Welcoming the Obama Presidential Library

Exciting things have been happening in and around the 20th Ward. On Tuesday, we welcomed the Obama Foundation at the Gary Comer Youth Center for a press conference on the future of the Obama Presidential Library. President Obama has selected Chicago's South side as the home of his future library and museum, and we eagerly look forward to its construction and the positive impact it's going to bring to our community.

 The Obama Library will positively impact Chicago's South Side. It will help foster economic growth, offer educational opportunities, enhance our cultural footprint on the south side, and help spur the growth of other local businesses in the area. I urge citizens to curb reservations about gentrification and look at this as a rare opportunity to build economic development for the many neighborhoods that will benefit from a presidential attraction of this magnitude.

 The future Presidential Center will include the library, museum, as well as office and activity space for the Obama Foundation to inspire and engage citizens here and globally. From the very beginning of the Obama Foundation, President Obama asked all Americans to join him in the work of expanding opportunity in a global age; improving the health of our families; protecting our children from the dangers of climate change; and looking beyond military force alone to promote peace, justice, and dignity throughout the world.

 Chicago is where Obama got his start after graduating from Harvard Law School, working first as a community organizer in Chicago's South Side before jumping into politics and representing the South Side in the Illinois State Senate. Obama would later spring to the U.S. Senate after winning election statewide in Illinois.

 It is a privilege and an honor to be selected for this historic site. Our communities will profit directly from the commitment the President and Mrs. Obama have made to this project. South Side communities, including Englewood, Grand Boulevard and Hyde Park, Washington Park and Woodlawn, will be showcased to the world because of this important decision that will add to the quality of life for those communities. We are looking forward to working with the Obama Foundation, the University of Chicago and the citizens of Chicago in the planning and implementation of this monumental endeavor.

Posted on May 15, 2015 .