Return to Olympics 2016 homepage. Washington Park and Olympics page.

Community Benefits Agreements, Neighborhood Legacies relating to the 2016 Chicago Olympic Bid will be presented, amplified, discussed here

Presented by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Parks Committee and its website

Meetings, etc. about it

September 13, Sunday, 10:30 am. KAM Isaiah Israel Hyde Park Forum and Panel on the Olympics. A panel discussion moderated by Ben Bradley of WLS-7 with panelists Tom Tresser of No Games Chicago, Fran Vandervoort of Jackson Park Advisory Council and Alderman Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Manny Flores (1) with Jack Spicer and Grahm Balkany representing preservation interests. Chicago 2016 had not responded to its invitation as of publication of this annnouncement but usually participates. Presented by Congregation K.A.M. Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd. (Advised: bringing a photo ID for outside, as the proximity of Pres. Obama's residency is patrolled. Also, Greenwood is southbound only to the parking lot.)

A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Ordinance and Memorandum between the city and Chicago 2016 was drafted in May 2008 and eventually introduced formally in January-February 2009 by 5 alderman, nominally backed by 22 more, and remanded to the Finance Committee. After several compromises (and too late to be passed by the whole Council before the April 2-7 IOC visit), 2016 signed on and the Ordinance was unanimously reported out March 29 and passed City Council April 22 as part of the Finance Committee report. A recent complication is efforts to protect the 8 Gropius buildings of Michael Reese (interior demolition is already under way and demo permits will be issued when the city takes over in July.) Details on the Gropius buildings controversy are in the Southside Preservation Action Fund page. Main features (details not all publicized) include:

Many are pleased, others consider the ordinance a sham or incomplete and providing little other than modest employment and business opportunity for areas south of about 39th St.

A major argument now is the extent is a binding contract, and between whom, the city saying it is not a direct party and 2016 is saying what it will do when contracting with builders, assuming we get teh bid and the IOC accepts the Memorandum as part of the Olympic contract.

Some groups may protest diminutions, failure to pass City Council before the IOC visit, but Ald. Preckwinkle told the Tribune the latter was not a problem due to 2016 public agreement. A joint protest is planned by various group April 2, 5 pm at Federal Plaza, 50 W. Adams.

See in the main Olympics page coverage on the Benefits Agreement and financial and other arrangements that appear to restore a path for Chicago's selection.

Coverage and commentary

April 1 2009 Herald, Olympics benefit rules pass out of committee. By Sam Cholke

The City Council Committee on Finance passed rules guiding Olympics-related spending, a memorandum of understanding, March 27 after a last minute deal boosted minority and women business participation.

Sponsors of the ordinance introduced by Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) delayed the start of the committee meeting by almost an hour in a final bid to increase minimum levels of participation by women- and minority-owned businesses. The ordinance would require a minimum of 30 percent participation by minority- or disabled-owned firms and 10 percent participation by women-owned firms. The last minute 5 percent bump one-ups an Illinois Senate bill sent to Governor Pat Quinn the same day calling for 25 percent minority and 5 percent women participation. The city normally requires 25 percent minority-0owned business participation and 5 percent women-owned business participation.

If Chicago wins its bid for the 2016 Olympics, contractors will be hired based on a scorecard system that will take into account "hiring and sub-contracting within each represented racial and ethnic minority group," hiring graduates from training programs, hiring local workers and other parameters, according to the ordinance. Lori Healy, president of Chicago 2016, said the weighting of each category had not yet been determined.

"Chicago 2016 under your leadership has put their money where their mouth is," Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) told Healy at the hearing.

The amended ordinance approve unanimously Friday by the Committee on Finance retains a minimum of 20 percent affordable units at the planned Olympic Village housing complex with a goal of increasing that number to 30 percent.

Not included were improvements to the Metra South Chicago Branch train line and mandatory advisory councils to oversee the use of tax increment financing funds. New rules also require "the development of a principle of no direct displacement of any resident in the city as a result of the 2016 Games." The original ordinance called for adequate market-rate compensation for anyone displaced due to the Games. The ordinance does not define direct or indirect displacement.

"Knowing there were 27 points that were important to us; today 16 of those 26 have been made possible," said Cecilia Butler, president of the Washington Park Advisory Council and a member of the Chicago 2016 board. Butler said she would be opposed to the process under normal circumstances, but Chicago 2016 and aldermen have been inclusive and open to community concerns during the drafting of the ordinance.

Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chair of the committee, said there would be plenty of opportunities to review the standards set by the city. "This is only the first bite of the apple," Burke said. "They'll be back for a redevelopment agreement, they'll be back for zoning -- we've go plenty of more bites of the apple." The ordinance still has to be approved by the full City Council. The next City Council meeting is Wednesday, April 22.

Herald April 1, 2009. Randall talks Olympic legacy at TIF meeting. By Kate Hawley

Arnold Randall, the new director of neighborhood legacies for Chicago 2016, said the lasting imprint of the Olympics would be determined through "an intensive open process" to included plenty of community input. Speaking Monday, March 9, at a meeting of the 53rd Street Tax-Imcrement Financing (TIF) Advisory Council, Randall gave an overview of th e Olympic bid submitted tot eh International Olympic Committee last month.

Venue plans published in the bid raised questions about exactly how the games would affect Jackson Park, where field hockey [soccer?] is planned, and Washington Park, to be the home of swimming, diving, and tack and field events. Randall said that if Chicago is chosen to host the games -- a decision slated for October -- open meetings will be held in Washington Park , Douglas Park and on the North Sided to allow the community to fully vet the details.

Maps in the bid book appear to show that 55th Street will no longer cut through Washington Park, adn Hyde Park resident Robin Kaufman asked Randall if that is the case. Access to the route would be restricted during the games, but it would be restored when the games are over, he said.

randall also fielded several questions about whether the games would bring improvements to public transportation. While Hyde Park would not get a new train line, federal dollars would be used for significant transit improvements, he said. Parking would be limited near games venues and bicycle use would be encouraged.

