Obamas Break Ground On Long-Delayed Presidential Center In Chicago

Source: Scott Olson / Getty

On Sept 28, The Obamas officially began the construction process of their highly anticipated library in Chicago dubbed the Obama Presidential Center, CNN reported.

The project, which has been in the works since 2015, was set back a number of times because of lawsuits and complaints from locals. A federal judge tossed out the suits in 2019, giving the former president and former first lady the green light to begin construction in Chicago’s Jackson Park area. The lawsuit was brought on by a few environmentalists “who took issue with public land being used for a private project,” the report notes.

Obamas Break Ground On Long-Delayed Presidential Center In Chicago

Source: Scott Olson / Getty

Barack and Michelle were pictured breaking ground at the center’s construction site on Tuesday alongside Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker as they ushered in the start of the exciting new center.

During his speech, the former president said he hoped the library will give American’s a brighter view on Democratic ideals during this time of uncertainty.

“What we’ve seen is that in the breach, a culture of cynicism and mistrust can grow. We start seeing more division and increasingly bitter conflict. A politics that feeds anger and resentment towards those who aren’t like us and starts turning away from democratic principles in favor of tribalism,” he said.

“But the good news is we can reverse these trends. I don’t believe it’s inevitable that we succumb to paralysis or mutual hatred or abandon democracy in favor of systems that reserve power and privilege for the few as has been true throughout our history. I believe we have it in us to re-imagine our institutions. To make them responsive to today’s challenges and rebuild our societies in a way that gives more and more people a better life,” Obama added.
Michelle shared a few words too, noting that the center isn’t just about their historic run in the Whitehouse– it’s about building a piece of community on Chicago’s southside.
“No matter what I’ve accomplished or who I’ve met or where I’ve gone, one of my greatest honors is being a proud Chicagoan. A daughter of the South Side. I still lead with that descriptor. I wear it boldly and proudly like a crown,” she said.
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