As Chicago awaits judgment of international Olympics evaluators, the city’s bid committee has been hard at work in Washington lining up White House backing and employing a well-connected lobbying firm to lay the groundwork for shaking loose federal dollars in the event the 2016 Summer Games come to northern Illinois.
The Obama administration recently highlighted its commitment by authorizing senior aide Valerie Jarrett — a former vice chair of the Chicago 2016 bid committee — to lead a White House push for the Olympics, which would features major venues in Washington Park, just a few blocks from President Barack Obama’s Kenwood home.
But Chicago 2016 was active in Washington long before. Since September 2007, the privately funded bid committee has spent $480,000 for lobbying services, which have included making sure the federal government is onboard for picking up the costs of security for the Games, and lining up commitments from federal agencies that telecommunications and other services meeting the specifications of the International Olympic Committee will be available.
What’s wrong with this picture? The city will be laying off hundreds of workers. You are getting ripped off daily by the privatized parkin meters. The city has closed public schools and helath clinics. The Park District has cut back the hours the beaches are open. But our civic leaders have raised a ton of money to boost the 2016 bid and almost a half a million dollars are being spent on libbyists to influence our elected representatives to support the bid. Enough! Say “NO!” to the 2016 bid. Go to our “Take Action” page and take some…