Randall, a Woodlawn resident and former commissioner of the city's Department of Planning and Development (since merged into the new Department of Community Development), was once a member of the council himself. He has been on the job as director of neighborhood legacies since early February.

Alderman's Report by Toni Preckwinkle (4th): Talks pay off with community benefits agreement. April 1, 2009

In January, Aldermen Pat Dowell, Leslie Hairston, Willie Cochran and Bob Fioretti and myself (along with 22 other members) introduced a community benefits agreement (CBA) ordinance that pertained to the bid for the 2016 Olympics. The ordinance addressed affordable housing, the involvement of minority6-and women-owned businesses, local hiring and other issues.

The CBA ordinance that was introduced reflected months of hard work by advocates adn aldermen alike. A coalition of community groups entitle the Communities for an equitable Olympics (CEO), the Washington Park Advisory Council and the Chicago Urban League all worked diligently on the drafting of the ordinance. The document that was finally introduced represented almost a year of research and reflection. Last week that hard work bore fruit.

The Finance Committee of the City Council passed an ordinance on Friday outlining the commitment of the Chicago 2016 to community benefits. The Finance Committee blessed an agreement signed by Lori Healey (as president), and Terry Peterson and Michael Scott (as Outreach Committee co-chairs) of the Chicago 2016 Committee.

It should be remembered that the Olympic bid is being made by a privately funded group of individuals and corporations. While the city and state have provided guarantees, the obligation for preparing the bid and conducting the Olympics, should we be chosen, belongs to this private entity.

Given that fact, the memorandum of agreement was an historic document. There are several elements of the agreement which may be of particular interest to my constituents. The Olympic committee pledged to adhere to the city's requirement of 20 percent affordability in the reuse of the Olympic Village units and to try to achieve a goal of 30 percent. In addition, the Olympic bid committee pledged to provide 30 percent of its contracts to minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and 10 percent to women-owned business enterprises (WBEs). The city's own standard is 25 percent and 5 percent, respectively. This is a great victory and due in large part to the last minute advocacy of the Council Black Caucus, particularly Alderman Isaac Carothers and Ed Smith. I am grateful to all my colleagues who attended the Finance Committee meeting and especially to these two men.

In its construction of venues and the Olympic Village itself, the Olympic bid committee will try to insure that apprentices provide 10 percent of all construction hours worked. There will also be regional boundaries for local hiring preferences at the Olympic Venues, which are a one mile radius around the Olympic Village, the Olympic Stadium, the velodrome in Douglas Park and the aquatic facility in Washington Pr,. The city and Olympic Committee will also work o create job training and business development to prepare people and small businesses for the many employment and economic opportunities the 2016 Olympics will offer.

My thanks to my colleagues and advocates who made this victory possible. I am also grateful to Lori Healey who has opened up the Olympic planning process since her arrival in January. When she came on board, one of her first acts was to expand the Outreach Committee from a couple dozen members to 80 people who represented community organizations and non-profits across the city. The committee reformed itself into five subcommittees and the work product of these groups formed the substance of the memorandum of understanding. Again, my thanks to Healey and her staff. In rare circumstances, things turn out better than you have any reason to hope or expect. This was one those occasions.


Council approves Olympic benefits. Hyde Park Herald, April 29, 2009. By Sam Cholke

The Chicag City Council passed a memorandum of understanding on April22 that guarantees specific employment and community benefits if Chicago wins its bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

The agreement, spearheaded by Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), requires a minimum of 30 percent participation by minority- or disabled-owned firms and 10 percent participation by women-owned firms in all Olympics-related contracts. It also includes measures to ensure apprentices work 10 percent of construction hours. "This is historically a way that African Americans adn Latinos can enter a work force that is not very diverse," Preckwinkle said.

In a last minute bargaining session April1 that delayed committee hearings on the agreement by an hour, Preckwinkle was joined by several members of the Black Caucus of the Council to raise participation levels for minority-, women- and disabled-owned businesses to 30 percent from the city's standard 24 percent. Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said she would have had difficulty voting for the agreement if participation remained at the city's standard. Dowell and others praised the memo's scorecard system for hiring contractors that will ensure that all minority groups in the city are able to bid for contracts.

The memorandum passed unanimously on a roll call vote. "I want to thank my colleagues and Alderman Preckwinkle because prior to her bringing this to the City Council, there was no agreement," Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) said.. "I want to remind my colleagues that this is not the end of th e memorandum but the beginning."

The agreement also guarantees 20 percent affordable units at the Olympic Village housing development to be built at the current Michael Reese Hospital site. The document says, "Chicago 2016 will work diligently to identify and pursue such additional subsidies" to increase the portion of affordable units to 30 percent.

As aldermen praised the guidelines, Ald. Ed smith (28th), took note of former state Senate President Emil Jones' criticism of the document as a "sham" in the Chicago Defender. "Where is his brain? We negotiated the best memorandum I have seen since I've been in City Council," Smith said. "I want to give him a kick in the pants because that's what he needs."

The memorandum was a joint effort of aldermen, Chicago 2016 and community groups. "In the area we come from, we have lots of memorandums ... because there is such a distrust between people and the government," Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said. "What is special about the memorandum today is that everyone was able to come together." Top

But is is binding? Yes and No

Herald, May 6 209. Lawyers: Olympic memorandum flimsy. By Sam Cholke

After the City Council put its blessing on a memorandum of understanding between Chicago 2016 and community groups, several organizations now wonder what recourse they have if the promised benefits do not materialize. At the heart of the concerns is whether the memorandum is a legally recognized contract or a formal agreement signaling the city and Chicago 2016 are becoming more amenable to creating a community benefits agreement that would be enforceable.

"I do think it is binding," said Cecilia Butler, president of the Washington Park Advisory Council and a member of the Chicago 2016 Outreach Advisory Committee. "Though it's not ratified until the International Olympic Committee signs off on it."

When the IOC signs a contract with the host city in October, it will decide whether to adopt the provisions in the memorandum, said Stephen Alexander, a professor at DePaul University who has studied the potential impact of th Olympics at the Egan Urban Center. "I don't see how this can be legally binding" unless the IOC takes that step, he said.

