Military Vet Charity Being Pushed Out of Chicago Home to Make Way for Obama Library

Military Vet Charity Being Pushed Out of Chicago Home to Make Way for Obama Library

A charity group that helps homeless military veterans on Chicago’s South Side says the city is trying to take control of the scanty facility to make way for the restaurants, shops and other commercial venues that would be ‘easier on the eyes’ for the proposed Obama presidential library and museum. Would any of us really be surprised if this was true? No. If we were being honest with ourselves, this would smell just like Obama-ilk tactics.

President Barack Obama laughs with aides aboard Air Force One en route to Singapore, Nov. 14, 2009.

From Fox News:

Group leaders said the RTW Veterans Center is the last privately-owned property on a stretch of S. King Boulevard near the proposed Washington Park site for the Barack Obama Presidential Center and that city building inspectors unexpectedly arrived last April to find an overwhelming 32 code violations at the facility.

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“We don’t appreciate being muscled out and put in the situation of having to negotiate from a position of despair,” facility center Director Jah Ranu Menab told on Saturday.

Menab thinks the University of Chicago, which is working with the Obama Foundation to bring the presidential center to the South Side, is also part of an apparent effort to ultimately force the facility into receivership.

The fate of the veterans’ facility — which officials say serves more than 3,000 meals monthly — may well be decided Tuesday, when officials return to Cook County Circuit Court for a hearing on the efforts to fix the building’s problems.

Menab admits that the facility is in disrepair, with some violations related to a fire hazard, rats’ nests and raw sewage flowing onto the basement floor.

However, he says the situation, which includes fines of $16,000 daily, looks like an attempted “land grab” and that the prestigious university, where Obama was a law professor, “exerts a tremendous amount of influence” over the city and its future.

The university strongly denies any involvement in the city’s dealings with the center and its building and on Friday issued the following statement:

“The mission of providing support for veterans is extremely important, and numerous University of Chicago community members have volunteered their time at the RTW Veterans Center. The university is not engaged in discussions regarding the center’s property and has no plans to purchase it.”

What is the law? If no law is being skirted, or bent, or broken, then where is the injustice? I know, it sucks. It’s not ideal and it’s very cold-hearted. But we have to live by the law, not emotion.

Now, on the other hand, if there’s some shady backroom deal going on between the school and this administration (and why wouldn’t anyone be surprised), then this is an outrage and needs to be stopped.

Best case scenario, the school helps the charity group into a better, less rat infested area. By fund raising, by charity. That will bring the best result. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. We are talking about a public run institution. Money is all they see.

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