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Supporters of CBA for Obama Library Rally Ahead of Plan Commission’s Decision

Supporters demanding a Community Benefits Agreement be attached to the proposed plan to build the Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park rallied on Wednesday and Thursday morning ahead of The Chicago Plan Commission’s decision on whether or not to move forward with the proposal. Community activists have long been calling for a Community Benefit Ordinance to be put in place before the library is built that would set aside 30% of new and rehabbed housing for low income and working families, freeze property taxes for long time residents, and independently monitor hiring. “Whether or not there is displacement in Woodlawn, due to the development of the Obama Center and University of Chicago, will depend on whether or not a Community Benefit Ordinance is passed to stop displacement” said Sharon Payne a spokesperson for the Obama CBA Coalition, in a Thursday morning press release. Others say they want the library to move forward. “There’s a right to be concerned every time — I understand the skepticism but in the name of progress we have to find a way to move forward,” said Ghien Forman. Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle were in Chicago yesterday to speak with the first class of Obama Foundation Fellows on Wednesday. “Learn from each other, share experiences, and support each other,” said Obama. (NBC5)

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