"Frankly, it is legally binding," said Arnold Randall, director of neighborhood legacy for Chicago 2016. The benefits outlined in the memorandum of agreement will be included in the final contract with the IOC, he said.

Omri Ben-Shahar, a law professor at University of Chicago who specializes in contracts and liability, expressed discomfort about calling the memorandum a contract in its current permutation when asked to review it by the Herald. "The bottom line is, if you want to hear my view, I don't think it's a legally binding contract - but that doesn't mean it has no effect at all," Ben-Shahar said. "I see it as more of a political document that commits the signatory to a particular position or policy that from which, if they deviate, there might be political repercussions. "I'm pretty sure there are no effective ways to enforce this legally," Ben-Shahar said. "This I'm saying by reading the language in the document where they say they commit themselves to do only to the extent feasible - this is not language you ever find in a commercial contract. If their obligation is only to do the hardest they can or the extent feasible, it is difficult to pinpoint and identify instances of violation or breach."

Ben-Shahar said that from his reading of the memorandum that Chicago 2016 has made a political promise to include certain benefits for the community when contracting with builders. He said Chicago 2016 could seek redress or damages if a contract with a builder is violated, but the Outreach Advisory Committee could not sue Chicago 2016.

Though it received the City Council's support on April 22, the memorandum will continue to be fleshed out before Oct. 2, according to members of Chicago 2016 and of the Outreach Advisory Committee. "I have confidence they will make every effort to meet this," said Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), who spearheaded effort to bring community groups and Chicago 2016 together to draft the memorandum and sponsored the ordinance that brought the document before City Council. "There is a city blessing that goes over it - it passed the City Council as an ordinance.," she said. When asked whether the city would be able to enforce or bring suit for violations of the agreement, Preckwinkle referred the question to the city's Department of Law.

"The city of Chicago was not a party to the memorandum of understanding. That agreement was between Chicago 2016 and the community," said Jenny Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Law, in an e-mail. Hoyle said the city had reviewed the document and id not have concerns about the legally binding nature of the document. "We saw the MOU [memorandum of understanding] before the vote because it was attached to a City Council ordinance," Hoyle said. "However, we did not draft or negotiate teh MOU and did not conduct the type of legal review that we would do if we were engaged in those activities on behalf of a client."

"It's an agreement ultimately between Chicago 2016 and the Outreach Committee," said Jay Travis of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization "The memorandum of understanding in City Council was an expression of support, but we're still out to get a document we can enforce."

Mica Matsoff, a spokeswoman for Chicago 2016, confirmed that the position of Chicago 2016 is that the memorandum is enforceable in a court of law should any of the terms be violated. Randall said the Outreach Advisory Committee could bring a suit against Chicago 2016, if the terms of the memorandum were violated. The memorandum also obligates any successor organizations to Chicago 2016 created upon a successful bid to take up responsibility for all benefits outlined in the memorandum.

The community has gotten a firmer commitment from the city than expected, said Butler, who sits on the Community Enhancements subcommittee of the advisory committee. "It's backed by the city officials, the elected officials voted on it and approved it, it passed the City Council, so the mayor's going home with it," Butler said.

Washington Park neighborhood centered group (3rd Ward 2016 Committee) asks whether the benefits will be real for all the neighborhoods surrounding the park

The Chicago Olympic bid has raised many questions among the residents in Bronzeville, Hyde Park and other nearby neighborhoods. While Chicago's bid documents are posted on the internet, it is still not clear that the people that live in the neighborhoods will benefit by the 2016 Games.

We are concerned about access to contracts, jobs and economic development. A community benefits agreement ratified by the City Council in the spring formalizes goals for minority and women contracts, training for family sustaining jobs, affordable housing set asides and an independent monitoring board.

However, the agreement does not take effect until the bid is won in October. In the meantime, we are watching as preparations for the bid are well underway. The Olympic Village is surrounded by fencing and Michael Reese Hospital's signs have been removed. Property surrounding Washington Park is subject to increased speculation and numerous inquiries. Furthermore, our mayor agreed to take full financial responsibility for the Games.

Chicago 2016 underestimates residents' experiences and knowledge of how limited economic opportunity is in our neighborhoods. We watched our public housing residents get swept out of neighborhoods to other neighborhoods and low-income suburbs. We travel miles to access fresh groceries, because we have few if any full-service stores in close proximity. Our health care needs grow, because we have few health care services and low-income patients are diverted to public clinics with long waiting lines. Our unemployment is high because of low quality education, lack of job training and too few employers in our area.

The burden is on Chicago 2016 to show residents of the neighborhoods that will house the Olympic venues -- will life there be better in 2017 than today? New sporting facilities for are neighborhoods are not enough. Will our children be safer and have more opportunities in 2017? Will we have better jobs, 21st century infrastructure improvements, more retail options and new businesses located in our area than we have today? Will the quality of life improve because of he Olympics?

As Chicago 2016 begins its 50 ward tour, it will hear some tough questions. The 3rd, 4th and 20th wards will have its community meeting at the Chicago Urban League on August 11 at 6 p.m. We look forward to having some complete, honest and real answers.

Shelley A. Davis, Chairman, 3rd Ward 2016 Committee.

[There is a question beyond that-- if the answer is no, or Olympics can only do so much, then -- providing the Olympics won't impoverish the city and divert vital services-- is it still worth doing anyway?]




Community benefits agreements espec. for the Village (Michael Reese) area were introduced by 5 aldermen- Preckwinkle, Cochran, Dowell, Hairston, and Jackson. The aldermen sought to get the document reported out for action ahead of the April 2 2009 arrival of the International Olympic Committee, although the introduction was very late. Incentive to 2016 was to give Chicago something to match the cachets of other bidders and Olympics cities, including green and social sustainability and strong transportation. The three main components of the proposed CBA were 1) 30 percent real affordable housing for the structures after the Village is done, Readiness and training for sustainable jobs (10% apprenticeships) plus 50% MWBE, the Metra Gold Line including a Bronzeville stop plus other transportation enhancements. At a meeting March 7 2009, Ald. Dowell and Preckwinkle promised to work earnestly to pass the Ordinance and apply the principles wherever there is public contribution or leverage.

