Tag Archives: obama

South Siders divided over the Obama Presidential Center

By DeForest Mapp
Medill Reports

Transportation, parking and the use of Jackson Park for the  Obama Presidential Center are dividing area residents as plans and community feedback continue to pour in.

The Chicago Park District is setting the date for the next public meeting for the Obama Presidential Center as well as the Tiger Woods-designed  golf course that would refurbish and combine the Jackson Park and South Shore Cultural Center golf courses.

Check on  future meetings on the Obama Presidential Center and proposals for it. Hear the latest opinions in this video report. Continue reading South Siders divided over the Obama Presidential Center

Obama’s supporters at famed barbershop say farewell

By Pat Nabong

More than eight years after President Obama gave his first victory speech in Grant Park, Chicagoans in Hyde Park bid farewell to the president who used to live in their neighborhood. In Hyde Park Hair Salon, where President Obama has been getting his hair cut for more than 20 years, talk of their hometown hero drowns out the sound of buzzing hair clippers.

Photo at top: Antonio Coye poses beside the chair which President Obama usually sits on whenever he gets his hair cut at Hyde Park Hair Salon. Jan. 10, 2017. (Pat Nabong/MEDILL)

Package of Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline stories

 Standing Rock

These stories on Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline have been supported in part by SJNN and the McCormick Foundation. They have been co-published by SJNN.

One of the security personnel, who is in charge of checking people who leave and enter the Oceti Sakowin Camp, stands beside a flag that was painted with the battle cry of Standing Rock: "Water is life.” (Photo by Pat Nabong/MEDILL)
One of the security personnel, who is in charge of checking people who leave and enter the Oceti Sakowin Camp, stands beside a flag that was painted with the battle cry of Standing Rock: “Water is life.” (Photo by Pat Nabong/MEDILL)

When Cloee Cooper, June Leffler and Pat Nabong proposed in late Sept. 2016 to go from Chicago to North Dakota to report on the ongoing movement by Native American tribes to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed near the Standing Rock reservation, some news organizations had covered the story, a few were invested in continuing to report, but it was still an under-reported, off the beaten track story, with friction developing between protesters and law enforcement authorities and between protesters and journalists.

Cooper, Leffler and Nabong anticipated a number of scenarios that might arise that would be worth elaboration. They needed to be there, develop trusted sources and return to Chicago to continue reporting on the story. They could not have predicted that the DAPL controversy, involving a pipeline that was already 90 percent completed, would result in the halting of the pipeline; the characterization of the movement as a potential model for cross-cultural protest; the election of Donald Trump, a vocal supporter of oil pipelines, and the re-invigoration of the controversy as a focal point for what the new administration will do.

They stayed with the story and put out a package of stories that captured nuances that inject the story with iconic and historical resonance – about the import of political, law enforcement and labor alliances, the modest influence of Native Americans in electoral politics; the presence of tribal rivalries; the dignity of the Native American cause; and the role of climate conditions. In the package of stories, Cooper, Leffler and Nabong have teed up a challenge for journalism: How will journalism cover Native American affairs and its convergence with other agendas; environmental, political and intersectional?

NoDAPL supporters chant ‘Mni wiconi’ and it’s not just about water, By Pat Nabong and June Leffler, Dec. 7, 2016

Illinois’ pipeline construction proceeds with reservations but no rancor, By Cloee Cooper, Nov. 29, 2016

Trump’s ascendancy intensifies #NoDAPL movement, By Pat Nabong, Nov. 23, 2016

Native Americans seek visibility in their vote, By Pat Nabong, Nov. 8, 2016

Native Americans put aside differences at Standing Rock to fight pipeline construction, By Cloee Cooper, Oct. 28, 2016

Bitter consequences: Pipeline protesters batten down the hatches for North Dakota winter, By Pat Nabong and June Leffler, Oct. 19, 2016

All-points call for more deputies to police Standing Rock protest draws critics,  By June Leffler and Cloee Cooper, Oct. 19, 2016

Can Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day co-exist? By June Leffler, Oct. 6, 2016

Siding with Standing Rock at the Naperville Powwow, By June Leffler, Sept. 29, 2016

Trump’s ascendancy intensifies #NoDAPL movement

By Pat Nabong

[Package of Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline stories here]

Right by the Chicago River, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters chanted, “Water is life!” Adorned with traditional headdresses, some of them lit tobacco and prayed for their water. And as the sun set, they danced under the shade of the multi-million-dollar Trump Tower, one of the monoliths that represents the man who will be stepping into the White House in January.

