"Dear Members of The International Olympic Committee" by Thomas Tresser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.tresser.com. 2011. Revision 1. The bulk of this work consists of reprints from Chicago area newspapers and other source sites. This work is dedicated to citizens around the world who speak truth to power, who defy authority to wrest control of their government from special interests, the insiders, the arrogant and unresponsive. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” - Frederick Douglass

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CONTENTS

I. II. III.

Introduction Contributors Essays - “Richard the Privatizer” - “No Games Rallies April 2” - “What Happened When We Went to Switzerland (and met the IOC) - “Why We’re in Copenhagen (meeting the IOC - again) - “What Happened When We Went to Copenhagen (to influence the IOC again) - “How a Lady, a Man and a Boy Have Beaten the World’s Most Powerful Man” - “Lessons Learned From the Olympic Fiasco” - When Losing is Really Winning” - “Why I Fought the Bid” – Joan Levin - “Why I Fought the Bid” – John Viramontes

IV.

The Emails

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I.

INTRODUCTION

I’m putting this book together because there is no record of the opposition to Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. The Chicago media supported the bid with its endorsement and its money and failed to do its due diligence before lending its collective voice and authority to the bid. A few citizen efforts to oppose the bid; No Games Chicago was the most organized, persistent and effective. Our story has not been told. 2009 was the centennial year for Daniel Burnham’s Plan for Chicago. It was a perfect time to revisit the questions “What is a city for?” and “How do we build a city where everyone can prosper – not just a select portion of the population?” The bid for the Olympics represented just one approach to making Chicago a “world class city.” What, exactly, does that mean? Unfortunately, despite dozens of community organizations dedicated to grass roots economic development – despite a handful of major downtown so-called civic “watchdogs” groups – despite a number of major groups dedicated to protecting parks and open lands – despite the presence of major university urban planning departments and community-connection programs – despite all that civic architecture – the questions were NOT asked. The conversation never took place. Only a few alternative press journalists criticized the bid and the point of view it represented. In fact, the third time a local TV news reporter came to the front of my house in Lincoln Park to get me on camera reacting to a 2016-related news item I asked the reporter, “Isn’t there anyone else you can go to for the anti-games point of view?” She thought for a second, “No.” “Why is that, do you think?” “Because the Mayor has intimidated everyone.” “Isn’t THAT a story you should cover?” She looked at me as if I were insane, “I want to keep my job” she said As long as a year after the decision to award the 2016 games to Rio de Janeiro, the local media repeated the bromides propagated by the City and the 2016 organizers. The discussion was still couched in terms of “jobs lost” and “a great opportunity” and a 30 minute documentary created 4

by the former marketing director for the 2016 effort and aired on the local NBC affiliate omitted any mention of opposition to the bid and closed with calls for a bid for the 2020 games. The loss of the bid was quickly followed by Mayor Daley’s momentous decision not to seek reelection and Chicago enjoyed a brief period of “anything can happen” in its civic imagination for the first time in decades. The run up to the 2011 Aldermanic and Mayoral elections would have been a perfect time to ask the questions about what vision for the City will dominate the political landscape for the next few decades. Unfortunately, that did not happen either. So, I’m putting this book together to tell some of the story of the No Games Chicago effort to stop the 2016 Olympics from coming to Chicago because no one is questioning privatization deals or the Big Concrete, Big Contracts, Loop-based mega-projects that suck public tax dollars up by the billions but which are not going to give all citizens of Chicago anything like a fair return on their investment. If we can interrogate and stop one such bad project, maybe concerned citizens can stop the next one. I say “some of the story” because this really is the bare bones. I’m including my own op-ed pieces that originally appeared in The Huffington Post Chicago as well as a few essays by No Games organizers on why they opposed the bid. The bulk of this text is comprised of the email messages No Games transmitted to the members of the International Olympic Committee as part of our campaign to convince them to award the games to some other city. By way of context, the No Games effort was launched on January 31, 2009 with a public forum at The University of Illinois Chicago student center. I had met the founders of No Games, Bob Quellos and Ramsin Canon in November of 2008 and I was there as a volunteer to help with publicity and logistics.

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I quickly became involved as an organizer and built out the web site and edited it going forward. I also became a key spokesperson for the effort. On April 2, 2009 The International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission arrived in Chicago for its first review of the four finalist cities (Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio). We organized a protest rally at Federal Plaza and a march from there to the AON Building where the 2016 Committee was headquartered.

The Evaluation Commission was ushered around the city to visit the proposed venues – most of which were to be in public parks. Members of our coalition followed the official party as they toured Washington Park and Lincoln Park. We also booked a room in the Fairmont Hotel where they were staying and held a press conference outside the hotel asking to be received by the Commission. Amazingly, we were invited to meet with some of the members of the Commission on April 7th. Two of our team met with six of the Commission, including its chair, Ms. Nawal El Moutawakel, a Moroccan hurdler who won the inaugural women's 400 m hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics. This was the first time, to our knowledge, that an opposition group had been officially received by an Evaluation Commission. Bob Quellos, speaking for the team, laid out the essential reasons why Chicago did not deserve to get the games: a. Chicago is broke and can’t afford to shoulder the costs for the games, b. Chicago is corrupt and incompetent and will botch the construction and other aspects of the operation, c. Our infrastructure is crumbling – especially our mass transit, which can barely meet the needs of today’s users, let alone hundreds of thousands of visitors over a three week period, and most importantly d. The people of Chicago do not want this party; we have many other pressing priorities that should command our attention and our dollars. Lori Healy, the President of the 2016 Committee, sat silently off to the side as we gave this presentation, which lasted about 15 minutes. It would take a book of its own to describe and distill the hundreds of hours of research our team members did on the games of the recent past and the debt they left the host city and to break down the 6

many meetings we held across the city to explain our position, seek allies and listen to other community group’s concerns. But let me boil down our strategy to this simple imperative: we had to convince the Olympic delegates who would be voting in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 2, 2009 NOT to vote for Chicago as the host for 2016 games. The decision to award an Olympic games is decided by a simple majority of members who are present. According to the 2009 membership directory there were 111 IOC members. We had to convince 56 members that picking Chicago would be a mistake. At that time the IOC membership included one king, one queen, one sheik, one grand duke, five princes, two princesses, one count and an assortment of generals. There were also super star athletes and wealthy business people. This was the electorate that held Chicago’s future in their hands. We had to reach and persuade these super-elites that Chicago was NOT the place to host the 2016 Olympics. The 2016 Committee raised over $90 million in cash and in-kind services. Not only was Chicago’s business community solidly behind the bid but 20 local foundations diverted millions of dollars from needy nonprofits to support the bid. In addition 13 local media outlets gave cash or in-kind donations to the bid committee. Two mega-millionaires who owned local media outlets, Fred Eychaner (Progressive Talk Radio station WCPT-FM) and Sam Zell (The Chicago Tribune) were both listed in the “Cash Contributions - $100,000 and above” section of the 2016 Committee’s donors. The 2016 Committee had unlimited resources, the Mayor’s best people working for it, the support of the business, foundation and nonprofit community and a local media that served as an echo chamber for whatever PR they put out. No Games Chicago had virtually no assets and few allies. We had no money. No office. No staff. Not one downtown organization, civic group, academic center or good government organization stood with us in opposition to the bid. So we had to use our wits and new technology to reach our target – the members of the IOC. We started our first contact with the IOC on April 7th. Shortly thereafter we got a copy of the membership directory of the IOC that listed the member’s contact information. About 2/3 had email addresses, which we entered them into Constant Contact, the email program we used for our own membership newsletters and for sending press releases. We learned that all four finalist cities would be making their final pitches to the IOC on June 17th at the Muse Olympic, the IOC’s museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Each city would get 90 minutes to add to the details of their already published bids and to answer any questions from the members. Chicago was to present at 9:15 am. The world’s press would be there in force. Our leadership team discussed this amazing opportunity at a meeting on May 30th. We decided to send a delegation to Lausanne to present our case directly to the IOC. We didn’t know how we would pay for the expedition (for the interim we put all expenses on my credit card). By the end of the day we had the travel donated and the hotel booked. We were going to Switzerland!

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To deliver our message we decided to create a “Book of Evidence” to document the four main arguments we had initially laid out to the Evaluation Commission: Chicago is broke, Chicago is corrupt, Chicago’s infrastructure is crumbling, and the people of Chicago don’t want this party. I had been collecting articles on local corruption and related scandals for the past few years and other members of the team had their own stock of articles and exposes. Over the course of an evening we sifted through several hundred articles and sorted them into four piles. I wrote the cover page for each section and we used Ben Joravsky’s column from the April 2, 2009 issue of The Chicago Reader, “An Open Letter to the IOC – Why You Don’t Want to Give Chicago the Olympics” as the lead off piece. Chicago, being what it is, we added to this document right up to the hour of departure as several new scandals were brewing. Our delegation departed for Switzerland on June 14th and arrived in Geneva on the morning of June 15th. We took a train from Geneva to Lausanne, renting cell phones with local numbers along the way. We were able to then type in these numbers to the press release master we brought along with templates for business cards we had prepared. We printed up 150 copies of the “Book of Evidence” in Lausanne and brought 100 copies directly to the IOC for distribution to their members (we later learned from a Time Magazine reporter that the books had been delivered as promised.) We distributed the other 50 to members of the press and members of the other three city delegations, including the Governor of Tokyo. We printed up the press releases and business cards so that all our materials had local phone numbers as well as our Chicago contact info. It’s another long and (I think) exciting story to detail the logistics of how our Lausanne team coordinated with the Chicago press team via Skype to manage the seven hour time difference and how our press releases were timed to match our exact arrival in Lausanne. We tried to keep the whole action a secret and called it “Operation Cheese” in all communications and emails up to then. No one, outside of the No Games leadership team, knew we were going to the IOC’s International Headquarters to deliver our books. For now, let’s just say that when the No Games team arrived at the IOC’s headquarters in their private park on Monday, June 16 at about 5 pm local time, we found ourselves in a media feeding frenzy that lasted for the next three days. We timed our arrival to coincide with the end of IOC President’s Jacques Rogge’s press conference. Ben Bradley, of ABC News Chicago, pulled his camera team out of that event and set up outside the one story office building. His news report on the proceedings captured us getting out of the taxi and unloading our cargo. The team then spent the next seven hours responding to the request for interviews. We updated the web site, updated our Facebook page and used a Twitter management tool to transmit updates.

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On Wednesday, June 18th we set up shop on a plaza outside the IOC Museum and created a makeshift newsstand where we interacted with the press, the public, other city delegates and even a few IOC members – handing out copies of “The Book of Evidence.” It was hot – over 90 degrees and after five hours we headed back to the hotel. We grabbed some sandwiches and spent the next six hours online, responding to more requests for interviews and updates. We were interviewed by reporters from around the world but the only local news interview we did was one on Chicago Public Radio. All Chicago media outlets, including the local dailies, usually came to us for a reaction or quote when there was a significant 2016related story. But in Switzerland it seemed that we disappeared from most of Chicago’s news coverage. The citizens of Tokyo, Madrid and Rio were better informed on who we were and what we were doing there and why then the people of Chicago. The emails in this book were designed to re-enforce the essential message of No Games and the material in “The Book of Evidence.” The emails started on July 23rd – 70 days before the October 2nd decision – and continued right up to the morning of the vote. The same team that went to Lausanne also went to Copenhagen to distribute more information to the delegates. We assembled several additional articles and op-ed pieces, included a cover letter, and made 100 copies. Our time in Copenhagen was quite different that our time in Lausanne. Switzerland was sunny and welcoming. We were allowed to set up shop in front of the IOC Museum and received courtesy and recognition from the IOC staff. Copenhagen was an armed camp with the Danish army, the Copenhagen police, the American Secret Service and a private security firm brought from Chicago all ringing venues and guarding every place we needed to go. It was very scary.

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What we did there and who we met is stuff for yet another chapter. A PhD student from England researching Olympic resistance followed us everywhere. We met a delegation from No Games Tokyo who were in awe of our work. We crashed the media lounge reserved for the press and ate their food and drank their booze. But the main accomplishment was that we penetrated the security and delivered our paperwork to the IOC communications staff personally. Besides the personal visits and the emails sent to the IOC members, we also mailed hard copies of materials to all members. At the end of the day, you might ask “Did you make a difference?” I can say, without reservation, that we know we did. We know from several highly placed Olympic officials that the IOC knew who we were and respected us. We know who opened our emails. But the most telling insight came from one senior Olympic strategist who told me “Once the public support for a bid falls below 50%, you’re toast.” In February of 2009 the Chicago Tribune conducted a poll that claimed 64% of Chicago’s public supported the bid. In late August that number was down to 47% When asked if people would support using tax revenue to cover losses from the games, 84% said “No.” No Games Chicago was the only source of information critical of the bid. We went to dozens of community meetings across the city – including every one of the “50 Wards in 50 Nights” presentations made by the 2016 Committee. Our web site was visited by tens of thousands of viewers. Hundreds of people had participated in two protests. Thousands signed our online petitions, joined us on Facebook and followed us on Twitter. More importantly, we were the only ones to communicate to the IOC the deteriorating public support for the bid. One of the most effective ways we did this was via the emails contained in this book.

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We wanted to place this material in the public domain so that other activists might take what they can from it and, hopefully, be better armed to fight poorly conceived Mega Projects that are being force upon their cities. Tom Tresser Editor June 2011

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II. Contributors

Joan Levin Joan currently works with a number of organizations and individually on projects including the promotion of a plant based whole food diet, food production without genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), an efficient municipally owned and operated water system for the City of Chicago, security for Israel, and appreciation for Yiddish language and culture. She is active in the raw food movement and plays a mean ukulele.

Sam Rhee (Illustrator) Sam Rhee is a multimedia designer and user experience architect, and he has worked with some of the largest corporations, government entities, and non profit organizations in the world. You can view his work at: http://samrhee.com. (Note – the No Games Chicago logo and skyline banners were designed by No Games co-founder, Bob Quellos)

Bob Quellos Originally from Cleveland, Bob Quellos has lived in Chicago for over a decade. He received a Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While at UIC he began studying the impact of the Olympics on cities and the potential impact they would have on Chicago. After graduation he co-founded No Games Chicago. Today he is still an activist in Chicago and works in the field of architecture.

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Tom Tresser Tom Tresser is a consultant, producer, educator and trainer works with individuals, companies and communities to leverage and amplify their creative assets in order to solve problems, create economic value and trigger civic engagement. He was director of cultural development at Peoples Housing, in north Rogers Park, Chicago, where he created a community arts program that blended the arts, education and micro-enterprise. Tom has acted in some 40 shows and produced over 100 plays, special events, festivals and community programs. He was an arts activist, having organized support for pro-arts candidates and developed a cultural policy think tank at Roosevelt University in the early 1990’s, where he taught “Arts & Public Policy.” Tom was elected to the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School’s Local School Council and served from 2004 to 2006. In 2008 he was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, a successful effort to stop the privatization of public space in Chicago. He was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer grassroots effort that opposed Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. He has taught workshops on “The Politics of Creativity – A Call To Service” for arts service organizations in six states. He has taught a number of classes on art, creativity and civic engagement for Loyola University, School of the Art Institute, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and DePaul University. Tom also consults with arts organizations on strategic planning, audience development and peer-topeer marketing. Tom has published a web-based project, “America Needs You!” – about the need for artists to get involved in politics. Tom was the Green Party candidate for the position of President of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County in November 2010 election. Tom recently taught “Got Creativity? Strategies & Tools for the Next Economy” for the IIT Stuart School of Business. Tom is currently working on establishing a new nonprofit enterprise, Protect Our Public Assets, to stop privatization of public assets and to defend and extend the commons. His web site is http://www.tresser.com. John Viramontes John Viramontes received training in community organizing at the nonprofit Northwest Neighborhood Federation, a Chicago-based organization which empowers local residents to address neighborhood issues affecting large groups of people.

Konstantinos Zervas Konstantinos Zervas is researching in the area of sports sociology. He holds an MA in International Sports Policy from Chelsea School, Brighton University and is now completing his PHD on the area of social movements and the Olympic games in Leeds Metropolitan University. His current academic focus is in sports activism and its potential contribution to social change.

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III. ESSAYS

Richard the Privatizer By Bob Quellos - September 14, 2010 Located at http://socialistworker.org/2010/09/14/richard-the-privatizer
[Note from the editor – Bob wrote this well into the No Games campaign and I include it here to provide a bit of framing for the bid and the type of public policy it represented. One of the reasons I got involved in the fight to stop the bid was because I saw it as a massive privatization effort – the Olympics hands your city over to a Swiss corporation for seven years and they essentially run the show. Your entire city is privatized. ] Bob Quellos, a founder of the No Games Chicago [1] group that challenged the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics, chronicles the long and grim reign of Mayor Richard Daley. WITHOUT WARNING, and to the relief of many Chicagoans, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced at a press conference last week that, after 21 years as mayor, he would not seek re-election. Since his announcement, the mainstream media in Chicago have been busy glamorizing Daley's tenure as mayor and praising his ability to bring the city out of the doldrums of 1980s deindustrialization and create the "global city" that it is today. While the media has been forced to give nods to the obvious troubles that have plagued the Daley administration, any real analysis of the city's political structure and current economic plan has been sparse. Take, for example, the praise for Daley's mayorship in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial: [B]efore he goes, allow us to make one thing perfectly clear: Richard M. Daley has been one hell of a mayor. Though his dictatorial style at times offended us, Chicago flourished during his two decades at the helm. As of late, the Daley administration has run into some problems. A July poll by the Chicago Tribune found that just 31 percent of Chicagoans wanted the mayor to run for re-election, as opposed to 53 percent who did not. And

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Daley's image has taken a hit over the last year after the details surrounding the sale of Chicago's parking meter lease became public. Add to this Daley's embarrassing defeat in the bid for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago's ongoing budget problems, a defeat of Chicago's handgun ban by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a possible upcoming battle with the Chicago Teachers Union. But the mayor's recent list of woes is nothing new. Throughout his time as mayor, Daley has watched many of his close political collaborators get hauled off to prison for illegal dealings at City Hall. The Hired Truck Scandal alone, which cost the city $40 million a year for city trucks that were paid not to work, sent nearly 50 people to prison, including the mayor's patronage chief Robert Sorich--with the investigation stopping short of implicating the mayor himself. ---------------THE DALEY administration has been plagued by corruption since its first days in office. In fact, corruption was key to helping the young Daley win his first election, as he campaigned on his "success" as the Cook County State's Attorney. As Charles Butler wrote on Huffington Post: "If I were writing Mayor Daley's legacy, it would have to include his tenure as the Cook County State Attorney, where on his watch innocent men were given death sentences, and tortured, many believe with the knowledge of state and local prosecutors." Jon Burge, the police commander that oversaw this torture of more than 200 men and forced false confessions that sent many innocent men to death row, was finally found guilty of lying about torture earlier this summer. He is currently awaiting sentencing. Daley still denies any knowledge of the torture that occurred under Burge and denies being aware of information about the ongoing torture by Burge given to him while he was Cook County State's Attorney. While Daley has always pled ignorance to any wrongdoing or illegal acts that have occurred at City Hall since he took office, he's never been shy about using whatever means are necessary to get what he wants. In March 2003, without providing notice to people in Chicago or even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Daley decided to shut down Meigs Field Airport, located on the city's lakefront just outside downtown. His mission was accomplished by sending demolition crews in the dead of night to carve two large X's into the airport's single runway. The next morning, Chicagoans, the FAA and pilots with planes still at the airport woke up to find the airport was no longer operational. His brazen move brought outcry from the press, Chicagoans and the FAA, which eventually fined the city. Daley's tenure as mayor largely coincided with two economic booms, but he's stepping aside as Chicago faces $655 million budget shortfall in the coming year. And like every other city dealing with the current economic recession, the last few years have by no means been easy for most Chicagoans. Under Daley's watch, thousands of jobs have been slashed, city workers were forced to take furlough days, and basic services have been cut to ease the city's budget crisis--all while Daley sits on a slush fund $1.2 billion that he controls and doles out at his discretion. While the basic standard of living for Chicagoans has been under attack, those aligned with banks and big business have been prosperous, thanks to a cozy relationship with Daley. As the Chicago Tribune commented on the day of Daley's decision to not seek re-election, "During Daley's 21 years in office, he built a tight relationship with business, and his agenda became their agenda in many ways." In his campaign to become mayor in 1989, Daley championed the privatizing of government services. And the Daley administration did privatize--everything from the Skyway Bridge that leads to Indiana, basic services and