Olympics Community Benefit Ordinance
Chicago 2016 At January's City Council Meeting, Aldermen Preckwinkle, Fioretti, Hairston, Cochran, and Dowell introduced an ordinance that would protect the interests of communities that could be affected by the 2016 Olympics. The focus is to increase public participation, development of affordable housing from the Olympic Village, adequate notice and compensation for anyone who is displaced due to the construction of Olympic sites, utilization of minority and female owned businesses, subsidy accountability, allocation of workforce development programs, eligibility for tax credits, low interest loans, and grants for businesses leasing space in the Olympic Village who pay their employees a living wage, and utilization of mass transit which will result in massive improvements to CTA trains and buses. To see the draft text of this ordinance, visit

- A report by the Chicago Urban League


(5/12/08 DRAFT)

The City of Chicago ("City" is considering purchasing an approximately 37-acres site from MRL Acquisition, LLC located at 2929 South Ellis Avenue, generally bounded by E. 26th Street on the north, S. Vernon Avenue on the west, E. 31st Street on the south, and the CN/Metra rail tracks on the east (the "Property"). Redevelopment of the property, currently occupied by Michael Reese Hospital, will revitalized the immediate community areas, including but not limited to the Near South, Douglas, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, Washington Park and North Kenwood, by providing new residential and commercial development and additional permanent public improvements that will improve the quality of life for area residents. The City will directly benefit from the redevelopment through increased revenues derived from the real estate and sales tax revenues attributable to the new residents and businesses locating to the Property.

If the City acquires the Property, the City of Chicago will establish and administer a public benefits program ("Program") consistent with the terms of this summary for the purpose of mitigating adverse community impacts of the redevelopment and linking the economic well-being of neighborhood residents to the benefits of such revitalization.

This Program shall commence if and when the City acquires the Property and shall govern the Property's development, whether by the City or a private developer, from the date of such acquisition through the expiration of he new tax increment redevelopment project area ("TIF Area") that the City anticipates establishing with respect to the Property. All construction contracts related to the development of the site shall include the objectives of the Program listed below.

The Program will seek to achieve six goals:

(1) develop affordable housing in order to retain resident population in the area;

(2) hire City residents, minorities and women in connection with the construction projects undertaken at the Property, and utilize such firms for the purchase of services and supplies for such construction projects, tracking such employment and use of vendors through minimum City resident hiring, and MBE/WBE participation requirements;

(3) maintain a registry of qualified City-based and minority and women trades and apprentices and place such persons in positions throughout the life of the TIF Area in connection with the projects undertaken therein;

(4) actively solicit both the participation of new minority and women-owned businesses both in the ownership structure of the master developer of the Property and as tenants in the commercial retail space developed on the Property;

(5) manage site related traffic during and after construction projects and, if the City is awarded the 2016 games, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games to insure that residents have continuous egress to and from their homes and that customers of businesses have continuous access to such businesses; and,

(6) an independent third party shall work in connection with the City's monitoring staff to monitor and report on the City's (and private developers') compliance with the Program goals and objectives.

The goals specified above shall be subject to the following specific objectives:

1. Affordable Housing: Of the residential units developed on the Property, not less than twenty percent (20%) shall consist of affordable housing, as defined under the City's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, Municipal Code 2-44-090 (i.e. with respect to rental housing, housing that is affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Chicago AMI, and with respect to "for sale" housing that is affordable to households earning up to 100% of Chicago AMI). Such objective may be met by the development of projects that individually satisfy such affordable component, or by some projects that are all or predominantly affordable and other projects that are all or predominantly market rate, which, taken together satisfy such 20% affordable housing standard. Affordable rental units shall generally be subject to a 40 year rental period or such period as may be required or appropriate based on the funding sources for such affordable units. For sale units shall generally be subject to deed restrictions administered by the Chicago Community Land Trust that shall run with such units for at least 40 years to assure the long-term, multiple-owner affordability of such units. Such twenty percent (20%) affordability requirement shall apply even if no City financial assistance is received for an individual project.

2. Worker Hiring: In connection with the construction of projects on the Property, each developer shall (a) contract (or cause its general contractor to contract) with minority-owned businesses ("MBEs") and women-owned businesses ("WBEs"), and shall meet or exceed the City's standard allocation requirement of 25% for MBEs and 5% for WBEs, (b) shall establish a target market contract program setting aside certain contracts solely for MBE/WBE subcontractors and supplier participation, and (c) shall cause at least fifty percent (50%) of the construction hours on such projects to be worked by City residents. The City-resident hiring requirement shall be monitored on a monthly basis and not less than thirty (30) percent of all construction worker hours each month shall be filled by City residents, it being the intent that the City-resident hiring objective be met through actual employment and not by payment of the City's standard liquidated damages penalty. Failure to meet such minimum monthly hiring requirement for three (3) consecutive months, or any six (6) months in a twelve (12) month period shall subject the defaulting developer to additional City remedies. A First Source Hiring system will be instituted to identify, track and hire such residents, as well as create a transparent process for employment. This on site resource center wil also provide information for unions operating in each possible industry.

3 Apprentice Sponsorships: For all work in the building trades generated by construction projects, no fewer than 10% of worker hours shall be filled by apprentices. The City and developers shall work with established programs such as that run by Dawson Technical Institute at Kennedy King College, as well as similar apprenticeship programs administered by the Chicago Public Schools, to identify and train apprentices, and to hire graduates from such programs.

