Shore
I strongly support the location if the OPC in Jackson Park. Giving us a museum south campus is a once in a lifetime opportunity that our neighborhood needs. I was raised in SS and bought my home in SS because it is a wonderful community. During that time, I have witness a flourishing community be decimated by lack of investment. I understand people fear change, but change is desperately needed. Jackson Park is severely underutilized. Bringing the OPC would breathe new life into and ignite more investments both inside and around the park.
Patricia Pike, South Shore-Highlands
We need the Obama Center in our neighborhood. It would upgrade the park for many of the trees are old and several fall after storms. It would give our Black youth a sense of pride and it would be in close proximity for them to stay connected to a positive venue that would help their sense of esteem and pride.
Paul Crutchfield, Jackson Park Highlands
I am and have been from the beginning in total support of the Oboma Center. It will provide an economic engine on the south side that greatly needs it.
Candace Prochaska, Hyde Park
We support the OPC in Jackson Park. Please move this forward. We are weary of the endless use of the legal system to delay and threaten hope and good in our community.
Polly Ellison, Jackson Park Highlands
From the beginning the OPC sought community input. There was a thorough review, the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods had the opportunity to express their points of view and concerns, and the residents decided that they want the OPC in Jackson Park. This lawsuit brought by the POP is a slap in the face to the residents of the area who decided long ago that Jackson Park is the perfect location for the OPC. The OPC will bring much needed jobs, economic growth, larger green space, a library, internship opportunities, etc. to the residents of the surrounding communities, and most importantly a sense of pride to the Southside. I wholeheartedly support the OPC being in Jackson Park.
Stanislaus A Gonsalves, Woodlawn
My family and I moved to Woodlawn because of our affiliation with the University of Chicago. We are enthusiastic supporters of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) because of the potential for development and revitalization the OPC offers to the South Side of Chicago. We view the OPC as a catalyst for the initiation of a much needed Renaissance for an area of the city desperately in need of one.
Keith Green, South Shore North
I am in full support for the Obama Presidential Center. The South Side, South Shore Neighborhood and the City of Chicago needs this major development in our city. This achievement will spark community pride, culture, jobs and employment opportunities which is much needed at this time in our community!
Alfonzo Howard, Woodlawn
I recently purchased my first property in the Woodlawn area which is just minutes from Jackson Park. I have gotten familiar with the amenities available, even made connections with those that also live in this community. The development of the OPC was one of the main reasons I wanted to live in this area to be close to history and a resource that my family and I are very much so looking forward to. This center is something the southside absolutely needs, bringing more economic support to the area.
John Ellison, South Shore
I support the OPC in Jackson Park as proposed and supported by the people in these neighborhood areas. The OPC will bring much needed development to the area and showcase the wonderful resources of Jackson Park. This area needs to boost, and the job and opportunities the center will bring. The neighboring areas overwhelmingly support the OPC. We need construction to begin and for these lawsuits to stop.
Blair Malone, Jackson Park Highlands
My family and I are in full support of the OPC. Many of the complaints including lawsuits to stop the progress of the center are coming from people who do not even live in the area. If you live in Logan Square, Lincoln Park, etc., use your time wisely and focus your efforts on your immediate neighborhoods that need assistance. You cannot and will not stop the OPC from coming to fruition. The south side and surrounding neighborhoods need this revitalization.
Russell Pike, South Shore-Highlands
The OPC will provide additional parkland, a more safe environment for visitors and residents, and a positive inspiration to the community and our youth!
Jim Holzhauer, Hyde Park
I strongly support construction of the Obama Presidential Center at the Jackson Park location. The misguided and abusively repetitive litigation to block the OPC has delayed work on what will become a centerpiece of the South Side, bringing jobs, other economic benefits and pride to our communities. It is time to move ahead.
Tasha Levy, Jackson Park Highlands
As a neighbor to the OPC, I completely support the Obama Presidential Center's development in Jackson Park as I believe it will have a positive impact on the surrounding communities and the city overall.
Barbara Risman, University Village (UIC)
This project will begin to invest resources in the South side that are desperately needed as it is economically far less vibrant the north side. This kind of project is long overdue.
Evelyn Currie,MD, South Shore
I’m in support of the Obama Center. It will be a great asset to the neighborhood
Luthetis S Carey, South Shore
I have lived in South Shore for over 25 years and have witnessed white flight and disinvestment in our community. The Obama Center is going to bring businesses, amenities and jobs which are so desperately needed. These frivolous lawsuits by persons who do not live in our community and have no vested interest is yet just another example of blatant racism and efforts of some individuals to dictate what we, the residents, want in our community.
Vanessa Gonzalez, Woodlawn
I support the building of the Obama Library. It will be great for our community and children.
Tess Branklin, South Shore
As a homeowner of the South Shore neighborhood, I am in full support of the Obama Presidential Center. This will bring new opportunity and resources to the area.
Karen Shyne, Washington Park
I live in Washington Park and initially hoped our area would be chosen by the OPC. When they chose Jackson Park, I said to myself at least they will be on the south side in Chicago. I will support this effort because it is important that the first African-American president from the south side of Chicago wants to build his presidential center here and it's also a matter of pride for its citizens and economically necessary.