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downtown parking garages, to schools and public housing. It attempted to privatize Midway Airport and areas of the public parks, and even floated the idea privatizing the city's water system. But the sale of the city's parking meters may prove to be one of Daley's greatest legacies, leaving residents to curse his name for decades to come. The parking meters sale was essentially a giveaway that made everyday life more difficult, as parking meter rates rose throughout the city. It was also a giveaway that clearly exposed how city business is done--behind closed doors and for the benefit of the mayor's cronies and the business elites. In December 2008, Mayor Daley announced the $1.15 billion, 75-year lease of the parking meters to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, a newly created entity managed by Morgan Stanley. Soon afterward, it became public that the real value of the meters was somewhere around $5 billion. The deal was great for Morgan Stanley, which quadrupled parking rates and can look forward to making a good profit off the meters for the next 75 years. And while profits from the sale of the meters was supposed to be set aside for a "rainy day fund," almost all of the money obtained in the sale has been spent by City Hall within the last two years. ---------------DALEY LIKES to take credit for coming up with the idea of privatizing everything under the sun. As he told Chicago Public Radio last year, "I'm the one who started talking about leasing public assets. No other city has done this in America." But the Skyway Bridge lease, the first deal of this kind, was first pitched to Daley's top finance aides by Goldman Sachs, which was then later paid $8.4 million to advise the city on the deal. And while the mainstream press has touted the mayor's success in "reforming" the Chicago Public Schools, the privatization program he implemented, known as Renaissance 2010, was in no way his brainchild. The plan for Renaissance 2010 originates with the Commercial Club of Chicago, an organization of the city's most powerful corporations. In 2003, the Chicago Commercial Club published a 58-page document titled Left Behind, aimed at "reforming" the Chicago school system and attacking the Chicago Teachers Union and parent democracy in the school system. What followed was the mayor's implementation of a program called Renaissance 2010. The program, when completed, will close 60 "under-performing" and low-enrollment schools and replace them with 100 new schools. Many of these new Renaissance 2010 schools are charter schools, which are operated by nonprofits, eliminate the teachers' union and outsource management. As Andy Kroll of Truthout wrote of Renaissance 2010: " The corporate elite simply used the mayor and his authority over the school system as an avenue to privatize and militarize Chicago's schools under the guise of Renaissance 2010, a program that so far has seen, at best, very mixed results." The press is still applauding Daley for overseeing the dismantling of Chicago's public housing, which has been a well-documented disaster for its residents. A recent Chicago Tribune editorial glowingly described Daley's overhaul of public housing, known as the "Plan for Transformation," stating, "He has dismantled the high-rise warehouses that ghettoized generations of Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents. It's another under-told saga, one that liberated often voiceless families from cyclical doom." What the Tribune failed to mention is that a great majority of those families are still voiceless and face the same poverty, no thanks to the Plan for Transformation. The plan has forced large numbers of CHA residents off of public housing rolls and into the private sector. In the end, the Plan for Transformation has proven to be nothing more than a land grab by private developers in cahoots with the mayor and a nightmare for the public housing residents who have been displaced. Combined, Renaissance 2010 and the Plan for Transformation have had a devastating impact on a large number of Chicagoans. This is especially true for the mostly poor and African American Chicagoans who live on the South

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Side, where these two programs work hand in hand not to better Chicago and the lives of the people in it but to gentrify neighborhoods--leaving many with no choice but to leave the city. ---------------IN THE end, Mayor Daley's biggest accomplishment has been to place the city squarely under the thumb of corporations and the neoliberal economic policies they want implemented. And the next mayor of Chicago will certainly be beholden to this formula. As Ramsin Canon from the Chicago blog Gapers Block wrote, "The competition for that office is not going to be left to minor players. Understand that the individuals who vie for that office will need to bind themselves to any number of institutional and organizational players with billions of dollars at stake." However well Daley ran the political machine in Chicago, he hasn't been able to create an obvious successor during his tenure. His political machine was able to bring under its control Black, white and Latino politicians from every corner of the city--creating a City Council that rarely cast votes not in line with the mayor's wishes. At the same time, he was able to adhere to the wishes of the city's corporate elite that contributed heavily to his campaign fund. Even though he isn't running for re-election, Daley will leave office with nearly $1.5 million in his campaign fund that he can claim as his own due to a late 1990s change in campaign-funding laws. Daley's decision to step aside, with no obvious successor to steer the machine, creates a political vacuum in Chicago. This political vacuum could likely result in a political circus not witnessed in the city since the death of Mayor Harold Washington in 1987. Days after Washington's death, Chicago's City Council convened to appoint an interim mayor. What quickly followed was one of the ugliest scenes in the history of Chicago politics--broadcast live on TV. Nearly 480,000 viewers watched Chicago City Council members posture, stand on tables to scream, break into tears, pray, swear, hurl racist insults, threaten physical violence and then finally elect Eugene Sawyer as Chicago's next mayor, shortly after four in the morning. The upcoming Democratic primaries for mayor scheduled for February 2011 promise a holiday season full of Chicago-style political theater. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the real needs of Chicago will be realized in the end. However, when it's over, the election is sure to expose the fact that progressive reform in Chicago has not been limited by the iron fist of Mayor Daley, but by the corporate power structure that has propped him up, as the next likely Democratic mayor, however strong or weak, takes up his same policies.

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NO GAMES RALLIES APRIL 2 By Tom Tresser – March 25, 2009 Located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-tresser/no-games-chicago-rallies_b_178372.html No Games Chicago is a coalition of social justice activists from across the city who believe that seeking and hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is a terrible waste of precious civic resources and treasure. This group includes people who have been working for years on building affordable housing, fighting for environmental justice, working on human rights issues, litigating against police torture, pressing for good government reform and organizing independent politics. I count myself in this last category. They have called for a protest rally and march to shut down the Olympic bid on Thursday, April 2 at Federal Plaza at 5pm. Speakers will include activists from Chicago and Vancouver, the site of the 2010 Winter games. The rally coincides with the arrival of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Team, who will be touring the city and the proposed venues. The 2016 committee has raised almost $50 million - including $5 million from the MacArthur Foundation - plus contributions from just about every major private contractor that does business with the city. They have flooded the city with misinformation and a host of feel good events. The games are being sold to the people of Chicago with a massive, hype machine-fueled litany of promises and claims. The No Games folks' own research shows that the 2016 committee is lying. The games are disasters for host cities. The IOC makes millions, the TV networks make millions and the corporate sponsors hope to sell products and make millions. But it's the tax payers that pick up the bills for security and constructions projects that spiral out of budget, all while the so-called benefits are wildly over stated. The games organizers often talk about "economic impact" and "lasting legacy" for the games. The likely impact and legacy will be debt, displacement and diminished public parks. Consider a few points: - The city of Vancouver, host of the 2010 Winter games, is facing bankruptcy as their total costs approach $6 billion (security alone is $900 million Canadian). - The original bid budget for the London 2012 Summer games was 4 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) and is now at 9.3 billion pounds ($13.7 billion) and this "does not include all of the activities on which delivery of the Games and its legacy depends. The acquisition of land for the Olympic Park, the costs of government departments working on Games preparations and legacy planning, as well as costs of improving wider transport links are all outside the budget," according to a April 2008 report from the House of Commons. - The city of Montreal took 30 years to pay off their debt from hosting the 1976 Summer games, which locals have been calling it "The Big Owe" for decades. 18

- The Chicago 2016 bid calls for just over $4 billion in construction - this from the administration that brought you the Block 37, Soldier Field, Monroe Street Garage and Millennium Park overruns in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Heck, the 2004 Athens summer games were $5.26 billion over budget - and that was 5 years ago. Who can even begin to guess the Olympian cost overruns 5 and 6 years from now? That's worth repeating - the overrun for the Athens summer games was more that the total estimated cost of Chicago's games.

- Most of the Chicago venues are to be built in our public parks - including spending $31 million for a 20,000 seat tennis venue adjacent to the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary at Montrose - a facility that will result in the destruction of about 100 trees and seriously threaten the nature area that volunteers have worked for decades to create - all at a time when basic services inside the Park District have eroded and fees have gone up. - Historic Washington Park will pretty much be obliterated and unavailable to neighborhood users for years as an 80,000 seat stadium plus swimming facilities are built. - You'll have to shell out between $520 to $1,645 for the Opening Ceremony and pay $28 to $486 for "prime events" at the games, making these events way out reach for most Chicagoans. - Don't forget the federal government is broke, the state has at least a $9 billion deficit, Cook County is run by buffoons and the city is about $290 million in the hole. The city has closed public schools, health clinics and can't pave our streets (unless you live next to Washington Park, which, the Tribune reported recently, is getting an emergency paving in advance of the IOC Evaluation Team coming here in on April 2). But our horrible financial situation has not prevented our spineless legislators from guaranteeing the 2016 committee $500 million in city money and $250 million in state funds. And the city has committed to picking up the security bill, which for the smaller Vancouver games is over $900 million. And the city has already spent $85 million to acquire the Michael Reese Hospital site. Where is all this money coming from? If it's at hand, then why aren't we using it now to improve and expand essential services?

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- No new el lines or extensions of el lines are contemplated for the 2016 games, at least none have been disclosed in the bid documents. - There's the issue of displacement and the pressure to move poor and working people out of their neighborhoods on the near West and South Sides. Could it be that greedy developers are using the games as a way to seize land and get their projects underwritten with our dollars? That hasn't happened before, right?

-The Games will prove to be the worst disaster to hit our city since the Great Fire. A report by Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson, "Mega Events: The effect of the world's biggest sporting events on local, regional and national economies," exposes the lies told to us by the 2016 Olympic committee. They claim the 2016 games will bring in billions. In his report, published in 2006 by the Department of Economics at the College of Holy Cross, Matheson says "Not so." This report is available for download from the Box.com widget on the lower right of our web site. His report concludes with this quote: "The most important piece of advice that a local government can take regarding mega-events, however, is simply to view with caution any economic impact estimates provided by entities with an incentive to provide inflated benefit figures. While most sports boosters claim that megaevents provide cities with large economic returns, these same boosters present these figures as justification for receiving substantial subsidies for hosting the games. The vast majority of independent academic studies of mega-events show that the benefits to be a fraction of those claimed by event organizers." Matheson writes elsewhere: "Expensive infrastructure projects undertaken for the Olympics also generally contribute little to long-run economic growth. While the construction of modern airports, highways, and transit systems are vital for economic development, the specialized sports infrastructure required to host an Olympic Games cannot easily be converted to other uses. The so-called Water Cube, the site 20

of Michael Phelps's golden achievements, is an architectural and technological wonder. But after the closing ceremony, Beijing will have little use for a state-of-the-art swimming facility that seats 17,000. Beijing will join good company in wondering what to do with its beautiful but empty venues. Most of the 10 gleaming new stadiums built in South Korea for the 2002 World Cup sit unused today, and Australian economists at Monash University suggest that the "redirection of public money into relatively unproductive infrastructure such as equestrian centers and man-made rapids" has since reduced public consumption by $1.8 billion (in US currency)." The No Games Chicago organizers have parked a number of studies and links at their web site at http://www.nogameschicago.com so you can read reports and articles on the mess the Olympics have left in other host cities. You can also check out the extensive information compiled by the anti-Olympics organizers in Vancouver and London. The No Games Chicago crew is calling on all citizens who are fed up with back room deals, using public assets for private gain, the closing of public schools and health clinics and the ongoing neglect of the working class of Chicago to join them on Thursday, April 2 at 5pm in Federal Plaza. They invite you to send a message that the people of Chicago don't want to spend billions on a three week party.

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WHAT HAPPENED IN SWITZERLAND (WHEN ME MET THE IOC) By Tom Tresser – August 30, 2009 Located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-tresser/what-happened-inswitzerl_b_266190.html (Note - This was written on the plan coming home from Geneva, June 19, 2009. It starts in the present and works backward to the decision to go to Switzerland)

Friday, June 19, 1:20 p.m. local time, Geneva Our plane has just taken off. The No Games Chicago delegation is safely aboard and we’re on our way home. After nine hours in the air and crossing seven time zones to the west, we’ll return to Chicago after a lay-over in Washington, D.C. We are in the economy class of the wide body B767-300 three cabin jet. Two classes in front of us are the senior staff of the 2016 Chicago Committee, including CEO Lori Healey. They are ensconced in pod-like capsules with reclining seats and private televisions.

It’s been a busy, eventful, and some might say, historic journey. I’ve gotten about eight hours of sleep since we arrived in Switzerland five days ago. Martin Macias, Jr.; Rhoda Whitehorse and myself came to Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday, June 15. We came to inform the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the reasons why No Games Chicago believes our city should NOT be awarded the 2016 Olympics. No Games Chicago is a coalition of individuals who oppose Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics. The groups includes people who have worked for decades on a wide range of social justice and good government issues. The group also includes people who have never worked on social change or civic engagement efforts before. We are all volunteers and no one is paid to do 22

this work. No organization or political entity or established group is backing us. In fact, the members of this delegation have gone into debt to make this trip. We expect to produce a fundraiser to cover these expenses some time after we return. No Games Chicago was launched on January 31 at a public forum at the University of Illinois Chicago’s Student Union. Over 250 people attended. The speakers were Deborah Taylor of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), J. R. Flemming of the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and Karen Lewis of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE). The keynote speaker was Dr. Christopher Shaw of the University of British Columbia. Dr. Shaw has been an anti-Olympics organizer in Vancouver since 2002 where he founded 2010 Watch and is the author of “Five Ring Circus, Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games.” Vancouver is the site of the 2010 winter games and he came to Chicago to warn us about the disasters that have befallen his city since their Olympic bid was won. He spoke about massive cost overruns, destruction of old growth forests for venues, displacement of people from their neighborhoods and systematic civil rights abuses. He told us that the promises made o the people of Vancouver sounded exactly like the promises being made to the people of Chicago. The mayor of Vancouver lied to the people in order to get the 2010 games. He didn’t tell the truth about the true costs and the disruptions that come with the games. When the mayor was asked about taxpayers being at risk for the games he repeatedly said “It won’t go over budget” (watch him deny budget liability three times in a row). Dr, Shaw concluded by saying that he hoped we could learn from the misfortunes of Vancouver and not repeat them. But would we? Two days ago, on Wednesday, Mayor Daley held a press conference he would sign the Host City Contract (see a copy of the Host City Contracts London and Vancouver signed). This announcement ignited a storm of controversy in Chicago because it amounts to signing a blank check on behalf of the 2016 Olympic Committee. The taxpayers would be responsible for all costs not met by the Committee. This is exactly what No Games has been warning Chicago about since that January 31 forum. We’ve built our web site, www.nogameschicago.com, and placed there documentation from other host cities as well as links to academic reports and other groups who have been fighting the games in their cities. So that’s who we are. A group of very concerned citizens who care deeply about their city and her people and who have devoted hundreds of hours of volunteer service over the past five months in order to prevent the economic, environmental and civil liberties disasters that will come with the 2016 Olympics. The three members of the delegation seeking to meet with the International Olympic Committee are Tom Tresser, Rhoda Whitehorse and Martin Macias, Jr. Here’s how we were described in the press release from June 16. Tom Tresser is an educator and activist and former actor and producer. He is a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, which fights the privatization of public space and an member of the Executive Committee of the 43rd Ward Independent Democratic Ward organization in Chicago Rhoda Whitehorse has lived in Chicago for 40 years and is a former public school teacher. She is a mother and grandmother who cares deeply about the world they will inherit. Martin Macias Jr. is a youth organizer for the Chicago Environmental Justice Coalition, and Comite 10 de Marzo, an Immigrant Rights organization. He is also a media reform activist with the community radio station Radio Arte where he serves as the host/producer of First Voice, a radio news zine. He currently chairs the Peace Committee at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Thursday, June 18, 1pm, Lausanne 23

This afternoon is a quiet day. We are packed and our luggage is stored at the Hotel AlphaPalmiers. Earlier this morning Rhoda and Martin went down to the shore of Lake Geneva to film a video update from Martin. Rhoda used a Flip video recorder and I placed it on YouTube and then posted it to our web site. They showed us the video at breakfast. It was a beautiful and elegant statement of why we are here. Watch his video at YouTube. Our mission today is to hang out at the Palace Hotel. Today the members of the IOC are having private meetings with various members of the four city delegations. We sat around for hours chatting up members of the press, members of the other city delegations and the occasional IOC delegate. The Palace Hotel is located at the top of a very steep hill from where we are staying. The Palace is quite grand, like the Palmer House or Drake, only posher. We got to the Palace by a back door route from the rear of our hotel. We took an elevator up six stories and exited to an outside path that skirts a series of six-story light wells that are at the core of our hotel. We climbed up a flight of stairs to emerge in an ally behind and just below the Palace. We split up. We want to quietly interact with the Olympic players that are assembled here. Rhoda has the idea to go online and print out an article from the Chicago press from the last two days reporting on the widespread anger that resulted from Mayor Daley’s “blank check” announcement. She said it would be best to approach IOC members with fresh, current and relevant evidence to back up our concerns. She went to the business center to do this. I originally wanted to wear my No Games button and display the No Games logo on my tote bag. But after listening to Rhoda I realize that it would be wiser to nit show the insignia and be nonconfrontational and more conversational. Martin circulated and started chatting with members of the Rio and Madrid delegations. It seem that some members of the Madrid delegation find us “inelegant” but are, nevertheless, impressed with the impact we have made here. I headed to the press room where I asked Ben Bradley of ABC News Chicago to explain how the proposed insurance policy to protect Chicago taxpayers from Olympic debt would work. I asked “Isn’t it like going to Vegas with $1,000 and wanting to win $100,000 and asking for an insurance policy to pay off if you lost – would the policy cost $99,000 or more?” No, he said, because the games are more of a sure thing because of the certain revenues that always come from the production. He may understand how the financing scheme announced by 2016 Chair Pat Ryan works, but I didn’t get it. If the games were such a sure thing, would Mr. Ryan put up his own fortune or home as a surety against any chance of risk to the taxpayer, I wondered. Anyway, how much would such a policy cost? Ben didn’t know. I talked to ten other members of the press – including reporters from England, Japan, Australia and Spain. I gave them all a No Games Chicago card and told them to contact us for any information or follow-up. One of the reporters was born in Vietnam and fondly recalled his first winter in Chicago in 1975 and the wonder of seeing snow for the first time and discovering Polish sausage, which he still relishes. Next I met several senior officials from one of the other finalist cities. “We’re not supposed to talk to you,” said one, “But out of curiosity, briefly, why don’t you want Chicago to get the games?” “Well,” I said, “It would bankrupt the city, cause massive displacement and lead to a gross abuse of civil liberties. How’s that for brief.” “I’m impressed.” “I’m not constrained by 24

your rules,” I continued.” I’m a volunteer citizen here to voice my beliefs so here’s my card, call us if you like.” “Well,” the official said, “I suppose your goals and ours are quite the same.” I went into the posh Habana Bar and said hello to a group of people and gave them all No Games Chicago cards. One of them was a consultant to the Chicago 2016 Committee. This apparently amused the group as they laughed uproariously as I left the bar. The sunlight was streaming through the large lobby windows, I picked up pieces of Olympic literature and promotional materials from the other finalist cities. One couldn’t be absolutely sure who IOC members were. Members of the press wore yellow ID badges. I approached everyone in the lobby to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Tom from No Games Chicago, here’s my card. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.” I was later told that a prominent member of the Chicago press was fuming about my presence to the IOC Communications Director and asked if I could be removed. The apparently this reporter was offended by a citizen from their home town daring to come to the heart of the Olympic industry to speak out, ask questions and stir things up. There was a cocktail party scheduled for all the finalist cities and the IOC members. A large luxury bus pulled up in front of the hotel and staffers started ushering IOC members on board. I followed and stationed myself next to the rear door of the bus and greeted people as they boarded. I gave each person a No Games Chicago card and told them to please call us if they had any questions. One man stopped and turned and asked “You truly believe Chicago should not get the games?” “Yes sir.” “Please say why.” “Because they will bankrupt the city and we will bungle it and do a disservice to your program.” “Really?” “Yes, sir, most definitely.” At about 3:00pm we re-grouped to compare notes. There was a lot to discuss and sort out. We claimed our bagged at our hotel. I had a shock as my wife called from Chicago to tell me that our American Express account had been charged $2,800 for printing the “Book of Evidence” and other work. This was $800 more than I had agreed to. I pulled the documentation and the notes from talking to the print shop manager. The notes confirmed that I had agreed to pay US $1,850 for 150 copies of a 160-page document bound with a vinyl cover. I noticed that the receipt was in Euros. I called the international customer service rep for Amex and explained the overcharge. The difference was due to a higher conversion rate from Euros to dollars. He took the difference off the bill for now pending an inquiry. We now lugged our luggage down the steep hill to the railway station to return to Geneva where we would be staying overnight. We had to do this because our hotel was already sold out for tonight and there was nothing available in the entire city. We got to our temporary digs at the Holiday Inn 20 miles outside of Geneva at about 7pm. We grabbed some dinner and collapsed. They guys shared one room and Rhoda had a room to herself. Because someone snored so loud I had to pick up a pillow and crash in the walk-in closet. Wednesday, June 17 What a day! After two hours sleep we’re up answering emails, updating the web site, composing and broadcasting Twitter alerts and doing interviews over the phone and using Skype to talk to the team in Chicago. Our room looks a college dorm after an all-nighter with plates and empty soda cans and water bottles strewn about. Clothes and bed linens are on the floor. One of my suitcases has supplies and equipment and one corner of the room looks like a cross between an 25