4. MBE/WBE Ownership and Tenant Participation: In connection with the City's selection of any master developer for the Property, the City shall include as part of any request for qualifications or request for proposals a requirement that the respondent include, a pat of its development team, one or more MBE/WBE partners. The scoring of such proposals shall positively weight the degree of participation by such MBE/WBE partner(s), provided such participation includes actual equity ownership, direct sharing in the economic rewards (and risks) of such equity ownership and involvement in major decisions of the joint venture entity. In connection with the development and leasing of commercial and retail space on the Property, the Chicago Urban League shall actively recruit and present to developers qualified prospective MBE/WBE businesses to lease such space. Subject to customary underwriting criteria of lenders providing construction or permanent financing for such commercial and retail space, such MBE/WBE businesses shall be given a right of first offer with respect to such space.

5. Transportation Improvements: The City Department of Transportation will coordinate traffic and transportation planning for the purposes of congestion mitigation and strengthening work-related commutes to area job centers. If and when transit-0riented development should occur, the City will include the objectives set forth in Paragraphs 1-4 above for both the construction work and retail/commercial components of such transit-oriented development.

6. Monitoring: The Chicago Urban League, The Target Group or a similar entity with affirmative action and employment monitoring experience shall prepare quarterly reports on the City's and private developers' compliance with the objectives set forth herein.

If a developer defaults in meeting the Program objectives specified above, such developer may be subject to the City's customary remedies, including, without limitation, termination of the applicable contract and any penalty amounts. In addition, such developer (and its affiliates) may be barred from obtaining further City financial assistance (whether through a direct subsidy or through an indirect subsidy, such as a fee waiver or allocation of tax credits). Top

Negotiating for Neighborhoods: Interventions in Olympic Impact in Sydney and Vancouver

From Chicago Rehab Network, 2008. Photo not included: The 2000 Olympic Village in Sydney, constructed with environments concerns in mind, built on the city's concept of hosting the first "Green Olympics."

Sydney and Vancouver, hosts of the 2000 Summer Games and the 2010 Winter games, respectively, both established organizations to monitor the social impacts of the Olympics. For citizens and advocates, both provide models for overseeing Olympics-driven development, and offer perspective on possibilities for equitable outcomes for the Games and residents. The two groups, though similar in aim, differed greatly in scope, composition, and organization. Despite the differences outlined below, groups both in Sydney and Vancouver established agreements to benefit neighborhoods and learned from the difficulty [ies of?] compliance with existing or agreed upon goals.

Additionally, a new international Olympic Committee initiative called the Olympic Games Impact (OGI) will change the climate of impact analysis and mitigation by formalizing the procedure. Created in 2003, OGI requires host cities to report on 125 impact indicators for a twelve year span before, during and after the Games. Beijing 2008 will be the first Games to provide a formal postGames analysis, and Vancouver will be the first host to undertake full OGI requirements, the first of which will be due shortly. While OGI will force hosts to consider impacts more fully, the test of its efficacy will have to wait until the release of its first reports.

Sydney and the Social Impact Advisory Committee (SIAC)

The 2000 Sydney Games promised a new look at Olympic hosting as the first Games of the 21st century. In some ways, they achieved a new approach, building venues on abandoned, government-owned land, including green features in their building, and prioritizing treatment of minorities and homeless in the city's plan for managing the Olympics' impact. As one of the first hosts to focus on impacts, Sydney may have some claim to its reputation as the first "Green Games" as well as then-OIC President Juan Antonio Samaranch's famous line in which he called the 2000 Games "The Best Olympics Ever."

So what did the best Olympics ever look like? After Sydney secured the bid to host the Games, the government of New South Wales commissioned a Social Impact Assessment, which made 37 diverse recommendations on mitigating social impact, including the establishment of a committee to monitor and advise on those impacts. Thus, the Social Impact Advisory Committee was born.

SIAC maintained a diverse composition, including members of Sydney's advocacy community, members of SOCOG, -- the Sydney Organizing Committee for Olympic Games -- and members of city and provincial government. The committee met twice yearly from 1994 until the games were over, making recommendations and discussing progress on Olympic development.

The influence of the SIAC eventually led to the establishment of the Homeless Protocol, a guideline for police interaction to ensure that the homeless residents fo Sydney were treated equitably. The Protocol remains a positive legacy that is still in use today in Sydney. This protocol affirmed the right of all citizens to enjoy Sydney's public spaces, and prevented harassment of the homeless by police, an occurrence common during previous Olympics.

Still, the SIAC suffered from problems that plague many monitoring organizations, that they garner advisory power but have little in the way of leverage or mandate for actual change. Rev. Harry Herbert, the chair of the SIAC, expressed this frustration, saying, "It seems to be a case of government saying the biggest measures are too dangerous and the smallest aren't worth doing!" Pointedly, the government's lack of action and plan for homelessness, and SRO housing topped Herbert's list of concerns.

The Games monitoring environment in Sydney experienced fluctuation, as a splinter group formed just before the Games began to call attention to the lack of progress the organizing committee had made in securing positive social impacts. Rating the positive impacts at a 5 out of 10, the Council of Social Services of New South Wales adn its Olympic Impact Committee (OIC) arm criticized the organizers and government for "[failing] to stop the loss of low cost accommodation," and further, that "other figures [that showed] big rent increases in the Olympic Corridor, contradict the Government's claim of no Olympics-related rent effects."

Vancouver and the Impact on Communities Coalition (IOCC)

The Vancouver Olympics have garnered a great deal of attention for their emphasis on sustainability and commitment to host a Games that does little to displace community members. Crucial to this reputation was the Impact on Communities Coalition (IOCC), which drafted 22 recommendations for positive social impact that Vancouver's bid committee eventually included in the guarantees section of their final "bid book."

The IOCC differentiated itself from the SIAC right from the beginning in a number of key ways. IOCC was formed before the bid, and thus was able to advance some of its concerns and create a direction in the bid itself, rather than simply reacting to development. Also, the IOCC is a member organization with on ties to the Olympic organizing committee, VANOC, or the bid committee. The IOCC has also benefited organizationally from its unity of message -- perhaps owing to a somewhat more homogenous group of members -0- focusing throughout its seven year history on the seven areas of environment, security and safety, community and economic development, civil rights, housing, transportation, adn accountability and transparency.