Joel Roth, Hyde Park
It's time to stop the lawsuits and proceed with the construction. The Obama center will be a wonderful asset for our south side neighborhoods.
Aaron Rodgers, West Town
As a long time employee at Hyde Park Art Center, I am really excited to welcome the OPC to the neighborhood. It will certainly serve as an anchor institution, boosting all cultural organizations in the area, including the Art Center. I know the Art Center and OPC will support and complement each other beautifully. Let's break ground and bring this world-class institution to the South Side!
Donna M Strickland, South Shore
I am in full support of OPC. This is a wonderful opportunity for a neighborhood that has been sorely neglected for years
Linda Y Tartof, Hyde Park
I feel this Center will be a wonderful addition to our neighborhood, and to the world. We need it here, in Jackson Park, where it will form a link in the "necklace" of MSI, and the DuSable Museum. As a birder, I know the location will not disrupt bird traffic, and (as long as they use bird proof glass) will not cause damage. I use Jackson Park all the time, walking and observing, and this will only add, not subtract, as it is far enough from both the Lakefront and the rest of Jackson Park.
Hubert Thompson, Jackson Park Highlands
For 40 of the past 42 years, I have lived in the greater South Shore neighborhood. I have loved living close to the Lake and close to the golf course. I have not loved living in a food, restaurant and entertainment dessert. I have been excited about the Obama Presidential Center since the Obamas first announced that it would be located on Chicago's Southside. The potential economic development promises to bring long delayed amenities to South Shore and the broader Southside. I am appalled that a small group of persons who are mostly strangers to our neighborhood have taken it upon themselves to attempt to block the OPC. Every major museum in Chicago is located in a Chicago park. There is no justification for the OPC not being located in Jackson Park. It is long past time for the OPC to break ground and begin construction so that our neighborhood can boast the same level of amenities that are found in other parts of Chicago.
Nita Knowles, South Shore
I support the building of the Obama Presidential Library in my neighborhood.
Sharon Sessoms, South Shore Jackson Park Highlands
I support locating the Obama Library in Jackson Park. This is an ideal spot for the Presidential Library. There is easy access via Lake Shore Drive for tourists and locals. It would be situated near other venues such as the JP Golf course and Museum of Science and Inustry and Soldier Field to maximize the visit experience. This Library would be in keeping with Daniel Burnham's intent of having a lakefront that can be enjoyed by the residents and their families for walking, biking, visiting and learning. Currently the underdeveloped and unkempt land serves birds not people. Let the Friends of the Park move the wild unkempt grasslands to Wilmette and Winnetka.
Kathy Abbott, Brighton Park
I am in support the OPC in Jackson Park! This will be a wonderful addition to Chicago and I am looking forward to going there. While I do not live in Jackson Park, I spend a lot of time there. Also, my grandfather went to U of C and my mother has memories of time at the park. So I feel an historical connection to the area.
Stephen Ahlgrim, South Shore
I stand with the vast majority of South Shore, Woodlawn, and Hyde Park residents in support of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Constructing the OPC in Jackson Park, between the MSI and the Stony Island Arts Bank, will create a cultural and educational institution backbone on the South Side, enriching the lives of its residents. The Presidential Center, at its current location, will inject investment into Jackson Park for sorely needed repairs and maintenance. Beyond that, the OPC will be an institutional anchor, from which long-term jobs and entrepreneurship will grow and remain on the south side. POP and a small handful of individuals have hamstrung what should be a momentous celebration for south side Chicago on little more than technicalities. The POP arguments are in bad faith, and serve unwittingly as a testament to the Obama legacy: that this president has always had to work more, and fight harder to achieve victory his people. Bring it home.
Gary M. Ossewaarde, Hyde Park
I have lived one block from Jackson Park for nearly fifty years and nearly half that long as an officer of its PAC (JPAC). I have been actively involved in the proper reviews of the proposed Obama Presidential Center (OPC) and Jackson Park South Lakefront Framework Plan. I note JPAC’s strong support of the projects, reviews, and MOA. The public benefits are enormous and fit well with the spirit of the park’s design. Negative effects are mitigated or become improvements- including with historic restorations and interpretations and recreation. Taken is just small , less productive part of the park. Public trust is not violated- that does not in any case dictate “no change” but good stewardship. Direct and opportunity losses, including to youth would be enormous if a small group can continously sue when they don't get their way.
Stacey Rustin, Hyde Park
I am so excited to have the Obama Foundation Building in my neighborhood. I believe it will attract lots of visitors who will spend money at our local businesses. There will be more jobs and more growth. The Center will allow Hyde Park to become more of a center for politics snd social support. There are plenty of green space areas west and north of us. The lake front has plentiful green space. I think the older generation of Hyde Park does not like change. I am 65 years old and am open to change in Hyde Park.
