Coalition for a Community Benefits Agreement for Obama Library Holds Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, April 18

CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)—April 18, 2017.  Community members affected by the development of the Obama Library will testify at a town hall meeting this evening, April 18, organized by the Obama Library CBA Coalition. The town hall meeting will begin at 6:00 PM at Hyde Park Academy High School Auditorium (6220 S. Stony Island Avenue, Chicago) with a performance by Chicago Young Authors and remarks by Clare Cardy, a Resident Leader at Park Shore East Elderly housing in Woodlawn.

Leaders from the South Side coalition will teach residents about a proposed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for the planned presidential library of Barack Obama in Jackson Park, a $500 million development which will affect local jobs, housing, education and economic investment.

Allegra Cira Fischer, Staff Attorney for The Law Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, will explain what a CBA is and why a legally enforceable contract can protect local residents from displacement and exploitation. Jawanza Malone, Executive Director of Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, and Naomi Davis of Bronzeville Regional Collective & Blacks in Green will explain why South Side community members should advocate for a CBA to set aside jobs for youth, guarantee a living wage for employees, and partner with local public schools to provide educational programming, among other principles .

Rashida Tlaib, a former Michigan Legislator who has worked on successful CBA campaigns in Detroit and is regarded as a national CBA expert, will deliver keynote remarks on winning strategies to secure equitable development. Tlaib is currently an attorney at Sugar Law Center for Social & Economic Justice and a Leaders in Government Fellow with Open Society Foundation.

Participants and community members will be invited to share testimony about how the planned development could affect their homes and livelihoods, and to call upon the Obama Foundation, the City of Chicago, and the University of Chicago to sign a Community Benefits Agreement.

The town hall is free and open to the public.

Performers Sara Geiger and Patricia Frazier from Chicago’s Louder than a Bomb youth slam poetry festival will perform spoken word poetry to open and close the town hall.