Mayor-elect Lightfoot seeks citizen input, shows openness on key issues
In a welcome
change of pace, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is asking
Chicagoans for ideas! We urge you
all to share your suggestions, questions, and concerns, in particular in
relationship to the proposed Obama Presidential Center, the costly related road
changes, and the proposal to merge and expand the Jackson Park and South Shore
ideas will matter as the Mayor-elect is already aware of the issues affecting
Jackson Park. In another major change of mayoral tone, the day after her
historic win, Lightfoot stated that she looked forward “to meeting
with both sides, or multiple sides, to sit down and understand the nuances
that have not been reported in the media” in relationship to the OPC.
a subsequent interview with the Sun-Times,
Lightfoot reiterated her long-stated support for a Community Benefits Agreement
that would provide for affordable housing, job training and local hiring in
conjunction with the OPC development. In
an additional boost for the CBA, recently re-elected 5th Ward Alderman
Leslie Hairston now says she supports a CBA and newly elected 20th
Ward Alderman Jeanette Taylor has long been a CBA supporter.
On yet another
related issue, Lightfoot also noted in the same interview that she “not wild about”
the proposed golf course merger, saying “It feels like it’s not a well-thought-out-plan.”
Golf Course forum set for April 28
attention to the golf course merger/expansion proposal continues to be
essential. The engineering firm hired by the Park District in January is
proceeding with the development of design and bid documents for the golf course
expansion/merger project, even though at the same time top Park District
officials have stated that no construction work on the golf course project will
occur this summer.
On Sunday, April 28, between
11:45 am and 1 pm, the First Unitarian
Church (5650 S. Woodlawn Ave.) will host a forum presenting the cases FOR and
AGAINST creating a professional golf course in Jackson and South Shore
Parks. The forum follows the regular morning church service and is open to
the public. We hope many of you will
want to attend.
Al Debonnett, Chair of the Jackson Park Golf
and Community Leadership Alliance, will present the case FOR the pro golf
course. Anne Holcomb, Chair of ETHOS (Environment, Transportation, Health
and Open Space), a non-traditional block club with about 90 members from
Southeast-side neighborhoods, will present the case AGAINST the pro golf
course. Following a 15-minute presentation by each side, each presenter
will be able to ask three questions regarding the other’s presentation.
After that the forum will be opened to questions from the audience.
Discovery, depositions taking place in POP
obstacles created by the City’s stable of lawyers, documents have been released
to the Protect Our Parks legal team through the discovery process and
depositions have been occurring as the POP lawsuit progresses. While POP supports having the Obama
Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, it is contesting the City’s
decision to allow it to be sited in Jackson Park.
As we have
previously reported, Federal Judge John R. Blakey set April 19 as the close of
discovery, a very tight timeline. He set an equally demanding schedule
for the next steps in this case:
- May 3 as the date for the parties to submit motions for
summary judgment, each asking the Judge to rule in its favor
- May 17 as the date for the responses to these motions;
- May 24 for the replies to those responses; and
- May 30 for a hearing on the motions.
continue to report on progress in this important case, raising as it does key
questions concerning the responsible safeguarding of invaluable public assets
such as Jackson Park.
PayPal new way to support JPW
As always, we
welcome your contributions. You can now contribute
in three ways:
- You can contribute via PayPal here. You will have the option of using a
PayPal account or using your credit/debit card.
- You can contribute via checks made out to Jackson Park Watch and sent to directly to Jackson Park Watch,
P.O. Box 15302, Chicago 60615.
- You can contribute from donor-directed funds via checks sent to our fiscal
sponsor Friends of the Parks at FOTP, 17 N. State St., Suite 1450, Chicago
60602. Such checks should be made
out to FOTP with a note stating they are intended for Jackson Park Watch.
Regardless of the
payment method, you will receive an acknowledgement and receipt from JPW.
We thank you!
Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Co-presidents, Jackson Park Watch