I support the Obama Presidential Library
Alma Buckner, South Shore
It is an honor that the site for the Obama Library is in Jackson Park. It is a positive for the community by enlarging the museum campus and attracting scholars to the area for academic pursuits. The delays have gone on long enough. This structure, while a deviation from the original plans of Olmsted, does not detract from the natural habitat but adds to it by providing an accessible place for families to gather and actually use the park. Friends of the Park have been obstructionist and need to become friends of the neighborhood. This facility will be a friend to the neighborhood and construction should begin now without further delay.
Shay Purba, South Shore
I strongly support the OPC. As a resident of South Shore, I am excited and hopeful to see the Center employ my neighbors, bring new businesses to the neighborhood, and most importantly, I think, bring hope and support to the area's young people with its facilities. This area needs some hope! The OPC can't come soon enough, in my opinion. Using a small portion of a huge park to bring money, resources and hope to a disinvested area is a win in my book.
Sonya Malunda, Jackson Park Highlands
As a 37-year resident of the South side, I fully support the immediate construction of the OPC. It will provide jobs and park restoration and most important, be a positive venue for community building, youth development, and civics education. We cannot afford another delay.
Samuel Thompson, Jackson Park Highlands
As a lifelong south sider, I wholly support the construction of the Obama Presidential Library. It will funnel much needed resources to an area that desperately needs them, and will be a great source of pride for a community that has been overlooked for far too long.
Namil Choi, Woodlawn
I support OPC and the perpetual legacy it will bring to my neighborhood.
Kathryn Williams, Hyde Park
I moved to Hyde Park in 1980 when my husband accepted a position at the University of Chicago Medical Center. My children were 11 and 7. We had lived down the peninsula from San Francisco while my husband attended Stanford. During summers, my children spent many happy hours in park district programs: swimming, pottery, calligraphy, drama, tennis, etc. I was shocked when I could not find similar programs in the parks in Hyde Park. I could find such park district programs, but not in this neighborhood. I was thrilled to learn that the Obamas had selected Jackson Park as the site of the Presidential Center. I thought, at last, a park for the families of Hyde Park, Jackson Park, South Shore and visitors from everywhere. And not just for a few birdwatchers or nature seekers. Where have these save-the-park folks been for 40 years? I asked one person when was the last time she visited the park. She said “Oh, probably not for 20 years."
Morrow Cleveland, Woodlawn
I fully supports the Obama Presidential Center as a beacon of hope & positivity for Chicago's South Side. . I am quite frustrated that a small group of folks, who do not live in the areas around Jackson Park, have been an impediment to progress for those of us who do live here. IF they truly have "protecting our parks" as their guiding principal, then they are welcome to focus their efforts on litter and disinvestment in the numerous Chicago parks that need attention. Otherwise, please stand aside and stop impeding the better services and cultural opportunities that OPC will afford the communities around Jackson Park.
Santresa Harris, Bronzeville
I’m in support of O.P.C. coming to Jackson Park. Mr and Ms. Obama deserves to have their legacy established here on the south side as desired. I feel Chicago’s South Side would benefit greatly from it. The center would represent both historical and economic growth and would enhance positive growth in our city
Victoria Thompson, Jackson Park Highlands
I was born and raised in the South Shore/Hyde Park area, and I am thrilled at the idea of the OPC coming to our neighborhood. It will provide free educational opportunities for members of the community, a new option for field trips for nearby schools, and a much needed economic boost to our neighborhood. The OPC will enhance the beauty and richness that already exists in our community, and I am a proud supporter of the project.
Arthur John Lockhart, Woodlawn
The south side needs investment more than ever. Let's allow the OPC to begin construction without further frivolous objections.
Kevin Snow, Hyde Park
Bringing the Obama library to Jackson Park is critical to the South Side. It would bring jobs and visitors, and help build a strong South Side community for a generation to come. This must happen!
Edward Lampley, Jackson Park Highlands
I support the Obama Presidential Center! Celebrating a historic Chicagoan , the museum center construction will enhance the parks and enrich the communities opportunities to benefit from them. Let’s move forward, no more delays!
Kenneth Hill, Hyde Park
I believe the OPC will bring much needed economic development to Woodland and South Shore.
Robin Bell, Hyde Park
I fully support the continuation of the building g of the Obama Presidential Center. It will be an asset to the city of Chicago and is long overdue. It is the appropriate location based on obvious reasons and will create jobs, community and pride in our city and former president. Please stop the delays and let's go forward and make this a landmark facility for our youth and our future
Denice Miguest, Jackson Park Highlands
I support the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. I have been a resident of this area for several decades and am disheartened by the deterioration, disinvestment, increased violence and inequity this community has suffered. The new landmark will give the area the revitalization that it needs and that is so long overdue. It will also provide positive economic and cultural opportunities to youth and the community. How ironic it is that POP does not expend the same energy in fighting violence in our city that it expends in fighting the construction of Obama Presidential Center. I, along with other Chicagoans would be so proud to call OPC one of its major landmarks. Allow the construction of Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.
Felicia Reid, Woodlawn
It deserves to be here and it will be employment opportunities as well as revenue growth for the community
Lisa Davis, Avalon Park
We need to change the neighborhoods for the better including bringing in jobs. We want better neighborhoods that serve people that want to stay and thrive in the community. We have blight and some degree of hopelessness in our neighborhoods. I wish people would consider the community of people instead of just nature when making these decisions.
