Barack and Michelle Obama

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Chicago City Council Approves Obama Presidential Center In Jackson Park

May 23, 2018 - 7:44 pm

CHICAGO (WCBS 880/WBBM Newsradio) -- The Chicago City Council on Wednesday gave the green light to construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side.

The federal government still has to OK the site, because Jackson Park is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chairman of the Finance Committee, 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," Burke told WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

The lone “no” vote came from Ald. David Moore (17th), 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, WBBM Newrsadio reported.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel called former President Barack 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.