A local advocacy group recently filed a federal lawsuit against the organizers of Barack Obama’s presidential library over what they describe as an “institutional bait and switch” pulled by the library’s planners to the detriment of the city’s residents and their public land in Jackson Park.

Among the claims from Protect Our Parks is that the City of Chicago doesn’t have the authority to transfer public land to a nongovernmental entity such like the Obama Foundation.


“The City and Park District clearly realize and fully understand that this established law precludes the Park District from arbitrarily transferring possession, use and control of this dedicated ‘open, clear and free’ public parkland in Jackson Park to a private nongovernmental private entity’s self-determined use,” the complaint reads.


However, the city has responded, saying such a suit is a roadblock against future economic growth.

“The Obama Presidential Center is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest hundreds of millions of dollars that will create good jobs on the South Side, bring our communities together and honor the legacy of Chicago’s favorite son and daughter. While some choose to stand in the way of progress for the South Side, we are focused on making progress in every community in Chicago,” a statement said.