office and repair shop – gaffer’s tape, screwdriver, staple gun, pieces of wood frame and No Games signs are stacked up for use In addition, cameras, electronics, cables, batteries, No Games emblazoned tote bags and piles of background research materials gives an impression of a staging area for some sort of special event – which, in fact, it is. Downstairs the copy shop had delivered six boxes of our “Book of Evidence,” bringing our production to a total of 150 copies. I had them also print up letter-sized color copies of the No Games logo and they applied them to the outside of the boxes. We wheeled the boxes up the room and grabbed a quick breakfast and reviewed our plans for the day. Today is the day that each finalist city would be making their presentation to the IOC. There would 97 of the 107 members present. The presentations are the IOC’s Olympic Museum. Download the complete agenda We wanted to do a press conference in front of the museum entrance at about 12pm following the photo opportunity that was scheduled following the Chicago presentation. This is where I didn’t do my homework. I assumed that the Chicago press event would be on the museum grounds But it turns out that the Chicago Committee had plans to bus the press corps to another site about 15 minutes away. We reported that the 2016 Committee shifted their event in reaction to our presence to keep the press away from us. That was incorrect. We got to the museum at about 11am. The museum is on a hill facing Lake Geneva and to enter from the front of the property you go up two exposed escalators! You can see the Alps across the lake when you reach the level of the museum’s entrance. The sky was bright blue and the view was spectacular. It was also blazing hot and I had my best suit on. We loaded our boxes and a tote bag of supplies into a cab at our hotel and we were dropped off at the rear entrance of the museum. I took a hand cart parked by the service entrance and loaded the heavy boxes. Martin and I pushed the cart into the museum, onto an elevator and got off on the plaza level. We pushed the cart out the front door onto the plaza. As soon as we showed up we were surrounded by the press, photographers and a video crew. We unloaded the boxes and constructed a sort of news shrine, laying out about 20 copies of the “Book of Evidence” at the base. The assembled members of the press took dozens if not hundreds of pictures of the newsstand. We distributed books to the press and I gave away about 40 No Games buttons [images] to the press, as well. Members of the other city delegations who were on site to prepare for their presentations eagerly took books and buttons. We were asked for interviews straight away and we gave out our customized business cards with our local cell phone numbers (I had used Publisher to create the templates for us before hand and added the cell phone numbers when we got to our hotel, then used perforated card stock that I brought along to print the cards out). We also distributed the press release we had prepared and 26

copied, The release explained who were and why we were in Lausanne and commented on the activities of the previous day. After we were set up we took 50 copies of the “Book of Evidence” into the museum and presented them to Mark Adams, the IOC’s Director of Communications, who I had met the day before. He took them as well as a copy of a book about the work of Frederick Law Olmstead, with a page bookmarked that shows the original plan for the South Park, including the contemporary Washington Park and a hand written note, ”Please do not destroy this historic park.” Martin and I took turns standing in the open plaza under the scorching 90 degree sun. We talked to tourists coming to see the museum (it was open for business while the IOC conducted the presentations). We continued to hand out copies of the book and engage all in conversation. We talked to a couple who were there with two kids all the way from Chicago. They were surprised to see us. The dad was for the games. But after his 10-year old son whispered in his ear he asked for a button and I gave it to the lad with instructions to “wear it with pride.” It was very hot and whoever wasn’t “on station” was off in the shade. There is athletic themed sculpture all around the grounds, including a very bizarre rendition of a huge muscled torso that is rendered in multiple sections which revolve. Nearby stood a giant sand sculpture of Michael Phelps showing his upper body and head straining up out of the water. Rhoda was engaging dignitaries and other official looking people in conversations off to the side of the plaza. Martin talked to kids as they entered the museum. A group of Italian teen boys were thrilled to get No Games buttons which they wore as they toured the museum. I talked at length with a female IOC member who was curious about us but skittish to be seen speaking with us.

After the Tokyo delegation finished their presentation a swarm of Japanese media and officials came out of the museum, all focused on an elderly dignified man. He was the Governor of Tokyo. As he passed by I bowed and presented my card to him. “From the people of Chicago,” I said. He took the card with a puzzled look and moved on. At about 1pm we realized that there was no crowd of media to work or to summon to a press conference. So we decided to take the remaining 20 or so evidence books up to the restaurant level where the press tent had been erected. Several IOC security guards were hovering over us 27

at this point. They were conferring on their radios so we packed up our remaining books and loaded them on to the hand truck. We went back into the museum followed by a female security guard. Would she allow us to get off at the restaurant level or would she shepherd us up one more level to the loading dock area? She got a call and then said “I’ll be right back.” The elevator came and Martin and I pushed the cart on and went up to the terrace level. Coming out on the terrace we saw dinners arranged around the space with a sunken court in the middle and the press tent on the opposite side. The terrace was ringed with tables so we had to carry the cart with the boxes down the steps into the sunken level in the center of the terrace and up the other side to get to the entrance of the tent. Once in the press tent we said hello to Ben Bradley, “Good work” he said. We then worked the room giving out the rest of the books to the reporters and chatting with them. We recognized some of the reporters from earlier that day and the day before. One Chicago reporter asked me to comment on Pat Ryan’s assertion that the 2016 Committee had requested to meet with us and we turned them down. “That’s a lie,” I said, “I get all the email and I’ve never seen a request. They said the same thing in April.” This reporter had no other questions and his attitude was openly hostile. I wondered at the time and many times since why the major Chicago dailies have never interviewed us about who we are, what we are doing and why. (The Chicago Tribune wrote nothing of our trip to Switzerland and the Sun-Times carried one picture taken that afternoon with a caption but no article or reference to us in n article). After about 15 minutes were done distributing the books. I took an empty box and placed it on the table with the food and water. The blue and red “No Games” logo proudly visible. We now surveyed the terrace restaurant and could see the IOC officials and the VIPS, including the Mayor and Pat Ryan in a room fronted by two plain clothes security guards. We sat down at an empty table in the public area. No one would serve us so after about ten minutes in the sweltering heat (the table was in the open), we decided to return to the hotel. We were exhausted, exhilarated and a bit punchy from lack of sleep. Rhoda had not slept at all and I had gotten about two hours. Back in our command center there were hundreds of emails to sort through and answer. We had purchased a second Internet access for Martin’s computer so two people could be online at the same time. Martin did a live interview with WBEZ’s 848 news magazine show at 3:30pm (listen using Evoca.com). I did a live interview with BBC Radio. The reporter had been with WBEZ for a number of years and he said he missed the Windy City. I used Skype to call my wife who I was missing very much She reported that we were getting great coverage in the local non-print media. We were in touch with the Chicago team (most of whom prefer to remain anonymous). They were peppering us with links to news stories about our visit and PDFs of articles about Chicago 2016 and reactions to the Mayor’s announcement. I was posting material to a special page on our web site, "Live From Switzerland" - later renamed "Switzerland Diary." I lost count after 50. One of my favorite media hits was a screen shot from the Japanese MSN news page showing me delivering the evidence books at the IOC headquarters. Watch the ABC News segment aired later that night in Chicago at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOPWoJcHC2g. 28

I set up the No Games boxes on a rock and took out some evidence books to show off. Bradley interviewed me and we gave an impromptu press conference as other reporters asked questions. Our message was simple and has been consistent. Chicago will not be a fit host for the 2016 Olympics because (1) We are broke, (2) Our city leadership is incompetent and corrupt, bungling major projects and causing them to go way over budget and delayed by years (and incidentally, so many present and former city officials are under federal investigation that the IOC can’t be sure who among the officials they are currently dealing with will be in jail before the games begin), (3) Our city’s infrastructure is dire need of repair and our mass transit is barely able to handle the needs of current residents, let alone the million or so expected Olympic guests, (4) The people of Chicago did not, and do not support the bid. When asked if they would support the games if they have to pay for them, 77% of Chicagoans say “NO!” We started to carry the boxes into the lobby of the IOC headquarters. Apparently members of the Rio and Madrid carried boxes in with us. I didn’t notice this at the time but it was noted by reporters and actually became a small news item! We placed the boxes on the IOC reception counter. “We are citizens from Chicago here to present the members of the International Olympic Committee documents outlining our objections to the 2016 bid. Will you receive them?” A flustered greeter called for help. Shortly a tall dapper Englishman, Mark Adams, came to the lobby. He introduced himself as of Director of Communications for the IOC and he announced that he would accept the documents on behalf of the IOC and then ushered me to his office. Martin and Rhoda remained in the plaza answering questions from the remaining press corps.

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Mark told me he had been on the job just two weeks and that he had formerly been with the BBC. “We’re not surprised you’re here. We rather expected you after you sent the request to meet with the IOC President.” I believe we quite surprised him and everyone else. He said that he recommended that President Rogge meet with us but that he was overruled. I wondered if that was true. “Why are you here?” I explained that we are citizens who believe that hosting the Olympics would be a disaster for Chicago and I went through the four reasons and gave him a copy of the “Book of Evidence” and showed him the four sections. Each section has 40 to 50 articles from the Chicago press from the past four years documenting our assertions. I told him we just delivered 50 and another 50 would be delivered to the IOC Museum on Wednesday morning. Mark assured me that the books would be delivered to the IOC members. I repeated our request to meet with President Rogge or his senior deputy. “That is highly unlikely although I will pass on your request.” I then asked if we could sit and watch the Chicago 2016 presentation, as they had two staffers sit in when we met with the IOC Evaluation Commission on April 7 in Chicago. “Those presentations are closed meetings.” I then asked if we could address the IOC for ten minutes after all the presentations were concluded on Wednesday. “That is also highly unlikely, but I’ll pass on the request.” I then said we planned on holding a press conference on the plaza in front of the IOC Museum on Wednesday. He assured me that we would be welcome to do so as the plaza is in a public park. I would bet my last dollar that if this high-powered IOC meeting had been held in Chicago we wouldn’t have gotten within shouting range of the location. After 15 minutes we shook hands and he walked me back to the lobby. We shook hands again for the benefit of the remaining press. I joined up with Martin and Rhoda and we got into a cab that was waiting. At the entrance to the grounds we got out of the cab and posed in front of a monumental Olympic sculpture. It had gone amazingly well. How well, we would soon find out. We spent the next eight hours answering calls, responding to emails, exchanging updates with the Chicago team and doing interviews. One reporter from Japan told me “Perhaps your actions will inspire our own protesters.” We updated the No Games web site, recorded and posted a video update [embed] and transmitted Twitter updates [link]. We managed to grab some dinner at a pub up the hill from the hotel. 30

I got two hours sleep that night. It was an amazing start. We agreed that if we had to return home now that our mission would’ve been a great success! Monday, June 15

We arrived in Geneva at 8am after almost a full day in transit. We rented cell phones at the Geneva Airport and I’ll add these numbers to the templates for No Games business cards that I’ve brought on my computer. I’ve brought along perforated card stock for printing once we get to the hotel. The Swiss rail has a station in the Geneva Airport and we boarded the train and arrived in Lausanne some 45 minutes later. The city is very hilly. Although our hotel is only a few blocks away, it is up the hill at a 45 degree angle. We lugged our bags up the hill and checked into the Alpha-Palmiers Hotel where the guys got one large room and Rhoda got her own small room. We learned that the hotel has no business center so all printing must be done at a copy shop which is some ten minutes away by cab. If you continue on up this VERY steep hill you will come to the Palace Hotel where the IOC conducts meetings and where part of this week’s business is to be conducted on Thursday. We unpacked our gear and the room looks like a staging area for some Mission Impossible scenario. I brought along a pre-fabricated podium made out of the wooden slats we used to hold our protest signs from the April rally. I re-assembled it and fastened four No Games signs to the front. The assemblage proved to rickety so I rebuilt it as a wall of signs that could be held by one person on either side. I asked the others what they thought and they all agreed it looked lame and that, anyway, the protest signs were off message for what we wanted to convey to the IOC. I would think of some other way to frame our press appearances. Our main mission was to print up 150 copies of what we were calling “The Book of Evidence – Reasons Why Chicago Should NOT Be Awarded the 2016 Olympic Games.” The book has a cover page introducing us to the IOC and a great piece from the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky, “An Open Letter to the IOC” which we said summed up our point of view. The book is divided into four sections with each section containing 40 to 50 articles from the local press documenting our points. Download your very own copy from the No Games Chicago web site and you can pretend you’re a member of the IOC! 31

Our main task for Monday was to get this book copied. I travelled with the originals in my carry on luggage and didn’t let it out of my site for the entire trip. I had looked into making 150 copies in Chicago (110 for all the 107 IOC members plus senior staff, remainder for the press) but I was too nervous about shipping the printed books overseas. We were directed to the Copy Shop and met Dominque, the manager. I gave her one pre-copied book I had made as a sample to show how the book was to be formatted. We discussed the price for 150 copies of 162 pages single sided bound with black cloth tape and fronted with a clear vinyl cover. She agreed to work late to get us 50 copies for Tuesday afternoon and the remaining 100 by Wednesday morning. We would be able to deliver the first 50 copies to the IOC before the Chicago 2016 team made their presentation Wednesday at 9:30am. Once the printing job was taken care of, I calmed down. To say I was agitated, anxious, jumpy and cranky would be an understatement. I had taken a huge risk in not pre-copying the books and shipping them and now I was assured of getting our main documentation produced but at a premium. These books were the reason for our trip. The books have an impressive heft when you flip through the pages the mass of documentation is quite startling. 160 pages documenting financial crisis, graft, incompetence, nepotism, cronyism, public works project overruns and delays, service lapses, infrastructure failure and public disapproval of the current administration and the 2016 bid. We imagined IOC members flipping through the book late into the night, like being hooked on a new thriller. We then visited the IOC Museum on the shore of Lake Geneva to scope the space where we wanted to hold a press conference on Wednesday. The museum sits atop a hill and is reached by a winding access road that accesses the service entrance, which is at the top. The plaza level where patrons enter is actually two levels down from the service entrance. There is an open air escalator that takes you up from the main entrance at ground level. The grounds of the museum are decked out with a number of large sculptures with an athletic theme. A lot of male torsos. We were satisfied with the location and decided to place our Wednesday press event right in front of the Museum on a spacious plaza. We left the museum and walked along the shore of Lake Geneva to find a cab to return to the hotel. Our arrangements were in place. We were in place. How would the next few days turn out? I was up most of the night fretting, wondering and reviewing the events that brought us so far from home. Saturday, May 30

Today we had a meeting of the No Games Chicago Executive Committee at my house. I’ve asked the people who were there if they’d like to acknowledged and they all said no. We’ve been asked a few times to list our members or give the biographies of our leadership and most of the team are reluctant fearing reprisals and retaliation from the Daley administration. This is not surprising since one of the founders of No Games had to drop out of the group just before our April 2 rally because this person’s employer threatened to fire this person if they continued to 32

work on our behalf. Many of us have also heard stories of the Mayor’s long memory for punishing his political rivals. The 2016 bid effort has so many stories of fear and intimidation that I hope someday a reporter will chronicle this tale of shame and abdication by so many of Chicago’s civic organizations. To name just one instance, the boating community was told in no uncertain terms that if any yacht club or group of boaters were to protest the bid or its impact on the harbor system, that those boaters would never be able to berth their boats in the city again. Bob Quellos, one of the co-founders of No Games, and myself have become the main spokespeople for No Games. The No Games team was meeting to assess our progress toward defeating the bid. We were reviewing the timeline to October 2 when the IOC would meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to award the games to one of the finalist cities: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janero, or Tokyo. What should be our strategy going forward? How should we deploy our limited resources in the remaining run to October 2? One of our members reminded us of the upcoming meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland, the home of the IOC. All four finalist cities will be making presentations before the full IOC, one at a time, on Wednesday, June 17. The Evaluation Commission had visited each city and the bids of all finalists were now public and these presentations were an unprecedented opportunity to “re-sell” the IOC with added details of the cities Olympic plans. The international press would be present as well as the media from each of the finalist cities. It would be a perfect storm of IOC members, delegates and civic leaders from the finalist cities and the media. “We’ve got to go to Switzerland!” I blurted out. What possessed me to make that startling suggestion, I don’t know. Perhaps it was a sense of urgency and need to make a dramatic impact. After all, the ultimate audience for No Games Chicago’s activism is the International Olympic Committee since they are the people who hold the fate of our city in their hands. On October 2 they will vote to award the 2016 games to a city and we want to persuade them not to choose Chicago. How could a small group of social justice activists with no support from any civic organization hope to move such a large and powerful organization? How could we best make our case unless it was in person? Wouldn’t going to the home, the heart of the Olympic industry, be the best way to accomplish our goal? But how? Who would go? We got very excited by this idea and discussed the pros and cons. We quickly agreed that this was something No Games Chicago HAD to do despite the fact that we had virtually no funds. I said that I would front what was needed and that others could chip in as needed. We agreed to hold a fundraiser as soon as possible upon our return. One of our members said she would donate her frequent flyer miles to allow two people to go. Later that day I called someone who had given us a donation back in March and this person donated enough miles to allow the entire team to travel to Geneva. We then decided who would go. All the travelers had passports but two had some issues with passport processing and would have to a special expedition process in order to travel abroad so quickly. By 5pm our team had air travel locked in and rooms reserved in Lausanne. Switzerland is seven time zones ahead of Chicago. This would be a bear of a project to coordinate but we picked a team to stay on top of the local media and to work with the Swiss team. We also decided to keep the trip a secret even from most our own members as we felt surprise would be key to our impact. We labeled the enterprise “Operation Cheese” and would use this label in all emails. No one outside of this group who were at my house on May 30 would know our plans unless the leadership team approved it. 33

Now there is a thousand details to arrange. Press releases to write. communications plans to pull together, equipment to assemble, plans to make. No Games Chicago is going to Switzerland in two weeks!

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WHY WE’RE IN COPENHAGEN (MEETING THE IOC, AGAIN) By Tom Tresser – September 29, 2009 Located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-tresser/why-were-in-copenhagenme_b_302958.html No Games Chicago has sent the same team who went to Switzerland In June to meet with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Copenhagen to do it again. I was one of the delegates who went to Lausanne and I'm part of the team again. Our purpose then and now is to take a simple message to the members of the IOC -- the people of Chicago do not want the 2016 Olympics. 84% don't want them, according to a recent poll conducted by the Chicago Tribune. 45% don't want the games under any circumstances and 84% don't want public funds used for the party. Since the city has already spent or committed over $240 million for the games (see our tally at the end of this piece), that threshold has already been crossed. Hence 84% of the people of Chicago oppose the bringing of the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, That's a big number, too big, we think, to be ignored. We didn’t come on a chartered jet and we're not wearing clothes designed by the First Lady's dress maker. No TV crews saw us off and none will welcome us back. We did grassroots fund raising up the last moment to pay for the trip. When we went to Switzerland in June we took 100 copies of our "Book of Evidence" (download your very own copy -- 12MB PDF file) that laid out our arguments as to why Chicago would not be an ideal host for the 2016 Olympics. Each of these arguments has been strengthened by developments since then. We're bringing updates to the "Book of Evidence." Will the members of the IOC listen? Will the arrival of President Obama blind them to the defects in Chicago's bid and the angry mood of the people who feel abandoned by their government? Will the press continue to fawn over the bid team and repeat their spin as gospel? Stand by for further details. $243 million and counting ... $86 million for purchase of Michael Reese Hospital site. Lori Healey, president of the Chicago 2016 committee, has said the purchase of the site has nothing to do with the bid, but at the 2016 community meeting at the Palmer House on August XX Pat Ryan was quizzed by a No Games member and he revealed that they approached the city when their plans for placing the athlete's village over rail tracks proved too expensive. $11 million for demolition of the site. $1 million for securing the site. Unknown millions for cleaning up the site (medical waste) 35

$110 million for improving the site. $35 million from the Chicago Park District for the construction of the velodrome and kayaking course. But wait, there's more ... $12 million in lost revenues from 1,600 boat slips taken off line for three seasons. $1 billion (probably much more) for security. Unknown cost for destroying acres of priceless park land and making them unavailable to Chicagoans for years. And if there are significant shortfalls or cost overruns, $500 million from the city and $250 million from the state (plus another $250 million for downstate pork projects to mollify the nonChicago legislators.

