Chicago, IL – Today, the Obama Foundation announced that it will hold a public meeting on Thursday, September 14 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place to receive feedback from the community and local residents on the development and construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), as well as on how to support civic leaders making positive change in their communities. The Obama Foundation will be represented at the meeting by Michael Strautmanis, Vice President of Civic Engagement; Louise Bernard, Museum Director; Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, lead architects for the OPC; and Michael Van Valkenburgh, lead landscape designer for the OPC. The event will be open to the public. The OPC will be located in historic Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago, a community near and dear to the Obamas.
“We appreciate the feedback we have already received from our neighbors in the South Side and beyond from the City’s public meetings, our smaller group meetings and surveys,” said David Simas, Chief Executive Officer at the Obama Foundation. “President and Mrs. Obama are developing the OPC in the South Side to give back to the community that has given so much to them. The Center is designed to unlock the full potential of Jackson Park and help support economic development in the surrounding neighborhoods, in order to fulfill those goals, we believe we must continue to discuss with the community what they want out of the Center in Jackson Park. We look forward to hearing from residents on how the Obama Foundation can be a vital part of this community.”
“This meeting is part of our open door policy to hear from anyone with an interest in the Obama Foundation and meet them where they are,” said Michael Strautmanis, Vice President of Civic Engagement at the Obama Foundation. “We want the Obama Foundation to be a staple of the South Side community for years to come. The best way to accomplish that is to listen to residents on how we can be good neighbors and help them reap the benefits from this exciting and historic project.”
In May, President and Mrs. Obama announced their initial design concept for the OPC. In May, the Foundation also released an outside economic impact assessment for the OPC that estimates between 625,000 and 760,000 annual visitors to the OPC and economic impact of $3.1 billion for Cook County during construction and ten years of operations. In June, July and August, the Obama Foundation has participated in dozens of one-on-one meetings, small group meetings with the community, and public meetings with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Transportation, and Alderman Leslie Hairston. The Foundation also issued an online survey to receive feedback on its design concepts.