Charles Eubanks, Chatham
I fully supports the Obama Presidential Center. I run a Airbnb in Chatham. It would be a boost to my business and the surrounding areas. I've lived there for 23 years with absolutely no grow in the area. Surely something this big would turn the southside communities in Jewels of the city also.
Rabbi Frederick Reeves, Hyde Park
As a community leader on the south side of Chicago, I know that many people support the construction of the OPC in Jackson Park. I personally also support it because it will be a benefit to our neighborhood, to the south side, and to all of Chicago.
Elaine M Beaudoin, Edgewater
The location of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park is the ideal place. It will attract visitors on a national and global level which will bring significant long term benefits to the South Side. This location will also spread some of Chicago's cultural wealth. I have lived in Chicago my entire life and am extremely supportive of this endeavor. It is time to stop all the "discussions" and move ahead with the ground breaking.
Patricia Rose, Woodlawn
I support the library being in Jackson Park it’s vital for the neighborhood in the community President Obama is from the southside it will bring jobs it will bring a sense of accomplishment. Those of us who live in the area should have a greater say than those outside of the area because we live here and we have seen Years of plenty and years of desperation the library deserves to be in this area it should be
Maretta K Jeuland, Hyde Park
I support the Obama Center in Jackson Park. It is well thought through and will be a benefit to the whole South Side of Chicago. Why is still another law suit happening? It has already been delayed too long!
Joyce Gye, South Shore
I support the Obama Center in Jackson Park. This is an opportunity for those private land owners to come up with an alternative project that will be complimentary and further enhance the City.
Judith S. McCue, Hyde Park
My family and I support 100% the building of the Obama Presidential Center in the currently neglected NW corner of Jackson Park. During the planning process, the Obama Foundation consulted extensively with local residents and community groups who will be most directly affected by the Center. Wherever possible, the Foundation has taken the wishes and concerns of disinvested Southside communities into account. These include not only much needed economic reinvestment, education, training and employment opportunities, but also a beautifully enhanced physical outdoor and indoor space to be enjoyed by all, season round. The environmental enhancements to the area include garden design, careful selection of trees and other vegetation to withstand climate change, a water-saving and reuse scheme, children's play area, and more. These enhancements, along with the reclaiming of the Cornell Drive speedway as parkland, is a model for the future of urban park planning everywhere.
R. Joy Stewart, Edgewater
I support the library being in Jackson Park. This is the community President Obama is from on the southside. This project will stimulate economic development and provide jobs in this community which are desperately needed. This action has been delayed too long. Time to move forward and give President Obama the respect he is due.
Franklin Thompson, Jackson Park Highlands
I am 32 years of age and have lived in South Shore my entire life. Since living here, the most "inspiring" investment/commercial development that's occurred was Magic Johnson's Starbucks that was erected on 71st and Stony Island. At the time, I just knew (unfortunately I genuinely felt this way) that the Starbucks would not last and thus rejected by the community (defaced, damaged, etc..) What happened instead? The community was immediately inspired by it and has embraced that Starbucks for 10+ years. If a Starbucks has the ability to inspire a community, imagine the impact of a presidential library! The OPC would serve as a symbol of hope and inspiration for people of all walks of life. It would attract an international crowd, foster diversity & inclusion and be a safe space for families and children to frequent. It will also serve as a much needed catalyst for more projects/commercial development in a community that desperately needs/deserves it. We need the OPC!!!
Michele M. Thompson, Downtown Chicago
I write to support the placement of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Over the past 40 years I have spent a good deal of time in the area around Jackson Park and have come to believe that the addition of the OPC to this area would be an asset to the surrounding communities. It would attract more economic development to an area of Chicago long neglected and also bring national recognition to this area. Having the OPC with all of the services and amenities that are planned in this location would enhance Jackson Park and make it an even more attractive area for the individuals living nearby and also bring more who live outside the area to the park and recognize what others have said is a treasure to the City of Chicago. Those of us who live in Chicago have had sufficient time to review the plans and know what is intended in building the OPC in this location. I believe that the OPC will be a great asset to the area.
Nolon & Pat Hawkins, South Shore
We have been residents of the South Shore community for 52 years. We have raised our family here and are so very proud to support the Obama Presidential Center and all that comes with it to enhance the community. We look forward to sharing the beautiful landscape of the community with the world.
Aidan Kaplan, Hyde Park
Not only will the OPC bring much needed cultural and economic opportunities for the surrounding area, but it will also make Jackson Park itself a more welcoming place by improving pedestrian infrastructure and adding new amenities that will draw people to the park. Work on the OPC should start as soon as possible!
Kirsten Belzer, Hyde Park
I support the OPC. The park is currently underutilized.
Oscar Worrill El, Byrn Mawr East
BUILD THE OBAMA CENTER. THE OPPOSITION IS A RACIST ORGANIZATION. Organize, Agitate, Educate
I'm 100% in favor of the Obama Center. It will be the booster shot the south side needs
Paraisia Winston, South Shore
I strongly support the OPC in Jackson Park. The beauty of the park will only be enhanced and the surrounding neighborhoods made better. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the south side and I welcome it with open arms.