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WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WE WENT TO COPENHAGEN (TO INFLUENCE THE IOC, AGAIN) By Tom Tresser – October 12, 2009 Located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-tresser/what-happened-in-copenhag_b_316371.html [ Note -- I was one of the three No Games Chicago delegates who traveled to Copenhagen last week to deliver materials and messages to the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)] We left Chicago late Monday night, Sept. 28. All that day the news was all about how President Obama was going to Copenhagen Friday morning to address the IOC as part of the Chicago 2016 presentation. We were surprised and disappointed. Just a few days earlier, the President had announced that he was not going and was sending his wife instead. We were determined to do our best to carry the message of “no games” to the IOC despite the overwhelming odds against us. At the airport we ran into reporters from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. We spoke on the record about what we were hoping to accomplish. This was carried in the next morning’s editions. That was, I believe, the only print coverage of No Games Chicago’s trips to Switzerland and Denmark in our two major dailies. No one from either paper interviewed us in Lausanne or Copenhagen to ask us why we were doing what we were doing, who we were, how hard it was for us to do what we were doing -- or anything of depth. After the decision was announced later that week we were asked for comments. [I’m writing this on Oct. 9 and the only in-depth interview in either daily appeared in the Sun-Times on Oct. 7 -- after we had returned -- and was by sports columnist Rick Telander]. We arrived in Copenhagen on Sept. 29. The three delegates were Martin Macias Jr., Rhoda Whitehorse and Tom Tresser. This was the same team that had traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, in June.

Our goal for this trip, nicknamed “Operation Mermaid” by the circumspect No Games Chicago leadership, was the same as our June “Operation Cheese” to Lausanne -- to directly influence the 37

members of the IOC and convince them that Chicago was not the appropriate site for the 2016 Olympics. We stayed at the Hotel 27 in the old part of town and near the plaza where the host city announcement celebration would take place Friday evening. The guys filled up one room and Rhoda took another. Our room quickly became a clutter of papers, press releases, supplies, signs, computers, gear and clothes. We were able to set up shop in the hotel’s lounge area because of free wireless service. The routine for the next five days became established -- talking to the media, answering emails, Skyping to the Chicago team, visiting IOC-related sites and staying up till 4 a.m. or later updating the web site, answering more emails and coordinating with Chicago (seven hours behind local time). At about 4 p.m., I sent out a press release announcing our presence. I also sent an email just to the IOC members announcing our presence and saying that we were available and eager to meet with them. We had secured two local phone numbers and included these numbers in our media materials and business cards. In Chicago at the same time, No Games was launching a protest rally in front of City Hall. Our delegation would be announced at the rally. That afternoon a blizzard of media requests hit the Chicago team of No Games Chicago co-founder Bob Quellos and organizers Francesca Rodriguez, Rachel Goodstein and Lawndale colleague Valerie Leonard. Several stations wanted a prolonged No Games presence in their studios on Decision Day, Oct. 2. The Chicago team fielded over 30 media requests and appearances in 48 hours. In Denmark during the first day, I spoke to WBEZ, WVON, WTTW, WLS, NBC Chicago, the AP, the Washington Post, a Swedish news magazine and French television. Dizzying. But this has become No Games Chicago’s main tactic of influencing the game -- by getting our position out to the public (and to the IOC). No Games Chicago had become the go-to source for creditable and organized opposition to the bid. This is one of the most sobering aspects of the entire 2016 project. A few weeks before this I was being interviewed by a reporter for a local Chicago news program, I asked the reporter if there was anyone else to go to for criticisms or refutations of 2016 spin, or reactions to the total lack of oversight for taxpayer’s interests. “Is it just us?” I asked. The reporter thought for a moment and said “Yep, just you.” “Isn’t that sad?” I said. “I mean, No Games has become a reliable source but why aren’t there any other groups willing to speak on the record on this?” “Because they’ve all been intimidated.” “So why don’t you do a story on that?” I asked. The reporter made a face - as if just stepping in something unpleasant -- “Oh, well, I guess you want to keep your job.” I joked (no, really). This seems to me to be the most under-reported and most corrosive aspect of the 2016 saga. Namely, the complete emasculation of Chicago’s entire civic and academic infrastructure around compliance with 2016 dogma. No arms-length critical studies were done by any good government group. No cautions from groups who are supposed to be protecting the common good, protecting our parks, protecting the taxpayers. No calls to action from grassroots groups who usually can be counted on to defend neighborhoods against exploitation or neglectful politicians. Aside from one report from DePaul’s Egan Center, which raised a number of important questions, there was no arms-length review or study of the project or scan of the vast 38

Olympic research done by the groups who have staff and who should’ve been critical of the bid from the get go. Our goal in coming to Copenhagen was to influence the outcome of an election. The election would take place under tight security at the Bella Center on Friday early afternoon on Oct. 2. The voters would be assembling from the far reaches of the globe. The composition of this tiny electorate is highly unusual. VOTING MEMBER 0 12 2 3 HONORARY MEMBER 1 2 1 1

Kings Princes & Princesses Titled persons Generals

There were 97 votes up for grabs in the first round, but seven members were excluded from voting because they represent candidate cities and the president, Jacques Rogge, would not be voting. So 18% of the voters who will be deciding the fate of our city were nobility or generals. Great! No Games Chicago had already been to the IOC’s world headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, in June. At that time we delivered 100 copies of the No Games Chicago “Book of Evidence” (which you can download from our web site as a PDF) -- 160 pages of reprints from local papers over the past four years documenting our claims that Chicago is broke, corrupt, incompetent, crumbling, has an out-dated mass transit system and citizens who oppose the bid. This time we were bringing a cover letter plus article from the papers which added to and reinforced our message. We brought along the results of the Chicago Tribune poll published on September 3 showing that 84% of the people don’t want to pay for the games. We also gave IOC members a copy of a Chicago Tribune article from Feb. 15 -- "State of Corruption - A history of insatiable greed.” You can download these materials from our web site. When we got up on Wednesday we heard that the rally in Chicago had gone extremely well with over 250 attending. The coverage was fair and showed a diverse crowd moving in a circle in front of City Hall. The CBS coverage actually included a profile of No Games and interviews with Francesca and Bob -- the first time any local reporter had actually spent time describing the organization and its organizers. On Wednesday we visited some of the hotels where IOC members, staff, Chicago media and other city delegations were staying. Chicago media, IOC staff and the 2016 delegation were at the Island Hotel. We went there and were stopped by hotel security along with a private guard from Monterrey Security. This firm was hired by 2016 for security when the IOC Evaluation Commission visited Chicago in April and their agents were flown to Copenhagen. This is the same firm that has been accused of harassing and intimidating Latino fans at Chicago Fire soccer matches. We told the manager that we have information for the press. The manager said that the information was not approved by one of their guests and was not in that guest’s best interests and so we had to leave. We were escorted out the door and to cab stand (the hotel was about 15 minutes ride from our hotel) and the Monterrey guard stood a few feet away from us to make sure we got in the cab and left.

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We then went to the Marriott Hotel where the IOC had staff and communications crew and where Michelle Obama was staying. This place was surrounded by Danish army and you could not drive up to the front door. A special enclosed walkway had been constructed from the side and it contained scanning and x-ray equipment. No one without a credential was going to get into the lobby, let alone deliver materials to IOC staff. Martin and I then dropped Rhoda off at our hotel and we went on to the Admiral Hotel where Mayor Daley, Oprah and Michelle Obama were throwing a lavish dinner. There the security for the dining area was airtight but the bar was open and we walked in and distributed press materials to reporters who had covered the arrival of the stars earlier. We ran into Kathy Bergen from the Chicago Tribune, did a video interview with Jeff Goldblatt of FOX News Chicago and found Ben Bradley of ABC News Chicago having a burger. We sat and chatted with Ben for a while. He wasn’t too interested, frankly, in us or our message but told us to contact him if we did anything in the next day or two. On the way out we had one of the most jarring conversations of the whole trip. A man and a woman were heading out the door and, as they both had press credentials, we offered them our press release plus the color post card. The man took it and said “If they see me talking to you. I’m dead.” The woman had a British accent and refused to take any of our materials. “I think what you’re doing is wholly inappropriate,” she said. “There’s a time and place for protest. The time for you to make your statement was before Chicago became a finalist. This is disruptive. This is inappropriate.” But, I asked, isn’t London’s 2012 games $9 billion over budget? Yes, she replied, but our being in Copenhagen was still not proper and she tugged on the man’s sleeve to move toward the exit. But the man -- we think he works for NBC -- was curious and asked a few questions. She said “I’m leaving” and succeeded in urging the man out of the hotel. Wow! Talk about the local media being cheerleaders, apologists and shills for the mayor and the 2016 bid -this was a reporter from another country who didn’t want to talk to us or pass on our story to her readers. On Thursday we were visited at our hotel by the four person delegation from No Games Tokyo. All in their early 50’s, two men and two women, the delegation brought along a copy of their own “anti-bid” book. One woman is a member of the Tokyo Assembly (like our City Council) and is alone among local politicians opposing the games. One was a man who owns a small business and he gave us a gift of a bag of his confectionary product, wasabi-covered pistachios! The other man is a father and activist who worked against the Nagano Winter Olympics of 1998. We shared stories and tactics and decided to do our own work separately. They had brought along fliers and a banner and were heading for the public plaza where live music is playing and where the winning city would be announced on Friday evening. Follow this link to watch a short video of our meeting. The news over the past two days has been full of reports of Michelle Obama having lunch with the Queen, with Oprah coming and going and with the details of the impending visit of the president. We weren’t the only delegation with celebrities in town. Brazil sent along soccer (or, should I say, football) superstar Pele who created a festival-like sensation wherever he went. I emailed Mark Adams, the Director of Communications for the IOC, and requested a time to meet him. We wanted to give him our materials for the IOC and avoid the legions of security. We also wanted to request a meeting with the IOC President, Jacques Rogge and time to address 40

the full IOC after the four cities made their final presentations. He replied on Wednesday that no meeting would be possible. I the emailed a number of IOC members who had consistently opened our daily IOC email newsletters over the past two months and asked them to intercede on our behalf. No replies. We would have to find another way to deliver our materials. On Thursday afternoon we went over to the Marriott Hotel in a taxi. I had all the No Games materials for the IOC members in banker’s boxes with the No Games logo on the sides. This visual had proved amazingly effective in Switzerland. But as we got near the hotel we saw that the security had increased. Rhoda urged me to shed all No Games buttons and logos and just walk in with the papers. So Martin and I left the No Games branded boxes in the cab, took off our buttons and approached the bright red suited doorman in front of the hotel -- flanked by two flak-jacketed members of the Danish army. “We’ve got materials for some of your guests. Will you walk us to the front desk?” He obliged and took us in past all the security to the front desk. I explained to the manager that we were from Chicago and had important documents for the IOC. The manager summoned a woman from the IOC. Martin was standing next to me with a camera to document the hand off of the letters and support materials. The woman told us that nothing could be left for any guest at the hotel unless it was cleared by the IOC Ethics Commission. “These are not gold watches.” I said, “but important information for the IOC members and they are to be given to Mark Adams, the Director of Communication for the IOC. It’s his job and responsibility to receive these documents and deliver them to IOC members before they vote.” Another woman approached us and told us that she would take the materials for Mark. “What’s your name?” I asked. She would not reply. “Take her picture, Martin.” She turned away and made a call on her cell. Then the IOC person who wouldn’t tell us her name returned. “I’ve just spoken to Mark Adams and I’m instructed to take your materials to him.” I looked at her credential to make sure she worked for the IOC. Anna Zampieri is the Director of Events for the IOC and formally worked for the Turin Olympic Organizing Committee. She refused to let Martin take her picture, “I’m not your friend. You may not take my picture.” Martin got a shot of her back, though. With the hand off of the documents from No Games Chicago to Zampieri to Adams to the IOC, our mission to Copenhagen was accomplished. We had penetrated the multiple rings of security, bypassed the private Monterrey rent-a-cops, outfaced the bureaucracy of the International Olympic Committee and stood our ground to deliver information that the mayor, Pat Ryan, the 2016 Committee, the entire business elite of Chicago and most of the media in Chicago didn’t want to see and didn’t want to acknowledge. From there we took the waiting cab back to the city plaza. Across the street a media lounge had been established for members of the press. We went there and befriended the guard who told us that the press would be returning after covering the gala at the opera house. Buses full of media folk would be pulling up in front of the lounge space at about 7:30 p.m. We returned at about 7:15 p.m and the friendly guard had no new information. Martin and Rhoda went across the street where live music was playing in the plaza. I sat at a table at an outdoor café next to the media lounge. A few minutes later the young guard came out onto to the street to tell me that the buses would be here in five minutes. I frantically called our team members and hoped that they would hear the cell ring over the noise of the music. 41

I had brought with me press releases, the color post cards and a large sign that said “Chicago: 85% say NO!” Just before the first bus pulled up, the team members came back and we positioned ourselves on either side of the door to the lounge space. Two buses unloaded journalists and we gave out dozens of press releases. We even did an impromptu TV interview with a Brazilian crew. After we were done we asked the manager of the lounge if we could go in and have something to eat. “OK, but please don’t bother the journalists.” We agreed and left our materials at the security desk. Inside there were complimentary beer, cocktails, Danish hotdogs, sandwiches, fruit and chocolate. A large monitor was showing the performances on stage at the opera house. We sat and relaxed and caught our breath. What a day! I stayed up till about 6 a.m. answering emails, doing radio interviews using Skype and checking in with the Chicago team. Bob and Francesca had been going nonstop for more than a day since the rally and were doing media appearances non-stop. Their media schedule for Friday was booked solid for both, starting at 5 a.m. and going all day. Several other team members were called in to speak to the media. Friday would be Decision Day. All we had worked for the past year would now come to a conclusion. Friday was cold, dreary and light rain was falling on the old city of Copenhagen. The early news showed Air Force One landing and disgorging dozens of military personnel, staff and media. A 20 car caravan then snaked slowly through the old streets taking the President to the Bella Center. I was going to get up at 7:00 a.m. and go the U.S. embassy with a letter to the president. But I was feeling depressed, depleted and unhealthy after days of little sleep and high anxiety. What’s the point of taxiing out to the embassy and giving some functionary a letter that would never be 42

delivered to the president while he was about to make his pitch to the IOC? So I had some breakfast and chatted with the team members. They decided to scope out the plaza and the media lounge. After all, it was a pre-ordained fact that the contest was between Rio and Chicago, and the winner would not be announced until about 6:00 p.m. local time. We wanted to position ourselves in the plaza with signs so as to be visible to media for comments, whichever way the decision would turn out. I watched the Chicago presentation on the television in my room. Just as President Obama started to speak I got a call from Australian radio for a live interview and held the phone up to the set so the interviewer and her listeners could catch some of the president’s remarks. Martin filmed the speech using a hand-held video camera. After the interview was over I took notes on the president’s remarks and when the president was done Martin kept the camera running and I did a live response. This was put online but never promoted. At the time, I was angered and surprised by both the first lady’s and the president’s remarks. As brilliant as they are, as charismatic and persuasive as they have been, both speeches struck me as pat and delivered without authenticity, as if they were stump speeches delivered in a primary state for the 50th time that week. I watched the presentation of Rio but missed Tokyo’s and actually dozed off during Madrid’s presentation. It had been a very long week. After all the presentations were concluded the IOC took a break. When they returned to commence the actual voting at around 5:00 p.m. local time I was wide awake. The team was on their way back to the hotel. No hurry, right -- Chicago was a lock for the finalist spot -- at least that was what Chicago’s media was trumpeting back home. The electronic voting procedure was explained in dry detail by Director General Lacotte. The names of the IOC members who could not vote in the first round were announced. The voting was declared open. After a few tense minutes the voting was declared closed. The fixed position camera showed the panel of aides tabulating the results in silence. The chairman of the ballot counters took a paper and walked it to President Rogge who announced in a somber voice, “…Valid ballots 94. The city of Chicago having obtained the least number of votes will not participate in the next round.” Listen to this clip. What the #@$%?! That’s it? It’s over? No second round or final round of voting for Chicago? The phone had rung a few minutes before and Martin said they were in the elevator on the way up. I rushed out of the room, ran down the hall and got to the elevator just as it opened and our team members emerged. “It’s over! It’s over! We’re out!” There were gasps. There were shouts. There were hugs and there were tears. Was it possible that No Games Chicago had helped derail the 2016 Olympic bid of the city of Chicago, even in the slightest way? Had we just coasted on the already building resentment from the parking meter debacle and the mayor's flip-flop on signing the blank check? There were certainly many, many people opposed to the bid but had we given them a place to park their energies and focus the city's collective attention? Had we taken on the most powerful people in our city, state and nation -- and won? Questions for historians and political scientists - for now, the reality was setting in. There would be, indeed, no games in Chicago.

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Watch all the finalist city presentations, the announcement of the vote and the announcement of the host city We were excited, overcome with emotion, jubilant that our cause was justified, and at the same time sad that our city had spent so much time and treasure and invested so much emotion on a wrong-headed project. The team decided to head over to the plaza to hear the announcement of the winning city. But first I had to update our web site. I had to turn on one of two posts that were in “draft’ mode in the administrative control for the site. One was headlined “Chicago Awarded the 2016 Olympics -- What Now?” and asked people to take a brief survey to tell us what should be done to stop the games from coming to Chicago. The second draft was headlined “Chicago NOT Awarded the 2016 Olympics – What Now?” and asked people to take a brief survey to tell us what, if anything, No Games Chicago should do now and what ideas they have for moving the city forward. You can take this poll now. I clicked the “Publish” button and the second draft went live. As we stood the plaza with thousands of people waiting for the announcement our phones starting ringing with requests for comments from newspapers and other media outlets. I don’t recall being contacted by the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun-Times. On the stage were dozens of children and dancers in national garb from the four candidate cities. Two giant video screens flanked the stage and broadcast the final ceremony from the Bella Center. The IOC anthem was played and all who were seated stood (yes, there is a “national” anthem for a private organization). Then at about 6:50 p.m. local time, President Rogge opened the over-size envelope with the Olympic rings and pulled out the card with the name of the winning city. “Rio de Janeiro” he announced. The crowd went wild. We went over to the media lounge where we met the four delegates from No Games Tokyo. They were also pleased with the results of the voting. We went into the lounge where a jazz band started to play. Almost immediately the news reports started spinning Chicago’s stunning defeat. What happened? What went so terribly wrong? The Chicago No Games crew and the Tokyo No Games team were joined by an scholar who had flown in from England to be with us. He specializes in the Olympics, international sports and political movements. We watched local and international coverage of the stunning events of the day on large monitors in the lounge as the jazz band played. We will be discussing and analyzing what happened in Copenhagen for years to come. After dinner I went back to the hotel, set up my portable office in the lounge and made calls and answered emails until 7:00 a.m. Almost at once the messages poured into our general email address and on our web site. The first one came in at 10:33AM Chicago time: “YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!! NO CHICAGO OLYMPICS!!! Seriously, man, much love to you guys and all your hard work from us here in South Chicago. We know you guys had an influence and we applaud you for having the courage to stand up!” What part did No Games Chicago ultimately play in the 2016 Olympic pageant? 44

One highly placed source in the proceedings -- someone who had worked for the IOC for 20 years in a very senior position -- told me two things. “When the public support for a bid drops below 50% you’re cooked,” he told me. “Your finances were not believable. They didn’t make sense to the members.” We can’t take any credit for the lack of credibility of the patchwork of private funding assurances and financial guarantees and insurance policies the 2016 folks cobbled together. But we can take some credit for the lack of public support. No Games Chicago was the only source of information to counter the public relations spin from the mayor, the 2016 Committee and the fawning Chicago media. We published and updated a Web site loaded with information on the bid and the impact on host cities. We went to over 50 community meetings and public forums. We staged two public protests that drew hundreds of people. We maintained communications networks using blogs, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. We became the only source for the media to go to for comments and rebuttal to the avalanche of publicity, mayoral pronouncements, scandals, conflicts of interest and aldermanic dereliction of duty. No one would speak on the record to oppose the bid. And we found the more people learned about the bud, the less they supported it. The mayor helped us here with his 180 degree reversal in June with his intention to sign the “blank check.” His credibility is at an all-time low; and as his declined, ours rose. And the only way the IOC knew of the declining state of the 2016 bid in Chicago is because No Games told them. We took that message to Lausanne, Switzerland and hit it home in our daily email newsletters. You can view the entire library of 79 emails we sent to the IOC by clicking here. We included this key fact in two hard copy mailings to IOC members. We highlighted it again in the materials we brought to Copenhagen. We stressed the lack of support for the bid by the citizens of Chicago in every media appearance or interview. So, if low public support cooked the bid, it is fair to day that No Games Chicago was one of the chefs.

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So one frenzied chapter of Chicago politics closes. What happens now? In the days after we returned to Chicago the feckless city council awarded $35.4 million to United Airlines to move to the Sears Tower (I refuse to use its new name, as the city awarded almost $4 million in taxpayer funds to the billion dollar insurance conglomerate after they bought the building) and this is on top of $15.4 million already given to United for this purpose. And then the mayor appointed a former alderman’s driver to replace him in City Council. What new concrete and contract laden project waits in the wings for the City Council to rubber stamp? What new scandal will erupt embarrassing the city far more than an ill-conceived Olympic pipe dream? What new public official will be caught breaking the law, lining his (or her) pockets and selling out the public interest? What new hare-brained, insider-driven project of the mayor will the media cheer-lead for and refuse to cover critically? What new issue will emerge demanding a grass roots effort like No Games Chicago to tackle because no one else will dare to speak out? I fear we won’t have to wait very long to find out.

