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The People's OPL (Obama Presidential Library)

Members of the Obama Presidential Library CBA Coalition Discuss the Need for a Community Benefits Agreement to Protect the Community's Interests

Members of the Obama Library CBA Coalition will be guests on the Nonprofit “U” radio blog talk show on Monday, April 3, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.  Guests include Allegra Cira-Fischer, Staff Attorney with The Law Project; Jawanza Malone, Executive Director, KOCO and Dominic Surya, Organizer, Prayer and Action Collective of  the Obama-library CBA Coalition.  Nonprofit "U" is an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities. Valerie F. Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development is the host. The show will stream live from  There will be opportunities for listeners to call in with questions and participate in live chats. Nonprofit professionals, community advocates, developers and other  community stakeholders are especially encouraged to call in and share their stories. The live call in number is (347) 884-8121. The archived podcast will be available on BlogTalkRadio,, iTunes Podcast Chart, Blubrry and Stitcher.

According to, construction of the 22-acre Obama Presidential Library itself is estimated to cost around $600 million, and could result in the creation of an estimated 1,900 permanent jobs. Surrounding neighborhoods could see $30 million in new food and retail development, which could translate into as many as thirty restaurants, eleven stores, and a hotel.

Given the potential community impact, is a community benefits agreement necessary?  The Obama Foundation argues “no”, as the construction of the OPL, in and of itself, is a community benefit.  Some local community organizations agree, adding that the  Obamas can be trusted, and that it’s an insult to ask them to enter into such an agreement. 

However, the Obama Library South Side Community Benefits Agreement Coalition feels differently, given the historic displacement of low-income Black residents through the construction of the Dan Ryan Expressway, the CHA Plan for Transformation and fallout from school closings. Join us for a lively discussion on the Obama Presidential Library and the prospects of negotiating a community benefits agreement to protect community interests. 



Keywords: Capacity Building, Community Development, Community Benefits Agreements, Obama Presidential Library, Valerie F. Leonard

Posted in Common Sense Media