Adrianna Turner, Hyde Park
As a resident of Chicago's South Side, I am greatly in favor of the development of the Obama Center. This will a service to our community and I implore lawmakers not to stand in the way of such an important and symbolic monument.
Kristy R, Woodlawn
Full support of the Obama Center
Deborah M. Pratt, Hyde Park/Kenwood
A wise man once said,"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for." And we signers of this document are in full support of the OPC and its placement in Jackson Park. This change (transformation) of a small portion (19.3 acres) of Jackson Park (551.52 acres) has the promise to impact positively the surrounding neighborhoods, City of Chicago, and the world. The advantages of its location and the thoughtfulness of the planning process (including adaptations based on community feedback) have been stated eloquently elsewhere. We neighbors have been waiting for the groundbreaking of the OPC and we have the audacity to hope that our waiting will soon be replaced by news that these frivolous lawsuits have ended and that the building and the subsequent support of the neighborhoods has begun. We wait for this positive change.
Katrin Melville, Southshore
I am hoping the OPC will bring some much needed development to the South Side with Jackson Park being an ideal stepping stone for development to grow even further south. The open concept of OPC will allow people from the neighborhood to bring renewed energy and life to Jackson Park.
June Mire, Hyde Park
The OPC has been thoroughly vetted in the NEPA review process and should move forward without delay. The attempt to delay construction of this well-supported community resource distorts the intent of NEPA, which is for federal agencies to publicly air and assess concerns of all stakeholders before reaching a decision. That has been done, and now a small group of well-connected individuals seeks to thwart the collective decision to move forward with the OPC. As a neighbor who supports both Jackson Park and the OPC, I say “Get on with it!”
Iris Mire, Hyde Park
Yes to the OPC!
Meghan Elliott, Hyde Park
Yes to the OPC!
Tracy Raoul, Hyde Park
I am in full support of the Obama Presidential Center choosing the Woodlawn community and Jackson Park as the site for the President's legacy. The Center is creating more green space by expanding the park. I believe it will be an economic boon for the immediate community (Woodlawn) as well as surrounding communities (i.e. South Shore, Hyde Park, Washington Park). Ultimately, I think the entire city will benefit! Some of these communities are long overdue for revitalization, economic stability, public safety, recreational facilities, and more. Why can't the south side of Chicago reap benefits that are provided north of Madison? Why can't we honor the former president by welcoming him and his family back to their home? Why are people so opposed to progress? Why do people think selfishly in the "now" and not selflessly about future generations? I really hope the positives outweigh the negatives!
Tom Hoffer, Hyde Park
I'm fully in support of the OPC in Jackson Park. It promises to be a great boost to Woodlawn and surrounding communities and a valuable resource to Chicago, Illinois, and the US and the world.
Ansel T. Johnson, OD, Blue Island, IL
The development of the Obama Presidential Center is a crucial part and tremendous opportunity for the southside and even the south suburbs. The African American residents and businesses exist and are having many success stories in this demographic area. For our youth to have unlimited vision as to their own possibilities within their neighborhood and easily accessible will have impact on future generations. It is so amazing to me when entities outside the Black Community try to dictate many of the positive projects that the community wishes to go forward. I support this project.
Katharine Lassiter, PhD, South Shore
I support the OPC for several reasons. First, having reviewed the federal documents, I do not see that there will be a significant negative environmental impact. Second, the OPC will increase investment and care for my neighborhood. I work in Hyde Park. I chose to buy a home in South Shore and the city of Chicago because of the OPC. The disparities in this city are disgraceful and downright embarrassing. I’m glad that the OPC stands as one intervention and a way to create more opportunity on the south side.
Maya Hodari, Woodlawn
I fully support the creation of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. It’s a huge opportunity that is sorely overdue! After 60 years of disinvestment and blight in Black Chicago neighborhoods (and all that we've endured), its past time for our families to have access - to touch/view a once-in-a lifetime amenity just blocks from our homes.
I urge you to begin building today a tribute to this country's first Black President, anchoring the OPC in the heart of the Chicago’s southside.
Howard Laten, Jackson Park Highlands
Siting and building the Obama Center in Jackson Park is of great value for several reasons. The site has significance for both President Obama and to the communities south and west of the center and to the park on the east. It will celebrate the cultures of the surrounding communities and help to stabilize and enhance those communities. The plans call for roadway changes that will physically connect the underutilized west side of Jackson Park and the lagoons and newly renovated Wooded Island, and with the Museum of Science and Industry. The Center will enhance the Park and attract more visitors, not downgrade it or make it less accessible.
Charemi A Jones, Woodlawn
The Obama Presidential Center offers an opportunity to add a much needed boost to the economic stability and infrastructure of our neighborhood. Additionally, the historical and cultural impact the center can have on the children in our neighborhood is immeasurable.
Erica Mosely, Woodlawn
The OPC will help to usher in the progress that Woodlawn has been patiently waiting on for decades. It's time to make Chicago's southside great again! Come on OPC! We need you!