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How a lady, a man and a boy have beaten the world’s most powerful man
Konstantinos Zervas is a doctoral student at Leeds Metropolitan University working on ‘Olympic protest’ under the supervision of Dr Stephen Wagg. kzerv@hotmail.com

1. Chicago 2016 On the 2nd of October, 2009, Copenhagen’s Bella Center conference hall hosted the 121st IOC session to decide the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games. The four candidate cities were Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. The decision to award the Games to Rio de Janeiro was not a surprise – Rio was considered a favourite. The big surprise, though, was Chicago’s elimination from the first round, as the city’s bid was standing amongst the strong favourites. Chicago’s plan to host the XXXI Olympiad was based on the idea of using most of the existing city’s facilities, venues and parks, along with the creation of new ones, all in close proximity to each other; thus, creating a highly concentrated cluster of event locations close to the city centre, “A Games in the heart of the city” (Chicago2016, 2009). By that, the organisers were promising easily accessible venues for the spectators and the athletes. The 2016 Chicago bid was an initiative by the city’s Mayor, Richard Daley, who believed that, apart from the obvious benefits, the Olympics could bring major investments in Chicago, which would help to the city’s poor economic position and help to counterbalance its budget’s deficit. According to the official “bid book”, the Games, themselves, would create a profit of around $500 million, but they would also give a long-term boost to the city’s economy, through investments and tourist development. Apart from that, the organisers were proclaiming that the Olympics in Chicago would utilize “the Olympic Movement's power to unite all humanity” and would “help America reach out to build and renew bridges of friendship with the world”. Additionally, the Chicago 2016 Olympics would create a legacy, which would “inspire young people to reach for a better life” (Chicago2016, 2009). All these proclamations were no different from those of the other three candidates: Rio 2016 was proposing that the Games will be held within the city’s proximity, will create short and long-term financial profits and will inspire the youth (Rio2016); Madrid 2016 bid, too, was a plan for inner-city Olympics that would result in financial benefits and would inspire the youth (Madrid2016) and, of course, Tokyo 2016 was promising “the most compact and efficient Olympics ever”, “in the heart of the city” (Tokyo2016), which would create profit and economic benefits and would inspire the youth. These candidature proclamations were the same, in general, as the ones from London 2012, from Beijing 2008, or from Athens 2004. So, what was the reason for Chicago’s bid to be considered a strong favourite, if all the other bids, were “promising” almost the same things? Apart, of course, from the obvious physical differentiation of the city of Chicago and the United States, the Chicago 2016 bid had a major advantage in relation to the other candidates. This advantage was the support, which this bid was enjoying, from eminent American personalities with global blaze. The most notable names among them were: Oprah Winfrey, an American media personality, voted many times as one of the most influential people on the planet, by Time magazine; Michael Jordan, one of the most recognised sports personalities in the world; Michael Phelps, an Olympic who’s won the most Olympic gold medals in the history of sport; and lastly and most importantly, Barack Obama, the US president. In the last case, Obama’s support of his hometown’s bid was not just a backing from the president. Obama’s global impact, as a personality and a political figure was probably Chicago’s 2016 “joker card”, which covered the bid’s weaknesses, either with regard to infrastructure in comparison with Madrid, or in comparison with Rio’s temperament.

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2. The big decision (or the big man coming to town) Back in Copenhagen, five days before the IOC’s decision, the delegations started arriving at the Danish capital. At that point, all four candidates were competing in a head to head race, with Chicago and Rio having a slight advantage according to experts and betting agencies (according to the bookmakers Chicago was a clear favourite at 8/11, followed by Rio 7/4, Madrid and Tokyo on 12/1). The press was taking a cautious stance. No one at that time was willing to risk a prediction. BBC’s Matt Slater (2009), was noting:
“…the IOC’s heart calling for Copacabana but its head worrying about crime and passing up the riches on offer in Chicago, a confusion that might just let in Madrid or Tokyo. Could that decision be made a little more easier by the presence in Copenhagen of the world’s most powerful man? Can Barack, Chicago’s top trump, risk so much political capital on anything other than a slam dunk?”

And then, four days before the IOC’s decision, on the 28th September, “the world’s most powerful man” decided to go to Copenhagen to speak in front of the IOC on behalf of Chicago 2016. The news of Obama’s visit to Copenhagen changed the ambience drastically in favour of Chicago. Even the city’s appearance changed: the shops were selling shirts labelled “Copenhagen loves Obama”, American flags; people were talking about his arrival, where will he go, what will he say. Most of the press correspondents, around the world, in Copenhagen, estimated that this last-minute call from the American president was the decisive push towards a Chicago win. The Guardian’s correspondent, Owen Gibson (2009), admitted a day before the final decision:
“…Obama's arrival appears to have given momentum back to Chicago”, and, later again, on the day of the decision: “Obama's late, perfectly timed decision to attend the vote has robbed Rio's attempt to make Olympic history by bringing the Games to South America for the first time of crucial momentum”.

On the afternoon of October the 2nd 2009, in the central square of Copenhagen, there was a big scene set for the “Olympic countdown”. The presenter announced the first two cities that had been knocked out of the race for the 2016 Olympics: it was Tokyo and Chicago. In fact, Chicago was the first city to be knocked out, as it got the least votes in the first round [18 votes for Chicago, 22 Tokyo, 26 Rio and 28 Madrid IOC, 2009)]. The Games were, eventually, awarded to Rio de Janeiro, a favourite. But what happened to the other favourite? How did Chicago fail even to pass the first round? Were the predictions so wrong? All these questions will remain unanswered except if someone could read the minds of IOC members. But, still, there is another factor that is important for the bids, which deliberately has not been discussed yet, and that is the public support. Whether it plays a small or big part in the IOC’s decision to award the Games, candidate cities always tend to show that they have a massive public support. In this case, the actual numbers are not so important – usually there are several different polls, but the fact was that Chicago, and probably Tokyo, had the least public support for their bids. But, was that enough to change the outcome of the IOC’s vote? 3. Up against the Olympic Industry At the time, while the members of the Chicago bid committee were preparing their presentation to the IOC and were waiting for Obama, three Chicagoans were roaming the streets of Copenhagen in order to deliver a different message. Rhoda, Tom and Martin were the representatives of a group called “No Games Chicago” (NGC). This group was a coalition formed by several citizens of Chicago who had come together to oppose the city’s 2016 Olympic bid. Their campaign was launched in January 2009 at a public forum about the Chicago bid, and since then, they had been actively opposing the idea of bringing the Olympics to Chicago. They had organised a series of events – protests, public meetings - in Chicago and met with the IOC evaluation team who came in Chicago in order to present their arguments. Furthermore, the same representatives, who were in Copenhagen on the days of the IOC decision, had earlier traveled to 48

Lausanne to counter the Chicago 2016 presentation to the IOC. So, for the last few months “NGC” had become the shadow of Chicago 2016 bidding committee. The reasons why NGC were opposing their city’s bid, were explained thoroughly in their website (NGC, 2009a) and more briefly in the leaflets, which they were trying, at any opportunity, to pass to the IOC and anyone else interested: “better hospitals, better housing, better schools” - better life for the citizens, in brief, instead of spending millions of dollars and valuable time, seeking an event that has no guarantied revenue (NGC, 2009b). NGC, also, accused the Mayor of Chicago of authoritarian and undemocratic behavior. Most of all, the NGC’s campaign was aiming to start a debate, within Chicago, on the utility of the Olympic Games, and by extension, to challenge Mayor Daley and his practices. They suggested that NGC was representing half of the Chicago population, which hadn’t approved the city’s bid and had never been asked about it. “No Games Chicago” attempted to open the discussion on an issue that concerns every society; its right to take part in the decision making process. They countered a well organised team of politicians, businessmen and PR experts who comprised “Chicago 2016” and despite the problems, the prohibitions and the closed doors, which they faced throughout their campaign, they succeeded in making their voice heard. And in the legacy of similar notable social movements that were opposed to the Olympic Games in their city, like “Bread Not Circuses” in Toronto (Lenskyj, 2000) and “No Games 2010” in Vancouver (Shaw, 2008), they provided invaluable information about the conflict between the local organisers and the community, where mega events are planned, or hosted. As, Martin, a member of NGC, stated in the news of Chicago’s elimination: “This is a great victory for the grassroots people of Chicago”. It does not matter if NGC’s campaign contributed 1% or 99% to the IOC’s decision not to vote for Chicago; what matters is that they proved that normal people can win against “the world’s most powerful man”. References Chicago2016 (2009) Chicago 2016 candidature official web site [internet]. Available from: http://www.chicago2016.org/ [Accessed 12 October 2009] Gibson, O. (2009) Barack Obama stardust lifts Chicago's chances but vote will go the wire. The Guardian 1 October, 2009 p.15 Gibson, O. (2009) 2016 Olympics: Celebrities fly in to make Chicago's case. Guardian.co.uk [internet]. Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/ 2009/oct/01/2016olympics-chicago-copenhagen [Accessed 13 October 2009] Lenskyj, H. (2000) Inside the Olympic industry, power, politics, and activism, New York: State University of New York Press Madrid2016 (2009) Madrid 2016 candidature official web site [internet] Available from: http://www.madrid2016.es/ [Accessed 12 October 2009] NGC (2009a) No Games Chicago [internet] Available from: http://www.nogameschicago.com [Accessed 13 October 2009] NGC (2009b) Press release from No Games Chicago, 1 October 2009 Rio2016 (2009) Rio de Janeiro 2016 candidature official web site [Internet]. Available from: http://www.rio2016.org.br/en [Accessed 12 October 2009] Shaw, C. (2008), Five Ring Circus, myths and realities of the Olympic Games, Canada: New Society Publishers Slater, M. (2009) Chicago calling or roll on Rio? BBC Sport [internet]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/mattslater/2009/08/ chicago_calling_or_roll_on_rio.html [Accessed 12 October 2009] 49

Tokyo2016 (2009) Tokyo 2016 candidature official web site [internet] Available from: http://www.tokyo2016.or.jp/en [Accessed 12 October 2009]

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LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE OLYMPIC FIASCO By Tom Tresser – October 19, 2009 Located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-tresser/lessons-learned-from-the_b_324475.html As readers of the Huffington Post know, I was one of the lead organizers for No Games Chicago. It’s been two weeks since the decision in Copenhagen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to deny Chicago the 2016 Olympic games. I was one member of the No Games Chicago delegation that was in Copenhagen and we were able to deliver our message and materials to the IOC. It’s been an arduous and often lonely 10 months of organizing around stopping the 2016 games from ruining our finances, our parks and our neighborhoods. I’ve had time to sort out the avalanche of experiences of the campaign and would like to share a few lessons from the battle of the bid. (1) Accountability Who is watching out for the taxpayers here? I would like to know how much money the city has spent to pursue the bid. I want to know what services were rendered and what properties were used by the bid effort. How much was spent on travel for city officials to promote the bid? Shouldn’t all work on the hospital site be frozen and shouldn’t we get a complete accounting of expenses and liabilities involved in the acquisition of the property? How much was spent on Chicago patrol officers to attend and "protect" all the 2016 summer meetings? How much did 2016 pay for the use of public spaces to hold those meetings? How much time and money was spent on 2016 related events in our public schools and on whose authority were those events conducted? How much money was given to the CTA for the 2016 audio ads and who authorized them? How much was spent on 2016 display advertising around the city and at our airports? How are we going to prevent the mayor from ramming another hare-brained scheme down the taxpayers' throats while the aldermen rubber stamp the project and the media cheer him on? (2) Recovery Don’t we want any public funds spent by the city on behalf of or to advance the 2016 bid to be paid back to the city treasury by the 2016 leadership? The citizens are owed a full accounting of all such expenses and a binding agreement on the bid leadership to repay all such expenses would seem appropriate -- as 84% of the people of Chicago did not want or authorize such expenses. The work on the Michael Reese Hospital site must cease and the site must be returned to the private market. I should think that all contracts relating to that site are to be voided and any expenses incurred reimbursed to the city treasury by the 2016 Committee. Can we get a list of all obligations outstanding that the 2016 Committee has with any entity -- public or private -- in order to assure the taxpayers that no further public monies are in danger of being spent on this project? If any elected official has profited from work done for or on behalf of the 2016 Committee, that money should be reimbursed to the city treasury. 51

I feel like I’ve been ripped off and the thieves are in plain sight. And as if all this isn’t aggravating enough, in the past weeks the city council is handing United Airlines a total of $36 million in taxpayer dollars to move to the Sears Tower (I refuse to call it anything else), whose new owners also got about $4 million in our monies. And then the aldermen showered the Chicago Mercantile Exchange with 15 million of our dollars to help pay for building renovations. Don’t you have to be a millionaire to have a seat on the Exchange? We need to stop the wholesale transfer of public assets to greedy, deep and private pockets. (3) Prevention I propose the following remedies to ensure that the city is not able to embark on new citizen ripoffs and unsanctioned mega-projects that benefit the few at the expense of the many:

The mayor of Chicago shall no longer be able to appoint replacements for aldermen who leave office before the end of their term. If an alderman leaves office before the expiration of their term, a special election shall be held 90 days from the date of the vacancy. All Tax Increment Financing districts shall be frozen and collect no further funds from citizen's property taxes and no TIF district shall make any expenditure until the entire program is reviewed for effectiveness and efficiency by an independent citizens' commission (we suggest such a council be composed of equal number of leaders from local business schools and community economic development practitioners). Until such a commission renders its report all funds in all TIF accounts shall be returned to the city's treasury. No public property shall be transferred, sold, leased or loaned to a private entity or corporation without the express permission of the people of Chicago via binding referendum. All Alderman shall cease working for companies that do business with the city, county or state. This means law work, consulting or rendering any fee for service. Alderman should have one job and one job alone, and that is to represent the people who elected them and who pay their salaries. The mayor shall appoint representatives of community groups to all commissions, boards and entities that control or disburse public assets (Plan Commission, Community Development Commission, Park District Board, Board of Education, Cable Commission, etc). The number of community representatives shall equal the number of members who are from the business community. All city meetings where public assets might be disbursed or diminished must be held at 6:00 p.m. and the agenda published online at least one month in advance. If these conditions are not met the relevant agenda item may not be discussed or voted upon.

(4) Citizen Action Because our alderman and county commissioners are almost to a person in the pocket of the mayor and because the media more less was an echo chamber for the public relations fluff from the 2016 Committee and because the academic institutions forgot to ask critical questions and because most of our nonprofit so called “watchdog” organizations were silent and petrified we have no defense against bad policy and taxpayer rip-offs in our city or county.

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It seems to me that if the citizens want to be protected from bad government and further rip-offs, we are going to have to rise to a new level of citizen involvement. We are going to have to start monitoring how these entities use and abuse our money and we’re going to have be smart enough to understand how they do it. And we’re going to have to work to fire them when we catch them doing it. I know I don’t want to go through another No Games fight. I feel that the people of the region do not want to go through this again, and by “this,” I mean the betrayals, the astounding lack of due diligence by our elected officials, the blatant conflict of interest from project insiders and the arrogance of the mayor and his team in withholding vital information from the taxpayers of the city. But I have little hope that our elected representatives will, truly, represent us. It is for this reason that I have decided to seek the office of the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. If elected I will undertake a top-to-bottom financial review of all aspects of the county’s business and stop insider deals, ghost employee-ism and other longstanding taxpayer rip-offs. [Note – I raised about $10,000 for this campaign and came in third, polling 53,000 votes]

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When losing is really winning
By Bob Quellos -

October 5, 2009

Located at http://www.www.socialistworker.org/2009/10/05/when-losing-is-winning SHOCK WAS the reaction in Chicago as the city's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, after making it as one of four finalists, went down in the first round of voting by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), quicker than Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson. Chicago officials and the city's business elite mourned the decision, but residents can breathe a sigh of relief.

Protesters took a stand against Chicago’s Olympic bid.

As Tom Tresser of No Games Chicago told Chicago Indymedia, "Today's decision is going to spare us years of reading about scandals and backroom deals, some of which have already happened. That's the good news. But unfortunately, the problems in our city--including the fact that only 54 percent of our high school students in the city ever graduate--are still here." ---------------THERE WERE a number of factors at play in Chicago 2016's loss. Perhaps the ongoing dispute between the IOC and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) didn't help. The USOC has been demanding a bigger portion of television revenues from the IOC simply because many of the biggest advertisers associated with the Games are from the U.S. Or perhaps it was the final Chicago 2016 presentation to the IOC, which was criticized in the mainstream press as dull. Mayor Richard Daley came off as abrasive--as if he was back home, lecturing the Chicago press or the City Council. The only spark in the presentation came from Barack and Michelle Obama--but it apparently wasn't enough to win over the IOC. What was apparent from the presentation was that the group sent to Copenhagen to present the Chicago bid is used to getting its way in this city--and that it was incapable of operating outside the bubble of Chicago machine politics. But what may have hurt Chicago's bid the most was the fact that neither the Chicago 2016 bid team nor the mayor were ever honest with Chicago residents about what it would mean to host the Olympics, which led to an economic plan that was heavy on wishful thinking and light on reality. Seemingly, the only entities buying Chicago 2016's financial projections were the city's business elite, much of the Chicago media, and the city's politicians. Even the IOC--not known for being overly concerned about the economic prospects of host cities--took an unusual extra 15 minutes during a presentation this past June to grill Daley and the Chicago 2016 team on their plans. While Daley and Chicago 2016 were telling the IOC that they would be willing to have the city take full financial responsibility for cost overruns, they were telling Chicagoans at the same time 54

that the Olympics wouldn't cost them a dime. At one point, Daley even denied telling the IOC that the city would be willing to sign a contract that would have put Chicago taxpayers on the hook for the overruns. When the mayor's willingness to sign on the dotted line and leave Chicagoans with the tab was revealed, it created an uproar. The next day's Chicago Sun-Times front-page headline read, "You'll Pay for Their Olympic Games," and aldermen's phone lines rang off the hook with calls from irate residents. This was the beginning of the end of perceived public support for the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid. The Chicago 2016 team went on a tour of the city's wards in a last-minute campaign to rebuild support. But the meetings were highly controlled. Early on, residents were only allowed to ask questions about the Chicago bid--comments weren't allowed. Residents' anger about the city's priorities couldn't be contained so simply. At one meeting after another, ordinary Chicagoans spoke up about how they felt about the possibility of gentrification, cost overruns, corruption and an overall lack of democracy in the bid process. By the time the tour of the wards came to a close, resident support for the Games had dropped to less than half of the city's residents, according to a Chicago Tribune poll--with 84 percent against the Olympics coming to the city if taxpayer money was going to be used. Our organization, No Games Chicago, formed to put up an opposition to the bid team's plans, was able to give an organized voice to the spreading discontent, with a presence at the ward meetings and several demonstrations downtown--including one the week of the Olympics announcement that drew several hundred people. ---------------THE FACTORS behind the IOC's decision may never be known. This body--which runs what is supposed to be a symbol of international good will--is a corrupt group that previously has decided host cities based on which provided the largest bribe. Whatever its motives, it's clear that Daley was dealt a severe blow. Rumors that this will be his last term as mayor are circulating. Now that Chicago has lost its Olympics bid, the city already owns the site of the former Michael Reese Hospital--purchased for $85 million as the site of the future Olympic Village. The Chicago 2016 team has said that residential development of the site would move forward, despite Chicago not hosting the Olympics. But realistically, this site may not see any activity for decades--it is located in an area of Chicago already flooded with new condo units that can't be sold, leaving many developers delinquent on construction loans. Daley has spent the last three years focused almost exclusively on winning the 2016 Games. This summer, both he and the bid committee tried to intimidate Chicagoans into supporting the Olympics by claiming that this was the only viable economic plan for the future. In the meantime, the city continued cutting jobs and services--unable to find the same time, money and energy for poor and working Chicagoans as it had for the bid campaign. 55

Unfortunately, Chicago's loss is also a loss for the people of Rio de Janeiro, which won the 2016 games. The crime, corruption, displacement of residents, civil rights violations and financial strains that plague all Games will now be visited on Rio. The poor in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro have nothing to gain from the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Games are a traveling neoliberal circus that moves from city to city every two years, stealing local resources and leaving the residents of the host city to clean up the mess. Currently, the cities of Vancouver, Canada; London; and Sochi, Russia are dealing with this grim reality as the bills for the Games in the coming years continue to pile up, and their cities become police states. This coming winter, opponents of the Games in Vancouver--where taxpayers are responsible for covering $6 billion in Olympic expenses--are calling for an international mobilization from February 10-15 for "a gathering of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist forces to confront corporate invasion, displacement, and state repression." It will take an international movement to do away with the circus that is the Olympic Games-and it starts in Vancouver.

