POP says Stop!
As has been briefly reported in the Hyde Park Herald, attorneys for Protect Our Parks (POP) and six other plaintiffs filed a new Motion for Preliminary Injunction in U.S. District Court on June 15. The Motion seeks a halt to all construction work relating to the placement of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park pending the final resolution of the Complaint filed by POP on April 14. That Complaint challenges the processes and determinations of the federal agencies that reviewed the proposal for the OPC (summary in May 3 Update). A hearing date has not yet been set for the Complaint due partly to counter tactics employed by the Defendants. In the meantime, the Obama Foundation and City have announced an August start date for road work to accommodate the OPC and a September groundbreaking on the OPC site. The POP Motion argues that all such work would be premature and permanently harmful.
In support of its new Motion, POP submitted a Brief (that label being a legal in-joke) that explains why its earlier Complaint will likely be upheld and documents in detail the harm that would be incurred if construction were allowed to proceed with no restrictions. A third part of the submission Exhibits presents statements and reports that are quoted or otherwise referenced in the Brief.
We hesitate to ask that you read all of the POP documents, but we do recommend a perusal of the Brief and call special attention to the statement by one of the plaintiffs, W.J.T. Mitchell. Labeled as Exhibit 2, it is a clear and concise account of what’s at stake should the digging start.
The still unanswered question: Why Jackson Park?
Professor Mitchell has written not only to the federal court, but also to the wider readership of the Hyde Park Herald, where he presents a challenge to the Obama Foundation to have a face-to-face discussion with critics of the current plan for the OPC to discuss the basic question: Why Jackson Park?
There are many supporters of President Obama and of the OPC who remain befuddled by the choice of a site that is unnecessarily expensive (for the Foundation and for the City) and park-destructive when there are other equally prominent non-park locations on the South Side that would be less costly, more accessible and more economically impactful.
If you are among the befuddled, we urge you to follow Professor Mitchell’s suggestion to write to the Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and the Obama Foundation (email@example.com ) with a call for a public discussion.
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