The IOCC has commissioned several academic works that aim to tease out potential impacts from the Games, while also conducting public opinion and market research. While much of IOCC's work has focused on research on those seven issues, community participation bolsters their resume as well; they wil host as community forum on each of their seven platform issues by the time the Games begin in February of 2010.

Vancouver's non-sport legacy focuses on a tract of abandoned shipping and industrial land called Southeast False Creek (SEFC), which will host the Olympic village during the Games and be converted to a mixed-income, mixed-use development after the Games. The SEFC project forms the centerpiece of an agreement between advocates and VANOC called the Inner-City Inclusive (ICI) agreement. The ICI broadly states VANOC's intent to prioritize inner-city redevelopment for the 2010 Games legacy. In addition to that agreement, advocates and the SEFC developer have signed a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), guaranteeing first-source hiring, job-training programs, and affordable housing.

And while the SEFC project appeared to provide wide and deep benefits to the community, developers have already scaled back the affordability commitments of the housing units. Millennium Water, as the housing development will be known after the Games, will sell condo units from $450,000 to $6,000,000, quite unaffordable for many residents.

Next steps for Chicago Olympics Impact

How will our city, known for a rich tradition of community development and organizing, demonstrate the best monitoring and advancement of what are serious social impact concerns. Will the bid establish and independent committee pulled from all of Chicago's diverse communities and expertise? Will the committee have the ability and [be able to] keep the Olympics development process transparent[?]



Chicago Coalition for the Homeless cites Geneva report to say Olympics do impact affordable housing, homeless people and housing rights

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Fall, 2008, based on "Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights" by Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Geneva Switzerland

As Chicago waits to hear whether our city will be chosen to host the 2016 Olympics, it is important for housing advocates to be aware of how housing rights have been impacted in other Olympic host cities around the globe. While the Olympics are an opportunity to showcase a city to the world, the development that comes with hosting the games can often have very negative consequences, particularly for poor and marginalized people. Looking at the past 20 years of experiences of Olympic host cities, what is revealed are some rather devastating impacts on housing rights. In fact, all cities that have hosted the Olympic Games suffer similar negative consequences. The following information looks at experience of the following Olympic host cities:

Seoul, Korea, 1988
Barcelona, Spain, 1992 [experts say the changes were related to entry the European Union, not Olympics]
Atlanta, Georgia, 1996
Sydney, Australia, 2002
Athens, Greece, 2004
Beijing, China, 2008

Why do the Olympics lead to a violation of housing rights?

Hosting a major international event causes a certain fervor in Olympic host cities that often overrides the needs and input of local communities. Studies of the experiences of these cities have revealed some common experiences, including:

Key Housing impacts in Olympic Host Cities:

  1. Displacement and forced evictions of communities to make way for construction of Olympics-related infrastructure or related to gentrification.
    In Seoul in the five years before the Olympics, 48,000 buildings that housed 720,000 people were demolished for redevelopment. Ninety percent of the people evicted did not receive replacement housing within the redevelopment site. The use of violence was common in these evictions as developers hired private security companies to forcibly remove people from their homes. Violent acts included demolishing homes and setting fires close to where people were still living, as well as sexual and physical assaults of protesting tenants.
    In Beijing since 2000, as many as 1.5 million people have been evicted to make way for Olympic stadiums and new infrastructure. While many are compensated adequately, an estimated 20 percent have ended up in worse conditions, far from jobs and needed services. Many evictions were violent. In the Hujialou neighborhood where residents resisted, a demolition-relocation company tried to force the resident to leave by making their homes uninhabitable --removing windows and safety doors, breaking down walls, cutting off heat and electricity, scattering debris and even defecating in entryways.
    It should be noted that gentrification and redevelopment due to the Olympics are not just byproducts of hosting the event, but in many cases a motivating factor in bringing the Olympics to a city. For example, Atlanta's bid to host the Olympic /Games was spearheaded by a commercial real estate lawyer, Billy Payne, and supported by business groups. Payne and these groups wanted to control development in the city and drive poor communities from the center of the city.
  2. Escalation of housing costs.
    Rents in Barcelona increased by 145 percent between 1986 and 1993 due to redevelopment for the 1992 Olympics. In Seoul, as residents were evicted from their homes, thousands of people sought alternative low-cost housing in the surrounding areas. This huge increase in demand drove up housing costs fivefold in some areas.
  3. Reduction in the availability of low-cost or public housing.
    I Atlanta, a public housing development called Techwood Clark Howell was redeveloped with a net loss of 800 public housing units. Over 3,330 people total, were evicted with only 44 percent receiving relocation assistance. In total, more than 2,000 units of public housing were lost during Olympic development in Atlanta and 5,813 residents were displaced. In Barcelona, the number of new public housing units created fell from 2,647 in 1986 to just 9 in 1992.
  4. "Cleansing" operations to remove homeless people from visible locations and criminalization of homelessness. In Atlanta, a local nonprofit received thousands of dollars in local government grants to purchase one-way bus tickets to send homeless people to Alabama and Florida. Atlanta also passed a series of laws called Quality of Life Ordinances the year after it won the Olympic bid. These laws criminalized sleeping in abandoned buildings, begging and walking through parking lots if one did not own a car. These new laws resulted in 9,000 arrest citations issued to homeless people in one year's time, more than four times the normal. However, it wa reported that judges were reluctant to enforce the laws because of questionable constitutionality. It was learned that police in Atlanta pre-printed arrest citations stating the following information: African-American, Male, Homeless. This resulted in a lawsuit which force police to stop arresting people without probable cause.
    In Seoul, a facility was built 50 kilometers outside the city in the style of a prison camp to house 1,000 homeless people, poor people and people with addictions and mental illness.
  5. Introduction of special legislation to help facilitate preparations for the Olympics, including measures to make it easier to take private property, to target homeless people, to increase police power and restrict freedom of assembly.
    In Sydney, two acts were passed that gave police power to remove people from public areas the city wanted cleaned up for the Olympics. The laws also gave private security guards special powers of enforcement. The legislation made it possible to remove people from an area for indecent language or for causing "an annoyance or inconvenience." They also made it illegal to collect money, sleep overnight or use a skateboard or roller skates.
  6. Discrimination against marginalized groups.
    In Athens, people of Romani ethnic origin were targeted for relocation. An estimated 2,700 Roma were adversely affected by the Olympics. Many were forcibly evicted. Others who had lived for many years in destitute settlements were promised relocation to better housing only to find the relocation plans abandoned because they would be in sight of Olympic visitors.