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WHY I FOUGHT THE BID – JOAN LEVIN Over forty years ago I was a tree-hugger in Jackson Park on Chicago’s south side, standing in the path of heavy equipment sent to cut down trees to make way for public works projects that we knew would fill the coffers of the local Democratic Machine as winning contractors “contributed” their share of the federal monies received. In 2009 it was “déjà vu all over again” as an arrogant city administration met behind closed doors to commandeer not only the city parks but whole neighborhoods and a faltering city treasury in order to make way for the 2016 Olympic Games – a project that I believed would profit a few but leave most taxpayers holding the bag for crushing debt. I was privileged to work with a small group of Chicagoans representing widely divergent backgrounds and interests, as well as ages spanning over fifty years, who left their differences at the door to bring their many talents to No Games Chicago. Our community organizers, media experts, speakers, writers and researchers put in many volunteer hours each week for nearly a year with only minimal funds to play what I believe was a critical role in educating the Chicago public about the problems the 2016 games could bring this city, and demonstrating to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the unsuitability of Chicago as an Olympic venue. Although our group was small we worked hard and we worked smart. Early on we realized that there was no point in addressing our concerns to a Mayor who was totally invested in these games, and who had already demonstrated (with his earth moving equipment at Meigs Field some years earlier) that democratic process took a back seat to pushing through his agenda. Therefore we concentrated on demonstrating to the IOC that Chicago was unsuitable as an Olympic venue because: 1. The city could not afford it;

2. The city, as evidenced by other mishandled projects, would most likely not execute this one properly; 3. 4. Corruption at every level could slow down processes that needed to run like clockwork; The people of the Chicago did not want it.

The first three items we could readily document from public sources. The fourth item – lack of public support, grew steadily over the course of the months preceding the IOC’s decision. When it became public knowledge that Chicago would have to sign IOC’s “Host City Contract” binding the city to obligations that in all likelihood would be passed along to taxpayers, public support quickly tumbled to well under 20% according to major polls. We presented supporting information for all of these points to the IOC in a weighty volume called “The Book of Evidence” plus occasional updates. This information mostly comprised articles from major newspapers, articles which we believed would balance the information the IOC was undoubtedly receiving from the city and from Chicago’s “sales team” for the games, Chicago 2016. 57

With practically nothing in our bank account, we managed to cobble together funds and airline miles to send a small team first to Lausanne, Switzerland, where the bids were presented in June 2009, and then to Copenhagen, Denmark, where the election was held. When public support fell precipitously following the Mayor’s public admission that Chicago would be bound by the “Host City Contract,” the city responded by having Chicago 2016 host public meetings for all fifty wards of the City. No Games Chicago fielded teams at each of these meetings to hand out literature, chat with people, and ask questions during the Q& A sessions. We were polite and non-disruptive, but we made sure that people attending these meetings had a chance to hear both sides of the issue. Why was Chicago eliminated on the first round? There were many possibilities. We heard rumors that the IOC found the Chicago bid to be deficient, and that the presentations of Mayor Daley and President Obama were not as persuasive as the more heartfelt ones of Rio de Janeiro. We also heard rumors that some IOC members had pledged their first round vote to Madrid in honor of Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain who was retiring after over twenty years as IOC President. We also heard that many Asian delegates had pledged their first round votes to Tokyo, and Latin American delegates to Rio de Janeiro. Any or all of these might be true. However, I cannot help but think that by presenting both to the people of Chicago AND to the IOC the facts that the Mayor and Chicago 2016 tried to downplay or conceal, No Games Chicago made a difference that contributed to the result of this election. What might Chicago have learned from this? First and foremost, to make the public part of the bid development process from the start. While some of the early meetings may have been at least nominally open to the public, they were not well publicized and the public was not urged to become part of the process. But in time it became clear that many Chicago parks and beaches would be removed from public use not only during the games, but also during long periods of construction. It was also clear that whole neighborhoods – ones that had never been consulted during the initial planning stages – would suffer as a result. And finally, it was clear that Chicago would in all probability become yet another bedraggled marcher in the growing parade of cities that had endured severe financial hardship as a result of hosting the games. Some of those in areas that would be most adversely affected tried to negotiate agreements with the city to protect some of their interests, but, as finally executed, these agreements lacked language that would bind the City to anything substantial. Indeed, some of the destructive actions of the city seemed pointless and unsupportable. An example of this was the tearing down the entire Michael Reese Hospital complex as a potential Olympic Village site even before the bid was awarded. This was done over the objections of architectural historians who decried the loss of the only Walter Gropius buildings in Chicago, as well as those of community leaders who believed these buildings could be repurposed in some worthwhile manner. This vacant land now sits useless and while it may eventually go to some profitable use, it is not clear that any profits derived would wind up in that neighborhood. Would some have benefited from games in Chicago? To be sure there would have been some jobs – temporary and not well paid. But the real profits would in all likelihood have been distributed among many of the same parties who have already dipped deep into the public 58

trough. As with so many other ill-considered projects, the outcomes would mostly capitalize the profits and socialize the losses. Would the outcome have been different had the process been more open and transparent from the first? Would it have made a difference in public acceptance had those meetings in 50 Wards been held in the initial stages of this process? Or was holding the games in this cash-strapped city simply a poor idea no matter how attractive it might have seemed to some. At times the task seemed impossible. While leaders from some civic and environmental groups confided that they supported our efforts, their public stance and that of their organizations was at best silence and at worst full-throated support of the Chicago games. We kept working, taking heart both from Gandhi’s famous words: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then you win. And this is exactly what happened.

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WHY I FOUGHT THE BID – JOHN VIRAMONTES As far back as the 1950s Chicago taxpayers had been shielded from an Olympics bidding process. Chicago has never hosted an Olympics. Even as late as 2004 the word on the street was that Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley considered a Chicago bid to host an Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games "too expensive." Pivotal to Daley's vision for Chicago to get the 2016 Olympics was the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) 2005 elimination of New York City to host the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in favor of London. The Big Apple's defeat paved the way for U.S. cities to submit their applications to the USOC. After abstaining for a half century, Chicago rolled the dice and cobbled up a bid. The goal was to eventually get, at the 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 2, 2009, the all-important nod to host the 2016 Summer Games. By 2006 the USOC had narrowed the field to three U.S. candidate cities with San Francisco withdrawing its application in autumn of the same year, leaving semifinalists Los Angeles and Chicago to duel. In April of 2007 the USOC ousted Los Angeles, causing Chicago bid backers around the world to celebrate. Surprisingly, within 30 days a report surfaced that Chicago bid bosses, in their battle with L.A., had violated an IOC edict. Chicago Sun Times city hall beat reporter Fran Spielman broke the news in her May 17, 2007 article, "Chicago's Olympic logo smoked out; Cities can't use torch, so bid team has to start over " It was revealed that Chicago bid organizers had designed and aggressively marketed to the USOC a flawed bid logo. The IOC, upon reviewing Chicago's application, spotted the bad design and banished the logo as unacceptable. The rejected logo, a flaming torch, was too much like the IOC's official torch design, which is their intellectual property and which is vigorously protected. How could Chicago bid organizers have dangled its outlaw image in public, only to have L.A. bid supporters, the USOC, the IOC and the world press not notice the illegal design? And why did the IOC wait to arrive at its "wrongful use" conclusion only until after L.A. had been eliminated? Five days after the Fran Spielman article ran, my letter to the editor, "Logo gave city bad image," appeared in the Sun Times. The letter raised the issue whether the IOC was guilty of negligence for not red-flagging the bogus logo prior to the USOC torpedoing the L.A. bid. To say the least, Chicago's violation of an IOC rule made for another embarrassing headline; it was one more disgrace dumped on the city. It primed taxpayers to believe that desperate Chicago bid managers would stoop to whatever strategy and tactics necessary to snag the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. The incident brought to mind recent events which revealed the raw power of a City of Chicago, by leveraging its sister agency the Chicago Park District hell bent on using muscle to get its way. For example, in 2003 many people awoke one morning and were outraged to learn of an action that was reported by the news media far beyond Illinois, the midnight closing of Chicago's downtown lakefront airport, Meigs Field, when bulldozers tore up runways, without giving the Federal Aviation Administration the mandatory 30-day notice. As reported by the Chicago Sun Times on September 19, 2006, the Daley administration agreed "...to pay a $33,000 fine and repay $1 million in federal airport development grants, to settle claims stemming from Mayor Daley's infamous midnight destruction of Meigs Field in March 2003." In early 2009 I learned, via a No Games Chicago Facebook page, that others shared the view that Chicago bid organizers were on the prowl. The No Games Facebook page quickly garnered an 60

active readership and bubbled with activity. A new website at www.nogameschicagocom kept the taxpaying public well informed with compelling stories, video and photos. The site was filled with hard facts about past and present Olympic venues and the underreported negative aspects associated with them such as the incurring of up to billions of dollars in construction budget cost overruns, unnecessarily putting taxpayers on the hook. A public comments section logged supporters' kind words but also became, to no one's surprise, a lightning rod for No Games detractors. But No Games Chicago didn't stop there; it articulated a viable alternative vision for Chicago minus the 2016 Summer Games. It suggested that any plan for what a future Chicago might be must first take an inventory of any number of issues. No Games rightfully pointed to Chicago's failure in important arenas such as public school children reading below grade level, the poor condition of neighborhood streets located away from the downtown area, the continuing red-ink city budget, the near absence of affordable housing, a poorly-negotiated long term parking meter lease, the instance of a retired police detective supervisor accused (later convicted for felonious lying about it) of torturing many suspects, the Hired-Truck corruption scandal, the rash of school age children being shot and killed in the street, the issuance of “sweetheart” purchasing contracts and the ongoing lack of a union labor contract for police, among other issues. In light of real problems facing Chicago, the Chicago bid was a distraction whose slick marketing seduced many, such as President Obama and First Lady Michelle, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, professional basketball legend Michael Jordan, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and countless other luminaries. How could honest, hard-working Chicagoans not fight back? In the end, the Rio de Janeiro bid came out on top. No Games members and its allies, literally countable on one hand, breathed a long sigh of relief. No Gamers took no delight in seeing the disappointment etched on the countless faces of those who backed the Chicago bid. At the proOlympics rally in Daley Plaza attended by thousands, bid backers wept openly under the Picasso sculpture after IOC President Jacques Rogge's message of defeat lit up two colossal Jumbotron screens. Much has happened since that historic Friday, October 2, 2009. Most notable is that a gem was added to the No Games winner’s crown on April 30, 2011. The Chicago Audubon Society (Est. 1971) honored the organization at its biennial banquet with its "Protector of the Environment" award, part of a night honoring other individuals and organizations for their important work in fighting to safeguard habitats that sustain wildlife. A Chicago Olympics would have put public parkland in danger. As award recipients arrived at the banquet hall, each was given a name tag which bore a phrase attributed to Margaret Mead, anthropologist, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." I'm grateful for the vision of No Games Chicago founders and leaders; especially those energetic and tireless core members who volunteered to show up and protest, week in and week out, at the summer's public meetings held in each of Chicago's 50 wards. Without their bold civic activism it's doubtful that I would’ve had the stamina to oppose the bid to the very end.

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IV.

THE EMAILS

No Games Chicago acquired the email addresses of members of the International Olympic Committee and sent them a number of updates starting in May of 2009. We decided to transmit one update a day, every day, starting 70 days from the October 2 decision date. These emails would contain one article or news item from that day’s press or sometimes, the day before. The articles and news items were picked to give weight and credibility to the arguments and materials presented in our “Book of Evidence.” There would be no editorializing other then a few sentences to introduce the item. The emails also contained verbatim comments from people who had signed the No Games anti-bid online petition and letters to the editor of the local newspapers objecting to the bid. We used Constant Contact to send these emails so we know exactly who opened each email and how many times. On average, between ten and twenty IOC members opened every email. Some members opened every one of the 70 emails. A total of 36 members and two staff opened these emails. Of course, we have no way of knowing how many people were forwarded copies. Tom Tresser composed and transmitted these emails.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 70 Days - Citizens finally have their say...

No Games Chicago Update 70 Days To Decision Daily News
July 23, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: As we are 70 days away from your decision as to who will get the 2016 games, we'd like to keep you informed of Chicago news on a daily basis. As a reminder, we'd love to hear your comments on the "Book of Evidence" we left for you in Lausanne. If you did not receive a copy please contact Mr. Adams and request he send you a copy. If you would prefer an electronic version you can download it from our website, www.nogameschicago.com. Wanna Buy an Olympics? Why is the mayor's A team only now hitting the neighborhoods to pitch Chicagoans on the Olympic bid? Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! By Ben Joravsky- Chicago Reader - July 23, 2009 Read this online.

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

In a more perfect democracy, the campaign to host the 2016 Olympic Games would have been the subject of intense public scrutiny from the moment Mayor Daley proposed it three years ago. The financial projections would've been scrutinized by independent-minded aldermen and their whiz-kid staffers. There would've been public hearings where ordinary citizens would get to question Daley's Olympics planners. There might even have been a referendum, carefully worded to let people know exactly what they were getting into-something along the lines of "This could cost us all a ton of money. Do you still want it?"

Olympic economics

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How can our politicians, all under the same breath, be talking about the 2016 Chicago Olympics when words such as "layoffs," "furloughs," "tax hikes" and "shortfall" are coming out of their mouths? Cristina Vargar, Chicago Letter to the Editor Chicago Tribune July 22, 2009

But what Chicago has is not an ideal democracy. So here we are three years later, heatedly pursuing Mayor Daley's Olympics dream whether we want to or not. Recently, though, the Chicago 2016 planners have been holding forums across the city. The mayor had no choice: in June he promised International Olympic Committee officials he'd sign the standard host city contract, which will make Chicago taxpayers the guarantors of any cost overruns-a figure that could run into the billions of dollars. The fallout was immediate. Aldermen, already under siege after the parking meter lease debacle, demanded an opportunity to examine and vote on the fine details of any funding package. So to pacify the aldermen and show the IOC that Chicagoans truly want the games-despite whatever IOC commissioners might be reading in the papers-Daley announced a series of community meetings in which the planners would bring the case for the games directly to the people. I had to wonder: What assurance could they possibly offer that public dollars won't be spent that the public hasn't already heard for years? The short answer: none. That said, the two hearings I sat through were fairly impressive dog and pony shows. Cheery, well-dressed young volunteers were on hand to pass out flyers, maps, rubber wristbands, and other doodads. And to answer questions, Daley sent in the A team: Patrick Ryan, CEO of the Chicago 2016 Committee; Lori Healey, president of the committee; Doug Arnot, director of venues and games operations; and Kurt Summers, Healey's chief of staff. They didn't merely show up and screen their promotional videos, featuring inspirational testimonials from local athletes and a pitch from President Obama. They tailored each presentation to its audience. For instance, there was a white moderator, Chicago 2016 spokesman Patrick Sandusky, at the July 13 meeting at North Park University on the northwest side. The meeting two days later at the South Shore Cultural Center on the south side was moderated by Chicago 2016's director of neighborhood legacy, Arnold Randall, who's black. Two Olympians-both white-showed up on the northwest side to wave at the crowd. Ryan introduced them, but they sat in the audience.

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On the south side, three black Olympians sat facing the audience alongside Ryan, Healey, and other officials. Sprinter Connie Moore-who grew up in South Shore and was a member of the 2004 American team-gave a brief speech. Randall encouraged the crowd to ask the Olympians questions about their Olympics experiences, as though their personal tales had some relevance to the pressing financial and planning matters at hand. On the north side, Ryan and Healey by and large addressed the issue of cost as if they were speaking to a group of concerned taxpayers. As Ryan explained it, the games would pay for themselves and more: they would cost $3.3 billion to stage and bring in $3.8 billion in revenues. That $500 million balance would fund "legacy" programs in needy neighborhoods for decades to come. On the south side, Ryan and Healey repeated those projections, but they and others largely emphasized the jobs and opportunities the games would create. People who want jobs in these bleak economic times better jump on the Olympics bandwagon, they said, because it could be the only game in town. They urged the audience to visit the Chicago 2016 Web site to learn how to apply for jobs and contracts. There were even different Obama videos for each crowd. The one on the north side showed him looking presidential, sitting before the flag in the White House and speaking directly to the IOC. On the south side, Obama was seen offering a rousing campaign speech last summer in Daley Plaza. "In 2016 I'll wrap up my second term as president," he said. "I can't think of a better way than to be walking into Washington Park alongside Mayor Daley and announcing to the world, 'Let the games begin.'" But despite these heroic efforts, neither audience was buying what the Olympic planners were selling. "Let's have a referendum," a man in the North Park audience blurted out." "Please, let's be respectful," said Ryan. "Let's hold a referendum," the man persisted. When Ryan assured the North Park audience that the Olympics venues could all be reached by bus so there'd be no need to create extra parking, another guy cracked, "There's not enough quarters in the country to pay the meters." The session culminated with a question from a woman near the back: "What are your policies to guard against corruption?" Ryan responded that

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Update from No Games Chicago - 70 Days - Citizens finally have their say...

Chicago 2016 is governed by "a group of very responsible people." Opposition at the South Shore Cultural Center was even stronger. For every person in the crowd who spoke up in favor of the games, at least eight others spoke against them. They demanded jobs now-not in seven years. They correctly pointed out that the "community benefits" agreement is not legally binding but merely sets out a series of goals for the creation of affordable housing and jobs for minorities and women. They accused officials of condescending to them-"Barack Obama, Oprah, and Michael Jordan don't speak for me," one woman said. They scoffed at promises to use the games to improve recreational programs in the inner city ("Do it now," one man demanded), and they mocked the cheery financial projections. "You're all projecting you're going to make a lot of money," declared one woman. "Bankers projected making a lot of money, Madoff projected he was going to make a lot of money. If your plan fails, where will the money come from? Will it come from hospitals, schools, parks-or are they going to issue a lot more of those red light tickets?" So now what? Any way you look at it, supporting the games requires a leap of faith. You either believe the optimistic projections of Daley, Ryan, Healey, Randall, and all the other cheerleaders, or you tell yourself that the Olympics will be so good for Chicago you don't care how much they cost. Once these community hearings end in mid-August, the public will pretty much have had its say. The sneers and jeers may embolden a handful of aldermen to oppose the mayor when the council eventually votes on the full-funding commitment, but the council will probably approve it anyway. And with that the action will shift to a new audience-the IOC. This eclectic group of 100-some Olympic insiders-many of them former Olympians-will meet in Copenhagen on October 2 to make a final decision." At the moment Chicago's bid seems to be in trouble. The latest ranking from Gamesbid.com, which surveys the horse race, has Chicago dead last in the four-city competition, behind Tokyo, Rio, and Madrid. Chicago's planners are clearly hoping for a big boost from Obama. Four years ago, Paris was the favorite to win the 2012 games. But in the end, the IOC voted 54 to 50 for London, thanks to a last-minute pitch from Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 70 Days - Citizens finally have their say...

If Obama successfully pulls a Blair and uses his considerable charm and charisma to woo over the IOC, it won't matter whether the larger Chicago public is for, against, or ambivalent about the games. But then that's been true all along. ----------------------------------------------------Ben Joravsky discusses his column weekly with journalist Dave Glowacz at http://mrradio.org /theworks.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 69 Days - Citizens continue to have thei...

No Games Chicago Update 69 Days To Decision Daily News
July 24, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today's update comes from the Hyde Park Herald, Chicago's oldest community newspaper. This article reports on several 2016-related community meetings held on the south side of the city.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 68 Days - Chicago's Backwards Bid

No Games Chicago Update 68 Days To Decision Daily News
July 25, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today's update comes from NBC News Chicago's online service. We continue to share with you coverage of the community meetings being staged by the Chicago 2016 Committee.