Lorne G., Woodlawn
I support the construction of the OPC to stimulate educational and economic growth in the Jackson Park and Woodlawn communities. I believe it is important to document the presidential administration of Barack Obama and the communities that were instrumental to his ascension to president. More importantly, the impact the OPC will have on the lives of residents, enhancing educational pursuit, creative aspirations and generational wealth.
Amanda Scaletta, Kenwood
We are so excited to have a presidential library within walking distance of our house! We have found other presidential libraries to be very educational and have high hopes for the Obama Library. What a great draw for people across the country to come and see what the south side of Chicago has to offer, as well as an opportunity to create new jobs and support our local communities.
Arthur M. Burton, Avalon Park
This project is to important not to have all of our community leaders backing it. I encourage everyone to express their support in this history making event that will continue to develop and sustain our neighborhoods.
Yvonne Jones, South Shore North
As planned, the OPC will be a cultural, historical, and economic asset to the city of Chicago and the Woodlawn and South Shore communities in particular. It will bolster the pride of Woodlawn and South Shore residents in the legacy of President and Mrs. Obama, offer educational and recreational experiences, while enhancing the economic vitality of those communities. For these reasons, I support the building of the OPC in Jackson Park for posterity.
Cheryl Wooten, South Shore North
As a long-time resident of the South Shore area, I wholeheartedly support the building of the OPC in Jackson Park and look forward to the varied resources the OPC will bring to our area, the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, our nation as well as globally. I look forward to visiting with family and friends.
Ida Reed, South Shore
Praying that this center will open. The positive changes that will occur to our neighborhoods, city, country, and the world out weighs the negative.
Caprice Lindsay, South Shore
Our children, the community and our development economically need recreation and places that will increase the value of our neighborhoods on the South Side.
Jerry Levy, Hyde Park
I have been a volunteer steward for Jackson Park for 13 years and I am convinced that the OPC will have a very positive effect on the overall aesthetics and use of the Park. People will wander from the MSI to the OPC and vice versa without traffic hazards and traverse beautiful natural areas (Wooded Island and Bob o Link meadow that they never knew about.
April S Williams-Luster, South Shore Bryn Mawr East
On behalf of the Bryn Mawr East Area Council, we fully support the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. The Obama Presidential Center will create needed economic development and job opportunities to its surrounding communities. It will also provide an opportunity for the community to learn, celebrate and expound upon their culture and history.
Richard Hope, Ph.D. and Ms. Alice Anderson-Hope, Jackson Park Highlands
We strongly support the location and plans for the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. This Center will greatly revitalize adjacent neighborhoods and bring a multitude of business and employment opportunities to the area. What a brilliant plan to have this as a part of the Museum campus. Reviews have been so detailed and extensive. We have followed Center progress at community meetings. We are proud to have this prestigious addition to the Jackson Park community. This will attract national and international visitors year-round and bring long-term benefits to the City. We look forward to its imminent ground-breaking and construction.
Dora Dixie, Jackson Park Highlands
I have lived in the Hyde Park and Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood since 1984. I wholeheartedly support the Obama Presidential Center. As someone who has seen the area grow culturally over the years with lake front improvements, expansion of Uof C developments, neighborhood festivals, restaurants and other businesses, why not continue with the growth and expansion of the area? I know that the OPC will be an amazing addition. Our community has long been culturally diverse and the development The Obama Presidential Center promises to be a catalyst that will promote that legacy drawing families from all over the world to our area. Please allow this important, community changing, much wanted project to go forward uninterrupted .
Lauren Deutsch, Hermosa
I am a white person who grew up in Jeffrey Manor and then Hyde Park, in an era of close knit communities and then devastating racism and white flight followed by decades of cynical disinvestment. The OPC has the potential to provide a backbone of infrastructure and opportunity for communities that are hungry for access to the resources the Obama Presidential Center will provide. I love Jackson Park and feel the Obamas chose it with appropriate respect for its use in this context. People who visit will no doubt discover and use the underutilized park in ways that will resonate with their experience at the Center.
Dorothy Che'menju, Chatham
Build the Obama center! It will improve the economic development of the south side communities as well as the overall city.
N. Jeane Clark, Woodlawn
I’m a senior who supports the OPC and hopefully folks will stop talking about it and just get it done!
De Shun Wang, Jackson Park Highlands
The complaints were thoughtless and absurd. The lack of in-depth research to raise any constructive arguments has been demonstrated in plaintiffs' indolence statements. The first objection states ". . . architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1871. His basic conception has been continuously maintained since the Park’s founding." indicates the plaintiffs' complete failure of the understating on Olmsted's "deep human needs" design intent for the Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance extension. It also shows no attempt to understand the OPC's architects, Tod Williams Billie Tsien's design approach to recreating the "hybrid" design concept from Olmsted and increasing the sense of space contrasting. Plaintiffs' statement was incomprehensible to both Frederick Olmsted and Lorado Taft's unconscious influence design philosophy, and an insult to the residents from Jackson Park to the greater Chicago who to be enjoying the park.
