The Obama Foundation recently announced plans to build a presidential library in Chicago’s poorest neighborhood. The foundation justifies the move by claiming that the library will improve the area’s economy and living conditions. However, many South Side residents are concerned about the lack of affordable housing and are asking city officials to do more to secure their homes.
Obama Presidential Library Reportedly Displacing Poor Chicago Residents https://t.co/kMcTgxc9n3
— US Burning (@UsBurning) April 4, 2023
One of these residents, Tahiti Hamer, a single mother of three, was recently forced to leave her home after her landlord raised her rent by nearly 40 percent. When Hamer asked her landlord to negotiate the rent so that it would be more affordable for her, the landlord refused, saying that taxes in the area had gone up.
The $500 million Obama Presidential Center has been pitched as a transformative boost for the South Side of Chicago. Will longtime residents be able to stay to enjoy it? https://t.co/YH26sELRJq
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 4, 2023
Many South Shore residents worry that the presence of the presidential library will lead to the displacement of thousands of black families who have lived in the area for generations. Dixon Romeo, founder of the community organization Not Me We, said that he doesn’t want Obama’s legacy to be tarnished by this displacement.
Despite these concerns, former President Barack Obama selected Chicago as the site for his presidential library because of his personal ties to the city. The former president stated that the Obama Presidential Center is his way of repaying some of what this amazing city has given him and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
It’s no surprise that the Obama Foundation is more concerned with building a legacy than it is with the welfare of the people who will be most affected by the construction of the presidential library. It’s time for our elected officials to start putting the needs of their constituents ahead of their own personal ambitions.