Chicago's Backwards Olympic Bid Public invited in - sort of - at end
By STEVE RHODES - July 24, 2009

Now that the city is just a few months away from finding out if it will be awarded the 2016 Olympics, an actual real debate has erupt among taxpayers about whether they actually, really want it. Isn't this backwards? Yes, but if City Hall and local Olympic officials had their way, they would have made it all the way to October without having

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Update from No Games Chicago - 68 Days - Chicago's Backwards Bid

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs040/1102402695779/archive/11026...

to include taxpayers who will foot the bill in their plans. "In a more perfect democracy, the campaign to host the 2016 Olympic Games would have been the subject of intense public scrutiny from the moment Mayor Daley proposed it three years ago," Ben Joravsky writes in the Reader. "The financial projections would've been scrutinized by independent-minded aldermen and their whiz-kid staffers. There would've been public hearings where ordinary citizens would get to question Daley's Olympic planners. There might even have been a referendum, carefully worded to let people know exactly what they were getting into - something along the lines of 'This could cost us all a ton of money. Do you still want it?' "And if the answer were yes, we'd have moved on to try to win the International Olympic Committee's approval. "But what Chicago has is not an ideal democracy. So here we are three years later, heatedly pursuing Mayor Daley's Olympic dream whether we want to or not." In fact, the only reason why the public is suddenly engaged in debate - and why at least some portions of the mainstream media have belatedly awoken to the fact that all is not what local Olympic officials make it seem - is that what the mayor told the International Olympic Committee behind closed doors somehow made its way back to Chicago and confirmed what critics have said all along: the city is handing the IOC a blank check. Even Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times, which has been one of the main Daley water-carriers for the Games bid, was moved this week to note that "Newspaper editorials have been overwhelmingly supportive of the city's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Some of the television coverage has been so gung-ho, reporters sounded like cheerleaders." The Tribune's John Kass, who unsurprisingly has been onto the mayor's game from the get-go, nearly alone among mainstream media figures, noted himself this week that "the mayor has accused the news media of not being onboard with his Olympic dreams. Who do you think he was referring to, exactly? The Tribune proudly flew Chicago 2016 flags from Tribune Tower." The turning of the tide answers the question Joravsky poses this week: "Why is the mayor's A team only now hitting the neighborhoods to pitch Chicagoans on the Olympic bid?" Because public support is eroding. "The more people hear about this, the more they oppose it," anti-Olympics activist Tom Tresser said on Chicago Tonight this week.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 68 Days - Chicago's Backwards Bid

So the mayor's bid-masters have set out in a series of meetings across the city to change what taxpayers are hearing - these are not meetings being held for the benefit of residents who want to question aspects of the bid or venture their opinion. These meetings are intended to communicate in one direction only. "These are not hearings," Chicago 2016 operations director Doug Arnot said on Chicago Tonight, "they are public forums where the public has the opportunity to get information." Oh thank you for the opportunity! Now shut up and listen! "As promised, I had an open mind last night when I went to the Chicago Olympic committee's community meeting at North Park University," Joravsky wrote after attending one of these meetings. "I listened to Chicago 2016 chairman Patrick Ryan, president Lori Healey, and venue director Doug Arnot make their case for committing untold billions to Mayor Daley's games. "But sorry - they lost me when they claimed that providing recreational opportunities for underprivileged children in low-income neighborhoods was their primary motivation for staging the games." The problem Olympic organizers face now is folks leaving these meetings laughing. ------------------------------------------------------Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 67Days - Chicago City Council conside...

No Games Chicago Update 67 Days To Decision Daily News
July 26, 2009 Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: On Monday, July 27, the Finance Committee of the Chicago City Council will consider an ordinance introduced by Alderman Manny Flores. This legislation would place a limit on the amount of Chicago tax-payer's money could be spent on the 2016 Olympic games to a limit of $500 million.

The People Speak We do not have the money to put on a successful Olympics, and our city and state are both in shambles as it is. Bringing the Olympics here would be a disservice to the athletes involved, the nature of the activity, and the citizens of Illinois. Ms. S.W. , Elmhurst Comment on No Games online petition - July 21, 2009

ORDINANCE WHEREAS, The City of Chicago is a home rule unit of government by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution of the State of Illinois of 1970 and, as such, may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs; and WHEREAS, The City has proposed hosting the summer Olympic Games, including the Paralympic Games constituting a part thereof (the "2016 Games") in 2016; and WHEREAS, In pursuing the honor of hosting the 2016 Games, the City has worked cooperatively

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Update from No Games Chicago - 67Days - Chicago City Council conside...

with Chicago 2016, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation (the "Bid Committee") formed for the purpose of assisting and representing the City in the Olympic Games bid application process in accordance with International Olympic Committee ("I.O.C.") protocols; and WHEREAS, In early 2007, the Bid Committee submitted the City's bid application materials to the United States Olympic Committee ("U.S.O.C.") in connection with the U.S.O.C.'s selection of the United States' host city candidate in April 2007; and WHEREAS, In connection with such bid application, and by an ordinance adopted by the City of Chicago City Council (the "City Council") on March 14, 2007 and published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Chicago titled "AUTHORIZATION FOR EXECUTION OF AGREEMENTS WITH VARIOUS PRIVATE AND MUNICIPAL ENTITIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CITY OF CHICAGO'S BID APPLICATION TO HOST 2016 OLYMPICS", the City Council provided for the authorization of the City's execution of, among other things: (a) certain City of Chicago Olympic Commitments Agreement; (b) certain intergovernmental Agreements by and between the City and the Chicago Park District, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago and certain other public bodies whose properties may serve as venues for Olympic Games; and (c) a Joinder Undertaking and Joinder Agreement (the "Joinder Agreement") pursuant to which the City has committed to provide certain guarantees and indemnities, subject to the limitations set forth therein; and WHEREAS, Under the Joinder Agreement, the City's financial obligations (referred to as the "Maximum Liability") were capped at $500,000,000; and WHEREAS, On April 14, 2007, the U.S.O.C. selected the City as the United States' Applicant City for the 2016 Games; and WHEREAS, On June 4, 2008, the I.O.C. selected the City as one of the final four Candidate Cities for the 2016 Games; and WHEREAS, After June 4, 2008, the I.O.C. then issued its "2016 Candidature Procedure and Questionnaire" (the "Candidature Procedure"); and WHEREAS, The Candidature Procedure is the

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne!

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 67Days - Chicago City Council conside...

document provided by the I.O.C. to Candidate Cities that explains the candidature process, sets forth certain questions that the Candidate Cities must answer, and requests certain mandatory guarantees that the Candidate Cities must provide prior to February 12, 2009 as part of their bid application; and WHEREAS, In July, 2008, the I.O.C. also issued the form of "Host City Contract for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in the Year 2016" (the "Host City Contract"); and WHEREAS, The Host City Contract is the primary legal document that shall govern the organization and operation of the 2016 Games, and, if the City is selected to host the 2016 Games, must be executed by the City and the U.S.O.C. immediately following the I.O.C's selection of the host city on October 2, 2009; and WHEREAS, Following the I.O.C.'s selection of the host city for the 2016 Games, the I.O.C. shall also execute the Host City Contract, which shall become binding upon such parties; and WHEREAS, the City Council is charged with protecting the short and long term economic viability of the City; now, therefore Be It Ordained by the City Council of the City of Chicago: SECTION 1. The foregoing recitals are hereby adopted as the findings of the City Council and are incorporated herein and made a part of this ordinance. SECTION 2. As referenced in Section F of Part II (Covenants of the City) of (Sub)Exhibit "A" (Joinder Agreement) of Exhibit "F" (Joinder Undertaking) in the "AUTHORIZATION FOR EXECUTION OF AGREEMENTS WITH VARIOUS PRIVATE AND MUNICIPAL ENTITIES IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CITY OF CHICAGO'S BID APPLICATION TO HOST 2016 OLYMPICS" executed and approved by the City Council on March 14, 2007, the City's obligations under the City Liabilities and Net Financial Deficit shall not exceed Five Hundred Million Dollars ($500,000,000) in the aggregate (referred to as the "Maximum Liability"). SECTION 3. The City of Chicago, and any and all entities acting on behalf of the City of Chicago, in connection with any aspect of the City's bid for the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 67Days - Chicago City Council conside...

2016 Games, is hereby prohibited from providing financial guarantees that could obligate the City to exceed the $500,000,000 Maximum Liability under the Joinder Agreement executed and approved through the prior ordinance adopted by the City of Chicago City Council on March 14, 2007 and reaffirmed through an ordinance adopted by the City Council on January 13, 2009 and published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Chicago titled "EXECUTION OF AGREEMENTS CONCERNING CHICAGO'S CANDIDACY TO HOST 2016 OLYMPICS", unless otherwise authorized by the Chicago City Council. SECTION 4. This ordinance supersedes any language within Section 2 of the March 14, 2007 and January 13, 2009 agreements that may be construed as limiting the authority of the City Council to affirm the $500,000,000 cap on the City's financial obligation to the Games. SECTION 5. This ordinance shall take effect upon its passage and approval.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 66Days - New York Times reports on b...

No Games Chicago Update 66 Days To Decision Daily News
July 27, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today the New York Times ran this article further documenting the deterioration of public support for the 2016 bid in Chicago. Recession Shadowing Chicago Bid for Games By MONICA DAVEY CHICAGO - On a recent afternoon, Mayor Richard M. Daley delivered his annual speech on the condition of the city he has run for 20 years. Revenues may fall $250 million short. Some city workers must take 15 unpaid days this year, including Mr. Daley. More than 400 workers were laid off that very afternoon, after talks with two unions collapsed. In the same address, Mr. Daley pressed forward with the city's efforts to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, which carry an expected $3.3 billion price tag. A decision by the International Olympics Committee is due in October, and Chicago is considered a favorite among the four finalists. Polls here suggest broad support for bringing the Olympic Games to the city. But increasingly, the economic downturn is taking a central role in the local debate over the bid as more residents raise concerns that Chicago taxpayers, already struggling, could be left paying the bills despite assertions from organizers that no city dollars will be needed. "How do we know?" a resident, Douglas Brown, demanded of leaders of the Olympics bid during a recent neighborhood meeting on the South Side. "We can't take your word for it," Mr. Brown said, adding, "When do we get our guarantees to make us

The People Speak Not Taxpayer's Dream The press is not the only one against the Olympic Games, Mr. Mayor. So are thousands of Chicago taxpayers who have been burdened by your inept administration, parking meter fiasco, truck hiring scandals and the continued corruption in City Hall. Chicago taxpayers are tired of seeing their hard-earned tax money being spent on your cronies and family members.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 66Days - New York Times reports on b...

Chicago taxpayers DO NOT need to be burdened any further with untold billions of dollars in taxes to support "your dream," Mr. Mayor. You want to see the Olympics, fly to London for the next one. Charles Vazquez Chicago Sun-Times Letter to the Editor July 27, 2009

sleep at night?" At the same time, Mr. Daley and other supporters of the Games argue that the Olympics would be a force - perhaps the force - to lift Chicago from this financial gloom, with seven years of new construction, jobs and tourism. Asked about the difficulties of lobbying for an Olympics bid during a recession, Lori Healey, the president of Chicago 2016, the bid committee here, said: "I think it makes it easy. People are hungry for jobs and opportunities." Earlier events that placed Chicago on an international stage, Ms. Healey said, also came during periods of financial gloom: a World's Fair in 1893 and again in 1933. To hear Ms. Healey and other bid leaders tell it, there is no downside. If the International Olympics Committee were to choose Chicago over Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo on Oct. 2, advocates predict the Games would not only break even but would also make money (as have, they say, earlier Olympics in the United States), generate more than $22 billion in indirect economic impact on the city and create $1 billion in new tax revenue. Many of the sites needed for the events would not require construction because they already exist. Organizers say private financial support is mounting, with $60 million raised so far for the bid, and no city dollars are expected to be needed for either the bid or the Games. On that last point, however, residents of Chicago seem skeptical. They have heard promises before. This spring, a $1.15 billion deal to privatize the city's parking meter system turned into a fiasco after City Hall's inspector general called it a dubious financial deal and after motorists said they poured money into fancy new meters that, in turn, spat out error messages. A few years ago, Millennium Park, a downtown centerpiece, opened behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. "You all are projecting we're going to make a lot of money," a resident, Robin Kaufman, told Olympics planners at a neighborhood meeting, one in a series intended to shore up support. "But the bankers were projecting they were going to make a lot of money. Bernie Madoff was predicting he was going to make a lot of money." Ms. Kaufman lifted a sign that read, "No Blank Checks."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 66Days - New York Times reports on b...

At a high school auditorium on the West Side, where the bid leaders showed glossy Olympics schematics and stood beside toned former Olympians, Stephanie Patton asked, "Why should we trust you?" Even without a city having been picked for the 2016 event, Chicago agreed this summer to spend $86 million on land for an Olympics village. Bid leaders say private developers will ultimately foot the bill for a project that is to create permanent housing regardless of the Olympics. Bid leaders say the Games themselves are expected to make $450 million in profits. In case of a shortfall, though, a "safety net" package for the Games will include an expected $1 billion in private insurance, according to bid leaders, as well as pledges from the State of Illinois of $250 million and the City of Chicago of $500 million. Then last month, Mr. Daley indicated that he would sign a host contract required by international Olympics officials, including a standard blanket provision offering the city's backing - one that Chicago leaders had earlier said they hoped to modify. The notion that the city could then be responsible beyond $500 million "set off some alarm bells" for aldermen, one of them, Joe Moore, said. Mr. Moore added that the City Council was seeking more details before it signed off on it. And a group here opposed to the event, No Games Chicago, said the prospect seemed to have suddenly stirred an outpouring of interest from people who had been silent on the Olympics. "The levee broke around that issue," said a founder of the group, Bob Quellos. What strikes some residents as particularly puzzling is the bid committee's refrain that, as a private nonprofit entity, it is separate from city government and public money. Technically, that may be, but skeptics note the committee and City Hall share goals and often seem intricately intertwined; Ms. Healey, for instance, stepped down as the mayor's chief of staff to lead the committee. Crucial to maintaining residents' support for the Games, polls suggest, is convincing them that their dollars will not be spent. In February, a poll by The Chicago Tribune found that 64 percent of residents of Chicago and its suburbs favored having an Olympics but that 75 percent were against the use

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Update from No Games Chicago - 66Days - New York Times reports on b...

of tax money to cover shortfalls. At one of the community forums, a city official likened the efforts of those planning the Olympics Games to Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, who is believed to have been the first non-Indian settler of Chicago, and Daniel H. Burnham, whose 1909 Plan of Chicago largely designed the city with the long strip of lakefront parkland that defines it.

Then the bid leaders brought out their big guns for these crowds: a videotape of Barack Obama, then a candidate for president, in Chicago, his hometown, smiling and shaking hands with Mr. Daley during a rally last summer for the bid and declaring his wish that an Olympics reveal Chicago as "not just a city that works, but a city that inspires." Patrick G. Ryan, the founder of the Aon Corporation and the chairman of the bid committee, told one crowd that the thought that private money being raised for the Games might otherwise pay for schools, garbage collection or city workers' salaries was wrong. "To say we could spend the money either hosting the Games or on something else is really a false choice," Mr. Ryan said. "This money only comes in if we win."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 65 Days - Illinois bond rating on watch list

No Games Chicago Update 65 Days To Decision Daily News
July 28, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We regret to inform you that Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago continue to be gravely in debt and operating with extremely large deficits. Our state's finances are so poor that Moody's Investors Service has placed Illinois debt under review for a possible downgrade - the second in just four months. Moody's puts Illinois bond ratings on watch for downgrade July 16, 2009 (Dow Jones) - Moody's Investors Service on Thursday put the state of Illinois's generalobligation bond ratings on review for possible downgrade, saying the state has long-term budgetary challenges. The firm said the state has a long history of general-fund operating deficits, and liquidity in the fund has been increasingly strained, which it said was evidenced by growing use of short-term debt and delaying payments to Medicaid providers and vendors. It also said Illinois was one of five U.S. states that started its new fiscal year July 1 with no budget in place. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a $26 billion budget Wednesday night. Moody's said some of the proposed measures would help in the short term but be at the expense of future budget years. The GO bonds' ratings were cut one notch to A1 in April, when Moody's cited similar reasons including

The People Speak Not Taxpayer's Dream The press is not the only one against the Olympic Games, Mr. Mayor. So are thousands of Chicago taxpayers who have been burdened by your inept administration, parking meter fiasco, truck hiring scandals and the continued corruption in City Hall. Chicago taxpayers are tired of seeing their hard-earned tax money being spent on your cronies and family members.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 65 Days - Illinois bond rating on watch list

Chicago taxpayers DO NOT need to be burdened any further with untold billions of dollars in taxes to support "your dream," Mr. Mayor. You want to see the Olympics, fly to London for the next one. Charles Vazquez Chicago Sun-Times Letter to the Editor July 27, 2009

"narrow operating fund liquidity." Other ratings that will be on watch for downgrade include Build Illinois Bonds, dedicated state tax revenue bonds, and others. The ratings agency said its review will focus on the state's prospects for restoring balanced financial operations while addressing "sizable funding requirements" for pensions and retiree health benefits, as well as liquidity and its growing debt burden. Moody's said increasing evidence of strained liquidity, growing structural imbalance, further deterioration of fund balances and other factors could cause a downgrade on the ratings.

City of Chicago layoffs looming Deadline passes for 2 holdout unions
July 15, 2009 BY FRAN SPIELMAN Sun-Times City Hall Reporter Despite a last-minute bargaining session early Wednesday, two hold-out unions refused to agree to Mayor Daley's demand for cost-cutting concessions, paving the way for 431 members of Teamsters 726 and AFSCME Council 31 to lose their jobs. "I feel terrible for workers losing their jobs and their families. This is something they'll have to face tomorrow morning," Daley told a City Hall news conference. "I did not want to lay anyone off. It could have been all avoided... .Until the deadline at midnight [Tuesday]. we held out hope that an agreement could be reached. That did not happen. So, we're forced to take this very sad and unwelcome step." As recently as Wednesday morning, top mayoral aides talked with AFSCME and made it clear the city remained open to an agreement that matched the terms accepted by 25 of the city's 27 unions. The two-year deal calls for their members to take 24 unpaid furlough days through June 30, 2011, substitute comp time for cash overtime and convert all city holidays - nine-a-year for hourly employees and 12 for those with monthly salaries - to unpaid days. "Everybody has to be in the boat together. You can't leave people out," the mayor said. Tom Clair, secretarytreasurer of Teamsters Local 726, said he it pains him to

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 65 Days - Illinois bond rating on watch list

know that Wednesday is the last day on the job for 141 of his members - most of them truck drivers in the Departments of Streets and Sanitation, Transportation, Water Management and Aviation. But, Clair said snow plow drivers routinely called out in the middle of the night were simply not willing to trade cash overtime for comp time. "During the winter program, our people work snow. They also work out on the runways at O'Hare [Airport]. They felt it was too big a hit on the comp time. That accounts for $15,000-to-$30,000 more a year. They weren't willing to give that up," Clair said. Clair predicted that Chicagoans would feel the impact of the layoffs in basic housekeeping services like garbage pick-ups, tree-trimming and repairs of water main breaks. "There's gonna be problems....There's already a shortage of drivers in different departments - particularly Streets and San," he said. Deputy Budget Director Andrea Gibson countered that the 141 laid off Teamsters represent a "small component" of the union's 2,000-member workforce. "We have specific plans in place with each department to make sure we don't have much of a service impact at all. We're gonna schedule and manage our shipments very carefully. We're going to change some crew configurations to minimize our reliance on the Teamsters," she said. AFSCME issued a prepared statement, saying its members rejected the mayor's demand for "what amounts to a 10 percent" pay cut by a 4-to-1 margin. "We regret that Mayor Daley today will choose to lay off city workers and reduce city services rather than agree to our reasonable alternative," the union said. "The mayor's decision will cause great hardship for these workers and their families and will further reduce city services...especially in the Police Department, the libraries and the health clinics." The 290 AFSCME layoffs are spread across 30 city departments. But, nearly half will come at Chicago Public Libraries at a time when library usage is up 30 percent because of the prolonged recession. "You may not see your books back on the shelf as quickly as you're used to seeing them. If you place a book on hold, you may not get it as quickly because it's moving through the system more slowly. Everybody else will be working

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Update from No Games Chicago - 65 Days - Illinois bond rating on watch list

that much harder," said Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey. Daley initially threatened to lay off 1,504 employees across 28 departments if organized labor did not agree to cost-cutting concessions that would save the city $34 million by Dec. 31 and $76 million annually.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 64 Days - Citizens take to the streets

No Games Chicago Update 64 Days To Decision Daily News
July 29, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: It's August in Chicago and it's getting hot. Our citizens are hot and angry about the state of our city's finances and the lies that are being told to us by our Mayor and City Council. Today over 100 people, including mothers with their toddlers in strollers, marched at City Hall to protest the privatization of our city's parking meters and the waste of funds on the 2016 Olympics.