Anne Marie Miles, South Shore/ Hyde Park
The gravamen of plaintiffs’ complaint is that the Obama Presidential Center should not be located in a public park. Their solution? Locate the OPC to Washington Park. Does anyone seriously doubt that if plaintiffs got their wish and the OPC was relocated to Washington Park that in 4-5 years when all the reviews were completed, the plaintiffs would seek to stop construction claiming that the OPC should not be in a public park and instead should be located in Jackson park? Plaintiffs in all their various iterations have repeatedly and consistently lost in court. They have lost even in the most basic ways with a court ruling that some plaintiffs were so tenuously related to the park that the Court was compelled to dismiss them as plaintiffs. They have lost on the facts, on the law, and in the regulatory process. Yet plaintiffs continue to file suit, year after year. The court must stop this Trumpian assault of bad faith litigation.
Conswaila Sydnor Davis, East Woodlawn
The OPC is a NEEDED opportunity for this community. It frustrates me that this organization continues to delay this project. The OPC will not only beautify the area it is outlined for, but it will provide our community with NEEDED jobs. How does having more park space help the residents of this community? Why are all of the community improvement opportunities limited to the northside? Why would someone who doesn't live in this community have a louder voice than the residents who want to have this project move forward? I DON"T NEED THEM TO SPEAK FOR ME!!!!! I am an educated, tax-paying citizen of East Woodlawn, and I support that OPC in its current proposed location.
Anne Hamada, Hyde Park
I am a supporter of the OPC since its inception. Having lived in Hyde Park for 55 years, I am very excited that the Obamas have chosen our community for their presidential center! It will bring a great deal of fame and recognition to this long-neglected neighborhood on the South side of Chicago. Our country is in the midst of a number of crises; what we don’t need in Chicago are mindless lawsuits. Enough already.
Edward Kibblewhite, Hyde Park
The Obama center will transform Woodlawn and South Shore, giving new jobs to the neighborhood and a place that will inspire children and provide resources at all levels.. What’s the point of all these dog in the manger attempts to delay this wonderful project
Rev Dr. Wayne Scott-Williams, South Shore
I AM in full support in resurrection of the OPC facility. It's historical value alone will speak for itself. It's historical presence for our children, and community certainly will have it's true place in Chicago's black history.
David Nuckolls, Woodlawn
I support the construction of the OPC at the Jackson Park location. I have coached youth baseball at Jackson Park for 35 years. I welcome the diversity of activity the OPC brings to Jackson Park and our community at large. The OPC is not taking park lands it is using park lands to bring more people to the park and at the same time bring investments and development to the surrounding community. Stop with all the delaying tactics and move forward with this project that the entire community supports.
L. Michael Flanagan, Woodlawn
The Plaintiff’s request for declaratory and injunctive relief is just another petty attempt to obstruct one of the most important projects in Chicago history. Simply put, the benefits of the OPC far outweigh any sort of liability that plaintiff’s propose. The shear magnitude of Jackson Park including its corresponding golf course and other parks, allows for enough space and continued enjoyment of park space. The OPC on adds to the magnificence of Jackson Park. Future generations will thank us for the construction of the OPC. Let’s get it done, now!
Natalie Goldberg, Hyde Park
The Obama Center will activate an area of Jackson Park that has been underused for generations. It will join the Museum of Science and Industry to create a museum campus to rival the South Loop (Field, Shedd & Adler Planetarium) and Lincoln Park (science center, zoo, Chicago History Museum) and remove a traffic hazard from the middle of the park. New parkland will connect the east parcel to the west parcel so a pedestrian can cross Cornell Drive without endangering life and limb. I've seen cars speed up to 50 mph and not stop for anyone in clearly marked walkways. I love the planned state of the art public library on the grounds, to replace the small niche library under the tracks at 63rd Street. Students across the street, in Hyde Park Academy, will feel welcomed there for leadership training. The Botanic Gardens will bring new natural beauty. Opponents are more concerned with their street parking and their commute times than parkland they rarely visit. I often walk in the park.
Monique O’Neal Strode, Woodlawn
I have been a Woodlawn resident living directly in the surrounding area that will be directly impacted by the tremendous gift of the OPC to our community for nearly 17 years. The OPC will be an impact to Woodlawn that spins off Obama’s legacy of Change a long awaited a change to a community that is in desperate need of revitalization. I have already begun to feel the winds of change blowing from the lakefront with the rebuilding of lakeshore to the overhauling of the sewer infrastructure that has transitioned Woodlawn from having mold free safe homes as we were on some blocks a bit of a flood zone and The Pride that this community has already begun to feel as we Stand Tall and prepare ourselves to represent our community and Our President. Having the children from this community see and know right in their own back yard what they are capable of. This Change is an amazing opportunity for our community and it would be an absolute travesty to have it stolen away from us.
Ishmael Komeh, Woodlawn
I am a senior citizen that lives in Woodlawn. I am highly in full support of the construction of The Obama Center in Jackson Park. There will be an economical, cultural, and host of other developments in the community. As an African, the Obama Center will strongly reinforce my African American heritage.
