No Games Co-Founder Tells Like It Was (and Is)

From WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview program from July 19, 2016 (35 minutes):

Hey, Tribune, You Can’t Erase Us From the Record!

A front page story from the Sunday, July 17 2016 issue of the Chicago Tribune complained about the “pricey legacy” of the 2016 Olympic bid. With two full pages of interior text – guess who was NOT included in the article? No Games Chicago. We were all over the sale of the Reese Hospital site, the costs of acquisition, demolition and securing the site – back in 2009. That was just one of MANY objections we had to the entire process that the Tribune then did not cover. Oh, and the owner of the Chicago Tribune at the time, Sam Zell, was listed as a major donor to the bid – giving at LEAST $100,000!

Failed Olympic bid

2016 Bid Still Costing Us – BIG Time

Tom Tresser was asked to weigh in on the ongoing costs of the 2016 Olympic bid. Mayor Daley demolished the Michael Reese Hospital site in 2009 in an effort to impress the IOC. That will end up costing us as much as $150 million!

Chicago Sun-Times Sees No Games Light

Telander columnNow famed Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander joined the ranks of No Games Chicago with this January 1, 2016 column. Six years later. Oh well, better late than never. Just like his colleagues at the Chicago Tribune who also wrote about their relief at not getting the 2016 Olympics, Rick failed to mention the work of No Games Chicago.

What’s up with that?

Here’s what Tom Tresser wrote on his Facebook page:

Rick –

I read with great interest your column “Thank goodness Chicago won’t host the 2016 Olympics.” You write “these days one can only recoil at the thought of the Olympics actually having been awarded to our troubled city.” Well, there was a small group of people who not only recoiled from the thought but worked night and day with no budget, office or support to make SURE that the Olympics did not come to Chicago.

The tireless volunteers of No Games Chicago surely deserve a passing mention in your piece. We did all the due diligence, made all the observations, drew all the same conclusions and that you now make and we did so in 2008 and 2009 – the same research that the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago-Tribune (also recently converted to the “Whew, we dodged a cannonball” school of Olympic thought) and Crain’s Chicago Business failed to do when it mattered.

I need to point out that the organizers of No Boston Olympics were coached by us and they used our graphics and strategy. The media picked up on their work and the citizens of Boston wisely turned away from their bid for the 2024 Olympics. And – even more amazingly – the people of Hamburg, influenced by that turn of events, also rejected the 2024 games. Both cities were spared MILLIONS of dollars in costs related to pursuing a bid – let alone the ruinous outcomes of actually delivering a summer Olympics.

So the small but smart No Games Chicago crew can justly take some credit for THREE cities turning away from the Olympic boondoggle.

What do you say? Can you correct the record in your next column? Our web site remains up and stands as a testimony to the work we did: http://www.nogameschicago.com/ You can also comment on his Facebook page.

I speak out now not just to get a well-deserved tip of the hat to a great group of citizen-activists but also to make this New Year’s Wish – that when the next BS clout-heavy tax-dollar funded scam gets pushed down Chicago’s throat I hope you all will do your jobs and call it for what it is.

Failing that – my hope is that when another group of friendless “No-sayers” show up to tell that truth – that your paper and the other parts of Chicago’s sorry civic eco-system will LISTEN to them.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

Police Spied on No Games Chicago

CPD order to spySpurred by a story in┬áthe March 18, 2015 issue of the Chicago Reader, “Chicago police are spying on citizens,” No Games Chicago organizers Bob Quellos and Tom Tresser submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the Chicago Police Department.

The response given to Tom was that there was that the request was too broad. He didn’t follow up. Bob persisted for months and called the Police Department’s FOIA office multiple times each week His story is told in the August 20, 2015 issue of the Chicago Reader.

Finally Bob received confirmation that the all-volunteer effort – which had no office or no phone number – was, in fact, spied on by the Chicago Police Departmen’ts Intelligence Division. After spying us they came to the conclusion that we posed no threat to public safety and (apparently) concluded their intelligence operations after our April 2, 2009 protest rally in Federal Plaza. But – really – who knows?Chicago police spying-Reader
Download the full response from the Chicago Police Department here->NGC – CPD FOIA-public

Boston’s Olympic Bid Is Dead!

After terrific organizing by No Boston Olympics the pro-bid mayor of Boston announced today that he would NOT sign the Host City Contract required of all candidate cities by the IOC. We called it “The Blank Check” because that’s what it is. No sign. No bid. Way to go, NBO!

NBO-banner+logo

Chicago Tribune Sees Light – Six Years Later

Chicago dodges its funeral+logoHoly cow! Where was Phil and the Chicago Tribune in 2009? You can read Phil’s amazing piece here.

You can download it as a PDF along with Tom’s somewhat aggravated reply here.

When the decision to award the 2016 Games to Rio was announced we said “Chicago didn’t just dodge a bullet – we dodged a cannonball.” We like Phil’s headline better.

Keep it up!