How can these housing impacts be avoided in future Olympic host cities?

Olympic host cities must agree to follow the principles laid out in the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics. The Olympic Charter is the overarching constitutional instrument of the Olympics and it binds all persons and organizations involved in the Olympics. Several of those principles are relevant to respecting housing rights including "the promise to safeguard the dignity of the individual, the obligation not to discriminate, the promotion of sustainable development and of a positive legacy, and the commitment to fight against poverty and exclusion." In addition, the human right to housing is included in many sources of existing international human rights law unrelated to the Olympics. ( See CCH policy paper, Is Housing a Human Right?

If Olympic host cities were to adhere truly to these principles, the described human rights violations should not have happened. Communities impacted by the Olympics should work to hold their cities accountable to these binding agreements.
The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, an independent non-government, non-profit housing rights organization, recommends the following for Olympic host cities:


Ballot initiative in precincts ringing Washington park calls for lots for affordable housing while forum in Hyde Park looks for alleviations.

Chicago Weekly, October 30, 2008. By Laura Mattison, Perspectives: Restraining Zeus- How a local ballot initiative is attempting to control Mayor Daley's Olympian Actions

....One local issue concerns Chicago's prospective hosting of the 2016 Olympics. Voters in certain precincts in Wards 2, 3, 4, and 20 can encourage Mayor Daley and the Chicago 2016 Committee to use part of any potential Olympic windfall to benefit Bronzeville residents. The ballot initiative asks that at least 26% of the city's vacant lots in Bronzeville be used for affordable housing for moderate-income residents. Generally, "affordable" means residents are spending no more than 30% of their gross (before taxes) income on housing. Moderate-income residents earn between 80% and 120% of Chicago's Median Income, targeting the middle class.

The initiative is meant to partially address a major fear many residents have about the prospect of Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics. Despite the economic and infrastructural benefits Chicago might experience, many people worry that there could be negative impacts on things like housing and transportation for moderate- and low-income residents of South Side neighborhoods. Because the Olympic Stadium would bed located in Washington Park, neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Bronzeville would be especially affected by the 2016 Games. Although the proposed stadium would be a temporary fixture, even that short term structure could have a long-term impact. Groups like the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless believe that low-income and vulnerable groups may be rolled over in the Olympic fever that often takes over the chosen city.

While non expects the degree of widespread evictions witnessed during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chicago residents have valid fears that they may be priced out of their neighborhoods. Other cities have faced this problem of displacement as the Olympics have become a larger and larger event. In efforts to spread the benefits of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Vancouver recently approved the Olympic Legacy Affordable Housing project to create movable modular housing units. The 320 temporary housing units will form part of the Olympic Village and later be moved to other communities to become permanent affordable housing. Hyde Park's Coalition for Equitable Community Development advocates a similar measure to minimize the displacement of area residents by making a third of the Olympic Village units into affordable housing after the "two-week-party" is over.

The opportunities and risks that the Olympics may bring to Chicago were discussed by Hyde Park resident at a recent forum convened by the Coalition for Equitable Community Development at Augustana Lutheran Church. the forum took place on October 18th, and was cosponsored by several local organizations, including the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation. Residents spoke about their concerns to speakers, including the community liaison for Chicago 2016 and two aldermen. With issue ranging from parking to gentrification, area residents expressed hopes that a Chicago Olympics could improve the city, and fears that they might not benefit from those improvements.

There are always huge structural changes when a city hosts the Olympics. There may be urban revitalization, as areas of the city are completely transformed by massive public works projects. The boom in tourism and advertising infuses local businesses and large corporations with huge amounts of money. When all these changes have taken place, a city can find itself transformed. Often the biggest changes are seen in areas considered "underutilized," throwing the lives of nearby already disadvantaged people into further chaos. How can we make sure that these people are not trampled in the ensuing Olympic madness? Is a non-binding resolution to recommend some provisions for middle income housing anywhere near enough?

Cities are always changing. Whether it is "white flight" or gentrification, a new influx of immigrants or technological upheaval, American cities have witnessed waves of change that each left their mark. If Chicago receives the mixed blessing of the 2016 Olympics, no one can deny that there will be manor changes, in both the economic and physical structure of the city. The government and Mayor Daley must be careful to ensure that all benefit. A large public works project like hosting the Games is no experiment in the free market. The city is responsible for the changes it enacts, and it must recognize its obligations to assist all people hurt by its Olympian efforts.


Wash. Park armory could become sports facility

Herald, May 20, 2009. By Kate Hawley.
Talks are in progress to turn the Illinois National guard armory in Washington Park into a youth athletics facility after the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to Arnold Randall, director of neighborhood legacy for Chicago 2016, the nonprofit sponsoring the bid. "We are in discussions with the state of Illinois about the [Chicago Park District coming into ownership of the armory after the games," Randall said Saturday at a meeting in the Washington park Refectory, 5531 [S. Russell] Drive.

"The talks are "in very early stages and in very general terms," said Lt. Col. Randy Scott, director of facilities and engineering for the Illinois Department of Military Affairs. "There's been nothing agreed to at this point." If the armory were to be moved out of teh ark, it would need to be replaced "within the city of Chicago area," he said.

A Park District spokeswoman confirmed that the agency has been in discussion with Chicago 2016 about acquiring the armory. "It would be wonderful for us," said Jessica Faulkner. "We already have the Broadway Armory on the North Side, and it would give us [another] very large sports facility." Randall agreed that Washington Park's Gen. Richard L. Jones Armory would be well suited for indoor track and field, and other sports. Chicago's Olympic bid calls only for using the armory as a staging area during the games.