As people continue to protest in various states against the results of the election, thousands of Native Americans and their allies all over the nation are intensifying their fight against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Now that a leader who has expressed his support for and has a vested interest in the fossil fuel industry is about to rise to power, those who are fighting the pipeline feel a stronger sense of urgency.

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President Barack Obama visits Chicago weeks before the election

By Christen Gall

President Barack Obama visited Chicago over the Oct. 7-9 weekend in what could be his last visit before the general election on Nov. 8. After being greeted by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama voted downtown, attended campaign events for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Illinois senate candidate Tammy Duckworth and spoke at the Stony Island Arts Bank near his home in Hyde Park.

The Obamas have decided to stay in Washington, D.C. after the end of the president’s second term. The president and first lady met in Chicago, and Obama started his political career from the city’s South Side. Obama’s mark will be left in Chicago in a visible way through the city’s first presidential library in Jackson Park, near the University of Chicago.

President Obama arrives in Chicago on Air Force One to campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Illinois senate candidate Tammy Duckworth on Oct. 7, 2016. (Christen Gall/ MEDILL)

Obama brings fight for Supreme Court nominee to Chicago

By Max Greenwood

President Barack Obama returned to his old constitutional bastion of the University of Chicago Law School on Thursday to pitch his case for his Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland.

“Merrick Garland is an extraordinary jurist who is indisputably qualified to serve on the highest court in the land, and no one really argues otherwise,” said Obama, at the school where he taught constitutional law for more than a decade. “What is unique is the growing attitude inside the Senate that every nomination, no matter how qualified a judge is, is a subject of contention.”

Joined onstage by University of Chicago law professor David Strauss and surrounded by an audience of law students, faculty and judges, Obama argued that nominating a Supreme Court contender is part of his constitutional authority.  He said that GOP leaders blocking the nomination exemplify bad politics and disregard for the Constitution.

Obama nominated Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court after Scalia’s death in February. But Garland’s nomination met protests from leading Senate Republicans who insist they won’t confirm a Supreme Court nominee until after the November election.
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If SCOTUS calls, shortlist veteran Judge Wood will answer

By Thomas Vogel

As a new faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School in 1981, Diane Wood had two children, both under age 2.

Balancing motherly duties with workplace commitments, Wood sometimes tapped one of her colleagues, Antonin Scalia, for help. As the father of nine, he had a steady stream of clutch babysitters, including his son Eugene, now a 52-year-old partner at a Washington, D.C., law firm.

“When my child-care arrangements fell apart, I would bring them to the law school and Gene would keep an eye on them and play with them and take them out and throw a ball around the backyard,” Wood said. “I knew the family quite well.”

Thirty five years later, Wood is rumored to be a possible candidate to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by Scalia, who died in February at a Texas hunting lodge.

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Clinton ‘Firewall’ in South Carolina primary resonates in Illinois

By Caroline Kenny

In the wake of her virtual tie in Iowa and a 20-point loss to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in New Hampshire last night, Hillary Clinton is looking to the next stop on the campaign trail, South Carolina, to lock down the votes in a more diverse state.

Iowa has not always been kind to the Clinton family when running for president. In 1992, Bill Clinton did not even try in Iowa, knowing Tom Harkin had the vote locked down, so he focused his energy elsewhere. In 2008, Clinton’s campaign did not get on the ground in Iowa until far too late, leading the organization for a little-known senator named Barack Obama to succeed after months of building relationships and knocking on doors. This time around, she organized wide and far across the state, but so did her opponents. Her overpowering lead from early on in the campaign seems to be slipping.

Clinton won New Hampshire in 2008, defeating the future nominee, Obama, but last night she suffered a loss in every demographic group except people over 65. Sanders’ resounding victory in his neighboring state where the population is only 1.5 percent African-American shows who he resonates with and the momentum that his campaign has picked up in recent weeks.

South Carolina is a different story.

As the 2016 Democratic primary in South Carolina quickly approaches, with Clinton leading the polls by double digits, it is easy to push memories of her 2008 2-1 loss to Obama there out of mind. But not for Clinton, who is determined to make South Carolina her territory this time around, considering it her “firewall.”

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