Chicago City Council Approves Obama Center Plan

Craig Dellimore
May 23, 2018 - 3:39 pm
Barack Obama Obama


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) –  The City Council voted 47-1 Wednesday to grant zoning changes needed to bring the Barack Obama Presidential Center to Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side.

There are still federal approvals needed, but the council’s decision was the final city of Chicago approval needed to move the project forward.

Finance Chairman Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, said the council was practically obligated to help bring the presidential library here.

"To perpetuate the legacy of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America and a man of principle and integrity and fidelity, I believe is a responsibility that's incumbent upon all of us."

The lone “no” vote came from Ald. David Moore, who said he can’t get the city government to fix his crumbling streets in his 17th Ward. He objects to $175 million in public money being used for the Obama project, given those concerns.

Mayor Emanuel called Obama personally Wednesday to tell him about the council’s overwhelming vote.

Some grass-roots opposition has emerged for the library and museum, mostly centering on fears that some residents will be displaced by the high-profile project. A federal lawsuit seeks to block it.