...Chicago 2016 has begun soliciting community input about what should be left behind in parks affected by Olympic venues. The meeting Saturday was the second such discussion to take place in Washington Park, where an 80,000-seat track-and-field stadium and aquatics facilities would be built. Randall told the crowd of 50 of about 50 that the stadium would be dismantled, leaving behind a 2,500- to 3,500-seat amphitheater. Its location within the park has still to be determined. One of the Olympic pools would replace the existing pool at dyett High School, located in the north end of the park at 555 E. 51st St., he said.

Other legacy improvements under consideration by Chicago 2016 include upgrading the refectory building and making it easier to cross 55th street, which bisects the park, Randall said. Sinking the roadway below grade would accomplish that goal, but he called it "a very expensive proposition." And Park District utility sheds located along Cottage Grove Avenue between 57th and 59th streets could be repurpose for public use, perhaps as horse stables, he said.

The effect of the Olympics on the park has been of particular interest to parks and preservation advocates, who have expressed concern that the historic landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted would be irreparably harmed. At the meeting, Victoria Post Ranney, a former Hyde Park resident and author of the 1972 book "Olmsted in Chicago," gave a presentation on the history of Washington Park. "Having the Olympics here makes sense with Olmsted's vision," she said. Julia Bachrach, the Park District historian, ran through many historic uses of the park -- from horseback riding to ice cream making to boating.

After breakout sessions, the meeting's attendees gave their input on the Olympic legacy for the park. Their wide-ranging suggestions included making sure money is set aside for ongoing stewardship of the facilities left over after the games, expanding youth activities, adding arts programming and improving Dyett High School or moving it out of the park altogether. Rudy Nimocks, the former University of Chicago police chief who was recently named director of community partnerships, suggested reinstating the Chicago Park District Police.

Randall said Chicago 2016 wil incorporate these ideas into a series of recommendations to be presented at a third community meeting, to be held at a time still to be determined. He stressed that the presentation will include "only concepts," not concrete plans.


A new plan for Washington Park: Garfield Blvd. tapped for transit-oriented development.

Herald, June 24, 2009. By Kate Hawley

Residents and stakeholders of Washington Park, Hyde Parks' neighbor to the west, have produced a road map for how they want their community to develop -- an increasingly charged topic given how powerfully a Chicago Olympics could reshape the area and the University of Chicago's recent historic investments into the neighborhood.

Beginning in March last year, more than 200 people representing a broad swath of local institutions met over a nine-month period with ald. Willie cochran (20th) to draft a quality-of-life pan for the neighborhood. Titled "Historic, Vibrant, Proud and Healthy," it was developed as part of the Local Initiatives support Corporation of Chicago, or LISC/Chicago, which is behind similar plans in 16 city neighborhoods.

The plan envisions Washington Park's vacant lost filled in with new housing affordable for a range of income levels, its historic buildings rehabbed, its youth engaged in constructive activities and its adults able to find decent jobs. Health care and support for senior citizens are also among the plan's 10 strategy points.

These are ambitious goals for Washington Park, which has struggled due to disinvestment over the last half-century. for example, the U.S. Census projected it 2005 population at 13,000, down from 57,000 in 1950.

But seismic changes are on the horizon for the neighborhood if Chicago wins its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, not least because track, field and swimming would take place inits eponymous 372-acre park. Some say the ground has already begun to shift with a series of land purchases along Garfield Boulevard by the University of Chicago.

"Neighborhood stakeholders consider the Olympic bid and the University of Chicago land purchases as both opportunities and threats," the plan's authors wrote. "While they may bring new investment and trigger implementation of projects in this plan, they could also repeat urban-renewal mistakes of the past that displaced residents or reshaped communities without the input of local residents." The authors continue, "We intend to be full participants in decisions about our neighborhood's future, and will use this plan to guide development."

Charts and drawings included in teh 35-page planning document show the stretch of Garfield Boulevard from teh Green Line station to the park -- where the university began negotiations to acquire 15 parcels last year -- targeted for "transit-oriented development." This type of development is generally mixed-use, dense and focused on generating foot traffic.

Sonya Malunda, associate vice president in the university's Office of Civic Engagement, participated in the quality-of-life planning from the onset at Cochran's invitation. The university will follow the community's lead when it comes to development in Washington Park, much as it did during recent planning efforts in Woodlawn and the Quad Communities area, she said. "Our role has been that of a junior partner."

A thriving Washington Park would benefit Hyde Park's retail environment and give university students and other Hyde Park residents better access to Washington Park's Green Line stations and the Dan Ryan Expressway, she added.

Developing Garfield Boulevard, though critical to Washington Parks' retail environment, is just a small part of the overall plan, which includes 59 separate recommendations. To put them into practice, the steering company of local stakeholders created a nonprofit called the Washington Park Consortium. Backed by a seed grant of about $200,000 from LISC/Chicago, the consortium began operations in May, according to its executive director Brandon Johnson. Collaborations with other local groups have produce a series of initiatives.

According tot he report, the South Side Federal Credit Union has begun offering checking accounts and has expanded its foreclosure counseling, The Life Center Church of God in Christ has launched new youth programs at its K.L.E.O. Family Life Center and th Washington Park Advisory Council has installed new furniture adn equipment in its computer technology center and offered a sports day camp.

Johnson said he hopes to gain the community's trust by kicking these smaller programs into gear right away. "There's a lot of skepticism in communities across Chicago, and Washington Park is not an exception, about plans actually being fulfilled," he said.

He expressed confidence that the consortium is on the right path. "We've got everybody at the table", he said. Top

About Washington Park Coalition

Ex. Dir. Brandon Johnson. Find under 6357 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Chicago, IL 60637. Phone: (773) 324-7592 or (LISC can also be found at 4659 S. Cottage Grove, 2nd Floor 60653.)
A coalition of many organizations and stakeholders brought together by LISC/New Communities to develop and advance a Quality of Life Plan for the Washington Park neighborhood and promote a host of initiatives by its members. "Everybody at the Table."

See plan: