Mayor Daley today accused unidentified media naysayers of trying to sandbag Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid by reporting testimony from people at neighborhood hearings who don’t want the Olympics.
“You’re against it. You were against Millennium Park. You were against 911. You were against Soldiers Field. You were against Meigs Field. What else were you against? You’re against a lot. But, that’s freedom of speech,” Daley said.
“Some people don’t want this. … That’s part of American democracy. They can stand up and say anything they want. … But, in the next five years, six years, tell me one [other] thing that can bring jobs and economic opportunities and, besides that, guarantee an investment by the federal government [of] billions of dollars in infrastructure. If you have something better, I’d love to see it.”
The media in Chicago, as most of the civic organizations we rely on to protect the public good, have been cheerleaders for the 2016 bid from Day One. Only now, as people realize the Mayor is going sign a blank check for Olympic expenses, are they beginning to ask the tough questions the media SHOULD HAVE been asking since Day One.
Here is the list of questions from students that a No Games organizer was given when he spoke at a north side high school on April 30:
CHICAGO PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WANT TO KNOW:
- Do you think the Olympics will benefit more than just the upper, wealthy class?
- According to the proposal, at what point is Chicago going to see the profits from the Olympics?
- How might the Olympics affect prices and goods and services in Chicago?
- Will the Olympics provide jobs for Chicagoans? For who and for how long?
- How does the city plan to pay for the Olympics without uses public dollars?
- What do you think about Obama’s support for the Chicago Olympic bid?
- How do you think the Olympics will affect housing costs in the city? What will happen to the Olympic village housing after the Olympics? How will it affect affordable housing access in Chicago?
- What neighborhoods will be most affected by the Olympics and how?
- How will the Olympic facilities be used after the Olympics are finished?
- How will the Olympics affect taxes for Chicagoans
- Who are the private financial backers that the city is suppose to have lined up to back the Olympics?
- What will be the total cost of bring the Olympics to Chicago?
- Will the Olympics have an affect on public transportation in Chicago? How will all the extra people in the city be transported around the city?
- What can people do if they want the mayor and Chicago 2016 to know that they don’t want the Olympics?
- Can you point us to any important resources (Internet, organizations, databases, etc.) that could help us with our research about the affects the Olympics might have on Chicago?
- Why do you think Washington Park has been chosen as a central site for the Olympics?
- What do you think the purpose / motivation is for bringing the Olympics to Chicago?
- Can you tell us more about your own background and how that has affected your opinions on the Chicago Olympic bid? Where are you from? Where do you work? Etc.
- Does race (Black, white, Latino, etc.) play a role in the politics of this Olympic bid?
- We’ve heard some about the affects the Olympics might have on historically Black neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side… but what about the affects they might have on Latinos in the city?
- What other important areas could this kind of money be spent that would be a greater benefit to Chicago, specifically low-income, working class and people of color in Chicago?
- What sort of actions have you and nogameschicago taken? In what ways have these actions been effective?
- What businesses and corporations are behind this Olympic bid? How do they stand to gain from it?
- How does the Chicago bid seem to currently compare to the other cities that are competing for the 2016 games?
- How does the Olympic plan relate to the South Side Bud Billiken parade?
Great questions. We wish Chicago’s media would’ve been asking THOSE questions to Mayor Daley all along.