Black Chicago Alderman Votes Against Chicago 2016 Olympics In Windy City

Updated: March 20, 2007



Barack Obama is a Big Supporter

of the 2016 Olympics for Chicago

but just as he is not winning over

all the African American support

for his other campaign for 2008

neither is all of Black Chicago

on board for the Olympics

A very strong case can be made for Chicago wanting to host the Summer Games of 2016 and that it would be a powerful mark of distinction for the Windy City. Or America’s second city after New York as some describe it. Of course Washington DC doesn’t agree. Unless you rank New York City #3.

Anyway in a recent vote of the Chicago Board of Aldermen, Chicago’s bloated legislature, to support Chicago’s Bid for the 2016 Olympics, there was united and unanimous support except for 5 Black Aldermen.

The vote was 45-5

The vote was on an ordinance to allocate $500 Million of city funds if the Olympic Committee ultimately selects Chicago to host the 2016 Games. The Chicago 5 contend the city voters were mislead and not told that Chicago would have to guarantee a minimum of half a billion to be considered for the Games.

One of the 5 Aldermen Toni Preckwinkle said last Wednesday evening “There was a lack transparency in the process and a lack of inclusion. The Olympic planning committee is not representative of the diverse group of citizens who represent the city of Chicago. I spoke about racial diversity in specific.”

As these things do what some would call and some wouldn’t a totally unrelated issue The Jon Burge Report from last July stating up to 200 African American men were tortured in the 1980s into make false confessions led to a protect in the City Council Chambers during the Olympic vote. Shouting “Daley ( meaning the white mayor ) hates poor Black people.”

To the protesters the connection

between the issues was very real

or as they put it …..

“We are protesting on the premise that Chicago does not deserve to host the Olympics games, Our position is based on the Olympics philosophy, which is fundamentally a philosophy based on humanitarianism. Contrary to what a lot of people are being led to believe, it’s not an economic engine to jump start the city. That’s a Daley lie, and even the Olympic commission has said that.”

For their part that is not exactly what motivated the dissenting Black Aldermen. There concerns are that bringing the Olympics to Chicago may not aid the large African American community in Chicago all that much. And their parallel concerns that Black residents will be displaced to make way for Olympic facilities and even that the success of the Olympics for Chicago in general will then lead to even more “gentrification” and more Blacks pushed out of the city.

In other words what we have

in Chicago is your typical

Olympic city brouhaha

competing forces

some favoring and

others opposing

their city hosting

Olympic Games

and where it ends

who knows not

even Barack

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