Emma Coate, Hyde Park
I’m in support of this project as I believe in what it represents, honoring your first Black president and believe it will bring a lot of possible things to our community such as resources and jobs.
Morton Silverman, Hyde Park/Kenwood
I have lived in the Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood for close to 35 years. I am highly supportive of the construction of The Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. There is no question that it will bring economic development to the neighborhood, as well as immense pride and validation for all the citizens of this community . Needless to say, the groundbreaking for this Center is very long overdue, and every effort needs to be made to allow the project to go forward now as already approved by multiple city and federal agencies. Further delays are unwarranted.
Loretta Flanagan, Hyde Park-Kenwood
I attended the University of Chicago decades ago and have always noticed the difference in resources between the north side parks and those in my immediate community. As a young person, I lived in Lincoln Park at 1750 North Clark Street and notice the abundance of resources including a small museum, the Historical Society, the Lincoln Park Zoo, etc. The Hyde Park community needs additional resources, jobs and outlets for our young people. Many people who mascarade as friends of the parks are not that, but rather obstructionist who don’t live in the economy, who are not under privileged and are not a minority. Allow SOMETHING of significance I. The South side community that will become an economic boon to Hyde Park, Kenwood and neighboring communities!
Keith Harrison, South Shore North
I fully support the construction of the OPC in Jackson Park. The Obamas intentionally chose this community because they are well aware of the substantial lack of investment and opportunity that it has suffered for generations. The OPC promised that half of the construction jobs will be filled by citizens of the surrounding communities. That will ensure that thousands of people receive good training and experience working on a world-class project, which will open doors for them in the future. Since its completion, Jackson Park has never been free of buildings. Over 200 buildings were constructed, pro main Jackson Park, for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The Museum of Science & Industry is the only major building remaining, and the addition of the OPC would be a nice compliment, creating a museum campus to the South. The communities surrounding the site need change, and this project is large enough to be a real catalyst for that change. Again, I fully support the OPC.
Barbara Bowles, Hyde Park/ South Kenwood
I am very supportive of the Obama Center in Hyde Park. I have lived in the area for nearly fifty years and remember when all of the major parks on the south side were dirty and trash filled. Mayor Harold Washington improved the parks during his tenure with out the so called protectors who did not do any thing. This is a perfect location with the adjacent Museum of Science and Industry and the nearby DuSable Museum . It is also an honor. Almost everyone that I’ve met desires this location at this time. Where do those filing the lawsuit live. Our community does not need them to speak for us!
Jacobe Hollins, Woodlawn
The Obama library will be a staple for hope and change in the Woodlawn and surrounding area. It would provide job opportunities and possibly bring other businesses in to help out the community. The people of Woodlawn are yearning for the Obama library and will do any to make sure it is supported and bring values.
Natalia Uribe Wilson, Woodlawn
I support the Obama Library being built in Jackson Park. The people of Woodlawn will benefit from the jobs and resources the Obama Library will bring to the Park and to the area. Not only that, they will be improving parts of the park, and we will have even more park land to enjoy when it's done. It is one thing to want to preserve the parks, but parks without people are not meaningful. With the Obama library, we will have park, resources and jobs, something Friends of the Parks don't seem to understand.
6808 S. Paxton Condo Association, Inc., North South Shore
The S. Paxton Condo Association, Inc. enthusiastically supports the building, preservation, and sustainability of the OPC. The continuous pursuit by the POP to distract from the vision and obvious benefits of the OPC is appalling. The audacity to now allege that the OPC has not done the site WORK to ensure the environmental surroundings are protected is disheartening! These lawsuits are simply frivolous and a waste of the Courts time and resources. Therefore, this Association stands in togetherness and fully pledge our support to the construction of the historic Obama Presidential Center.
Corey Mason, Woodlawn
As of Woodlawn Legend and Native born son, I enthusiastically support Obama Presidential Center being built in Jackson Park! I attended Hyde Park Academy and for so many years has been lack of support and services for students residing in the area. That's why the center will be a great addition to Woodlawn with all the resources it will bring to service these underserved youth.
Andy Carter, Hyde Park
I support the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Besides the historic significance of having the OPC in Jackson Park, there will also be many positive benefits for people living on the South Side of Chicago. These include: a new and improved athletic track to the south of the OPC, expanded picnicking areas, ADA accessibility to and restoration of the Women’s Garden, vast expansion and improvement upon the children’s playground on the southern boundary and improvement to the eastern end of the Midway Plaisance where pathways will be improved, trees planted and drainage will be installed to ensure optimal recreational use. In regards to transportation and traffic, the changes proposed to the roadways around and through Jackson Park will bring about significant improvements to pedestrian and bicycle pathways while increasing overall safety through the enhancement of intersections, roadways and traffic flow.
Angela Dodd, South Shore
The impact of positive, visible change in the Hyde Park/South Shore area with the Obama Presidential Center cannot be overestimated. The irony is that the plans I've seen include park space so the argument against the Center has little validity. Studies have shown that physical change can lead to better economic and emotional outcomes for the people in this part of Chicago, where development has been limited in recent years. The Center can be the impetus for the rehabilitation and renovation desperately needed in this part of he city.