The People Speak No one I know wants the Olympics in Chicago. The opportunities for abuse and corruption are endless and will only cost the taxpayers huge amounts of money which will be paid to Daley's cronies. Peter Britt Signer of No Games online petition

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Update from No Games Chicago - 64 Days - Citizens take to the streets

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

As reported online at The Expired Meter: Echoing throughout the canyon of buildings along either side of LaSalle St., where the chants of "No more meters!", and "Parking meters no, Chicago yes!" around lunch time today, when protesters marched in front of the entrance to City Hall. Armed with signs and banners, and wearing hand decorated T-shirts with anti-meter messages, the 80-100 people protesting meter privatization and rates hikes, marched in front of the LaSalle entrance to City Hall for about an hour. The protest was organized by three groups, including the People's Parking Meter Campaign an offshoot of ANSWER Chicago, South Chicago's Centro Communitario Juan Diego (CCJD) and anti-Olympics group, No Games Chicago. "It's a great turnout," said Tom Tresser the head of No Games Chicago, who believes potential 2016 Olympic games in Chicago, is similar to the parking meter lease deal. "We're all in this together. It's all privatization. Chicago would be turning over tax dollars and property to a Swiss corporation," explained Tresser of the possibility of the Olympics coming here. The signs and banners carried a myriad of messages, but all essentially focusing on the meter lease deal. The signs blared such

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Update from No Games Chicago - 64 Days - Citizens take to the streets

things as "No More Parking Meters," " Better Schools-No Olympic Games", "Stop Parking Meter Rate Hikes," and "No Mas Parquimetros. "It's a good turnout," said Robert Garcia from CCJD. "We could have had more people. We wanted to bring another bus load (of people)." During the course of the protest, cars and taxis driving by, would periodically honk their horns excitedly showing support for the crowd, which in turn made the crowd of protesters cheer in reply. "That's been happening the entire morning," said Garcia turning his head toward the honking drivers and gesturing at the curious pedestrians stopping to get information fliers. "People are realizing we can fight back. People think the parking meter contract is done and can't do anything about it. But by people speaking out we can make a difference." Other bystanders didn't understand why all the fuss. "It's seems ridiculous to me," said a bystander watching the action. "I'm in total agreement, that the parking meter privatization is an outrage. It's an annoyance, but it (this issue) doesn't seem to deserve the focus of attention right now with everything else going on in the world." Asked if he thought the City Council members, in full session today for the month of July, heard their chants, Garcia said, "I hope so. I know they knew we were out here. Whether they react is a different story." Currently, according to Garcia, there are no hard dates for a future protest, but believes there will be more similar protests soon.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 63 Days - Our transit system is under f...

No Games Chicago Update 63 Days To Decision Daily News
July 30, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today we'd like to let you know about our mass transit system, called the CTA, which stands for the Chicago Transit Authority. These are the trains and buses we ride here every day. Since no new rail line or new mode of service is being proposed for the 2016 games, this is what your athletes, officials and visitors will rely on to get around if the games come here. And, like everything else here, this service is under funded, badly in need of repairs and constantly facing cuts in service.

The People Speak Chicago needs to focus on more important items; such as better schools and streets! Vanessa Ruiz Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

CTA finds budget trims to avoid service cuts By Jon Hilkevitch - Chicago Tribune July 16, 2009 The Chicago Transit Authority came up with about $35 million in cost savings Wednesday to erase its latest budget deficit despite recent claims there was nothing left to cut except bus and train service. The newest round of belt-tightening, the result of reductions in non-union labor expenses and other cost-containment measures, bodes well for CTA customers trying to ride out the recession. Possible service cuts threatened for as early as the fall are now off the table for the rest of the year unless the weak economy gets worse and transit ridership numbers and public-subsidy dollars tank too, officials indicated. But service cuts and fare increases cannot be ruled out in 2010, CTA President Richard Rodriguez said. Only last month, Rodriguez warned that the CTA had cut administrative and other expenses to the bone. Severe service cuts were unavoidable in the face of a $155

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Update from No Games Chicago - 63 Days - Our transit system is under f...

"Countdown To Agony" (CTA) refers to the regular announcements of drastic service cuts throughout Chicago's mass transit system.

million decrease in public subsidies from the Regional Transportation Authority, he said. The latest budget cut Wednesday was due to declining tax collections caused by the recession. The transit agency's board on Wednesday voted to reduce spending in this year's operating budget by $35.2 million. Some of the savings will be realized by reducing overtime pay and non-essential travel. Salary increases will be deferred for the CTA's approximately 1,000 non-union employees Chairman of Chicago's CTA Admits $7 Billion in Unfunded Repairs CTA Chairman Carole L. Brown gave a speech to the APTA Rail Conference in Chicago on June 15, 2009. In it she revealed an alarming backlog of repair work for our mass transit system. "We still have an almost $7 BILLION - yes, 7 BILLION DOLLAR 0 unfunded state of good repair need." Read her full remarks here. Mass Transit Systems Have a Hard Time Paying the Bills The good news, ridership is up; the bad news, ridership is up By Alex Kingsbury , Bret Schulte, U.S. News & World Report - March 27, 2008 Strong-arming recalcitrant aldermen, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley recently framed the debate this way: Either support a property tax increase to fund the city's cash-strapped transportation authority or "stand up and say, 'I want the CTA to bypass my ward.'" Minutes later, the 40 percent tax increase on city property buyers passed overwhelmingly, 41 to 6. If only it were that easy in every burg where the aging rail lines keep rotting, the fares keep rising, and the trains have to keep rolling. Read the rest of the story.
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Update from No Games Chicago - 62 Days - Chicago budget bomb

No Games Chicago Update 62 Days To Decision Daily News
July 31, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Chicago's finances are not healthy. We are broke and getting broker. Today's update is from NBC Chicago's online service. The citizens here know all this and they are increasingly turning against the 2016 bid because they see the connection between the city's inability to run itself properly and the amount of money required to successfully stage the games.

The People Speak Let's celebrate and publicize the superb theater town that Chicago already is and promises to be in the future. With "Billy Elliot" opening in March, 2010, what better hook do we have to challenge people to come see and hear the future acting stars like Deanna Dunnigan, Amy Morton, William Petersen and John Mahoney? Two small Chicago-based transfers ("A Steady Rain" and "Superior

City Budget Bomb: It's Gonna Get Worse - But there's a two-click solution By STEVE RHODES - Fri, Jul 31, 2009 The bad news is that next year's city budget is projecting to be even worse than it's been this year. Mayor Richard M. Daley 's administration Thursday predicted a gaping hole in next year's budget that will eclipse the current financial problems - even after the city exhausts its brand-new $320 million rainy day fund, the Chicago Tribune reports. The anticipated $6.2 billion budget for next year could

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Update from No Games Chicago - 62 Days - Chicago budget bomb

Donuts") are opening on Broadway this fall. Why wait? Come to Chicago now for great entertainment of all kinds. Cornelia Miller Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

be more than half a billion dollars in the red because of plummeting tax collections and rising wages that account for more than 80 percent of the city's day-to-day spending, said Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold. He announced the gloomy prediction as Daley aides began briefing aldermen in anticipation of public hearings next month. The good news is that a simple solution is at hand: $1 billion in unspent TIF funds. Whet Moser notes the potential TIF rescue plan in "How To Fix A Looming City Budget Apocalypse In Two Easy Clicks." Moser points to a Progress Illinois post that notes "It seems ridiculous to be redirecting so much money away from the general tax base at the same time that revenues are sharply declining." Progress Illinios has "indeed, with a little creative thinking and flexibility on the part of city officials, there are several adjustments to the TIF system that could provide some relief for cash-starved taxing bodies in Chicago." The Daley administration is unlikely to want anything to do with that - now or in the future. It's planning to use TIF funds for the Olympic Village, for example. Maybe not getting the Olympics would be the best thing for the city budget. And speaking of redirecting money, maybe all that private cash raised by Chicago 2016 could fit into the equation if the bid doesn't come our way. Another revenue source: the money that could be saved by cleaning up City Hall. "Hundreds of millions of dollars of waste," University of Chicago at Illinois professor Dick Simpson said in the spring when he issued a report on the state's "corruption tax." So there you have it, budget solved. It may take three steps instead of two, but it'll be worth it. ----------------------------------------------------Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 62 Days - Chicago budget bomb

Neighbors from Chicago's South Side gather at the University of Chicago President's mansion to protest the closing of a community health clinic. They see the connection between the city's deteriorating finances and the Olympic bid.
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Update from No Games Chicago - 61 Days - Chicago running on fumes

No Games Chicago Update 61 Days To Decision Daily News
August 1, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We continue to update you on the state of Chicago's finances. Like most of America, we are running extremely large deficits and have no sensible solution in sight to balance our budget. As life on the ground for our citizens gets worse, people are demanding accountability and new priorities from our city government.

The People Speak I am vehemently opposed to the 2016 Olympics in Chicago. Previous Olympic events have demonstrated that, quite often, there are huge cost overruns that taxpayers have had to bear. I don't believe that the economic benefits (jobs, increased tourism), will offset these cost overruns. Chicagoans already know we have a world-class city. We don't need an Olympics (which must people won't

Tax increases, spending cuts or layoffs possible to fill city's $520M budget gap July 30, 2009 - FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Even after wringing concessions from organized labor and drying up a "rainy day" fund created by privatizing parking meters, Chicago has a $519.7 million budget shortfall in 2010 that can only be filled with tax increases and spending cuts. "There are no obvious sources of revenue that have not already been tapped," said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall. "You have to make very severe and structural cuts in the city's operating budget. City government is going to be

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Update from No Games Chicago - 61 Days - Chicago running on fumes

be able to afford to attend), to prove we are a world-class city. Shane Bichl Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

forced to re-invent itself in the way it delivers services and eliminates services not critical. ... Police and fire have to be part of it." The shortfall in the city's $6.2 billion preliminary 2010 budget is the highest in recent memory -- even after Mayor Daley ordered 431 layoffs from two recalcitrant unions and cut a two-year deal with organized labor that averted the need for nearly 1,100 other firings. The gaping budget gap caused by declining revenues would have been bigger without the "rainy day fund" created with proceeds from the 75-year, $1.15 billion lease that privatized Chicago parking meters. The preliminary budget assumes that $268.7 million of that money will be used to wipe out this year's budget shortfall and that the remaining $51.3 million will be exhausted in 2010. The outlook for taxpayers is bleak. They'll either face higher taxes, dramatically reduced services or both. Chief Financial Officer Gene Saffold said nothing is ruled out. But, the mayor has instructed his staff to avoid a property tax increase at all costs. "We understand people are hurting out there. ... The last thing we want to do ... is to further burden the citizens of Chicago. That's why that is a last resort -- the last thing that we'll turn to," he said. The sky-high budget gap comes as the city has asked an independent arbitrator to dictate a new contract with Chicago Police officers after more than two years of nowhere bargaining. Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue accused the city of crying poor-mouth with a purpose. "Traditionally, initial budget shortfalls are inflated. ... It wouldn't surprise me that these inflated numbers are being established to sway an arbitration decision," Donahue said. Ald. Tom Allen (38th) added, "People are getting tired of hearing that the sky is falling. There are some signs already that the economy is leveling off." Saffold countered, "These are real numbers. ... There's no smoke and mirrors here." If Daley's numbers turn out to be solid, it could jeopardize the city's ability to fill 509 police vacancies and to replace as many as 874 additional officers over the next four years who could be lured into retirement by the city's offer to extend health benefits at age 55 to officers and their dependents.

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 61 Days - Chicago running on fumes

That's especially true now that Chicago has received only enough federal stimulus funds to hire 50 officers, down from the 400 officers the city had hoped to hire. Donahue acknowledged that he is concerned about a continued slowdown in police hiring. But, he said, "They recognize the savings between the salaries of potential retirees and new hires. And they assured us their intent was to fill those vacancies."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 60 Days - Alderman demands "No blan...

No Games Chicago Update 60 Days To Decision Daily News
August 2, 2009 The People Speak Chicago needs to focus on more important items; such as better schools and streets! NO 2016 GAMES!!! Mrs. Vanessa Ruiz Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Alderman Flores published this letter in today's Chicago Tribune: Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Alderman Manny Flores of Chicago's 1st Ward has introduced a law in City Council tht would limit Chicago's taxpayers to a total exposure of $500 million for the 2016 Olympics. Download a copy of the ordinance.

No free check for the 2016 Summer Games
By Manny Flores - August 2, 2009 We will soon learn if Chicago receives the honor of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Winning the Games will be a testament to our city's vitality and global leadership, and will offer an unparalleled opportunity for economic stimulus and community development. But these benefits will only be realized if we host a Games that respects community needs, is fully transparent in its contracting and hiring and is accountable to the citizens who will live with the Games' infrastructure and financial legacy for coming decades.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 60 Days - Alderman demands "No blan...

Unfortunately, we're not there yet. At this late date, Chicago taxpayers have yet to receive information that is key to securing citywide support for the Games -- a full accounting of Chicago 2016's donors and expenditures, a plan that ensures an open and fair contracting process, detailed information about an insurance policy to protect Chicago taxpayers from cost overruns, and an independent third-party analysis of the proposed Olympics budget. Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! This information already exists. The technology to make it easily accessible also exists. And with only two months remaining before the host city is announced, it is time for the 2016 Committee to provide a greater degree of transparency and accountability by adopting these five principles: 1. Authorize an independent oversight committee that will have regular access to financial statements and contracts. This committee should be composed of respected civic, business and law enforcement officials who have no financial ties to City Hall or the 2016 committee, and should be staffed by an independent compliance office that can regularly monitor the Games' finances and practices. 2. Implement a process for contract bidding that allows citizens to easily learn who is being awarded contracts, how much each is worth, and what work is being done. This should include a full listing of contractors and subcontractors, and should be completed before any contracts are awarded. 3. Publish financial disclosure and conflict of interest forms for Olympic committee members -- just as all elected officials do -- by Sept. 15. 4. Publish all committee and public expenditures related to the Games onto an open and searchable database on a quarterly basis. 5. Disclose funding commitments to cover the Games' expenses and outline protections that will be in place to limit the liability for Chicago taxpayers, including the proposed insurance policy to cover cost-overruns. This information should be made available immediately. I have introduced legislation to cap the city's financial commitment for the Games at the $500 million that was authorized by the City Council in 2007. It has been said that if my legislation passes, we will not be able to sign the host city financial guarantee contract required by the International Olympic Committee -- effectively killing our chances at being named the host city.

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 60 Days - Alderman demands "No blan...

I don't want to that to happen, but the 2016 committee and City Hall have a responsibility to protect Chicago taxpayers. The five points I outlined would be a significant step forward in providing the protections we need to support a city guarantee. Only with an open process can we be guaranteed that the needs of communities are met and that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. Now is the time for Chicago to set the highest standard for transparent and accountable leadership. Let's not squander the opportunity.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 59 Days - Labor unrest on horizon

No Games Chicago Update 59 Days To Decision Daily News
August 3, 2009 The People Speak I've read the proposals, been to some ward meetings and as a lifelong resident of Chicago and suburbs I have little trust, faith and/or confidence in what the mayor or alderman say. I have even less than that in Olympic Committee. Mr. Larry Rivkin Wheeling Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Chicago is a very pro-labor city. Wal-Mart would like to expand in Chicago and many labor unions and their allies in the City Council oppose this. Despite heavy lobbying from Wal-Mart the matter was recently heard and tabled at a City Council meeting. Why is this relevant to the Olympic bid? Because showing you that there is no labor unrest here is part of Chicago's attempt to win the 2016 games. But you should know that this issue is a very important one to local unions - who DO NOT want Wal-Mart to build more stores here. You will see MAJOR labor unrest in Chicago over this issue. Chicago aldermen sidestep Wal-Mart decision Plan to allow a 2nd store in city sent to committee By Dan Mihalopoulos - Chicago Tribune - July 30, 2009

Caught in a high-pressure standoff between the world's biggest retailer and powerful labor unions, the Chicago

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Update from No Games Chicago - 59 Days - Labor unrest on horizon

City Council blinked Wednesday and postponed a decision on whether to allow Wal-Mart to build only its second store in the city. The delay amounted to another defeat for Wal-Mart and its supporters, who have waged a months-long public relations campaign aimed at winning enough council support to get a South Side store built this year. Instead, aldermen voted to send the proposal to the council's Finance Committee for a hearing. Ald. Howard Brookins, who has argued for years for a store at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue in his 21st Ward, said the parliamentary maneuvering meant construction could not begin this year. Wal-Mart officials and labor leaders who oppose the non-union company's efforts to expand in the city both claimed they would have won if the issue had come up for a vote Wednesday. But many aldermen have been reluctant to take a stand, in part because Mayor Richard Daley, who has repeatedly voiced support for Wal-Mart's plans, has declined to settle the issue on his own. The mayor, who has angered labor leaders recently by forcing city workers to accept contract concessions, has criticized the unions for their Wal-Mart stance but declined to exert his near-total control over City Hall. The Wal-Mart plan could go forward with approval from the mayor's top planning official, but Daley has declined to allow it. Chicago Federation of Labor leader Dennis Gannon said he met with Daley aide John Dunn on Tuesday and was assured that "the mayor does not want to get involved" as Wal-Mart and the unions vie to sway aldermen. The latest flare-up over Wal-Mart comes as Daley nears the Oct. 2 meeting when the International Olympic Committee will make a decision on whether Chicago hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics. The city is one of four finalists for the Games. Many aldermen are even more hesitant than Daley to do more than offer their opinions on the Wal-Mart controversy. In the last council election in 2007, unions heavily -- and often successfully -- funded challengers to aldermen who did not side with them against Wal-Mart. On Wednesday, hundreds of Wal-Mart supporters flocked to City Hall on buses paid for by the company. Helping organize the demonstration was Rev. Leon Finney, a top Daley ally in the African-American community. Finney also rallied support last year for the Chicago Children's Museum

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Update from No Games Chicago - 59 Days - Labor unrest on horizon

plan for Grant Park, which the mayor backed. "Mayor Daley has made clear that Wal-Mart is a good corporate citizen," said company spokesman John Bisio. "People need jobs and the city needs tax revenue." In 2004, when the controversy first surfaced, the Chicago City Council approved the first Wal-Mart store in the city on the West Side. At the same time, aldermen blocked the company's proposal for the South Side site. Tribune reporters Dan P. Blake and Sandra M. Jones contributed to this report.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 58 Days - Federal invesitgation of Chi...

No Games Chicago Update 58 Days To Decision Daily News
August 4, 2009 The People Speak What happens in all Olympic host cities: Real estate developers organize and drive the Olympic bid; a litany of promises--all later broken--are made to garner public support. When the bid is won, costs escalate wildly out of control. The cost of the London 2012 Summer Games is already $12 billion (4x the original estimate)! Chicagoans are tired of being ATMs to fund the Mayor's special projects while basic infrastructure and education get the shaft. Linda Dausch Chicago
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: One of the mail points in our case against Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics is that the city is terribly corrupt. Decisions about city policies and city projects are made not to ensure the highest quality but to ensure the highest profits and favors for the Mayor's friends and colleagues. It seems that everything in this city is for sale or subject to influence peddling. Now we learn that our public schools are being investigated by federal law enforcement officials for corruption. Federal investigation targets Chicago Public Schools Subpoena comes on heels of internal investigation of admissions practices at magnet, gifted and selective centers By Stephanie Banchero and Azam Ahmed Chicago Tribune Reporters - August 2, 2009 Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the admissions practices at Chicago's selective enrollment schools, the Chicago Tribune has learned. Federal officials recently served a grand jury subpoena on Chicago Public Schools seeking information about the admissions process, sources said. Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott confirmed Saturday that the district recently received a federal subpoena, but declined to elaborate because of the investigation. The federal investigation comes as Chicago school officials launched an internal probe of admissions practices at highly competitive selective enrollment schools after finding irregularities at some schools.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 58 Days - Federal invesitgation of Chi...

Signer of No Games online petition

The district's law department noticed problems with the high school admissions process two months ago, school sources said. Last month, schools chief Ron Huberman announced the start of an internal probe of all 52 application-based elementary and high schools, citing an unspecified problem at one high school. The announcement came a week after the Tribune began making inquiries into the admissions process. After the Tribune wrote about the federal probe Saturday, Mayor Richard Daley spoke out against any use of unfair influence in the admissions process, but said he has no idea if clout actually factored into enrollment decisions. Daley said he is confident that Huberman is effectively investigating any problems. "No one should use money or clout or influence to get their child into any school," the mayor said at a news conference on an unrelated event on the South Side. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment. The subpoena to the Chicago school system comes against a backdrop of a federal investigation into admission practices at Illinois universities. Federal prosecutors subpoenaed three state universities, including the University of Illinois, seeking any evidence that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his power brokers gave applicants an unfair edge. The federal probe came after a Tribune investigation uncovered that U. of I. gave special treatment to applicants with powerful patrons such as lawmakers, donors and trustees. Competition to get into the city's premier selective enrollment schools is fierce. Thousands of students apply for hundreds of openings at the schools considered the crown jewels of the city's public school system. Entry into the magnet schools is supposed to be through randomized lottery. Admission to selective enrollment high schools and gifted elementary centers is supposedly based on merit. The district has long allowed magnet school principals to handpick up to 5 percent of their students. Last year, they extended that right to principals at the nine selective enrollment high schools, even though some principals acknowledged they were already doing it. The principals can consider only extenuating circumstances such as a special talent or family crisis, not the applicants' political ties. But whispers have long swirled that some students get spots in these top-flight schools not by chance or merit,

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Update from No Games Chicago - 58 Days - Federal invesitgation of Chi...

but by whom their parents know or how much money they make. The principal selection practice has generated much of the controversy, as many parents argue that unqualified applicants are getting in.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 57 Days - 2016 community outreach lea...

No Games Chicago Update 57 Days To Decision Daily News
August 5, 2009 The People Speak We do not want the 2016 Olympics in Chicago or the Chicago area. This is a corrupt city led by a corrupt mayor who is getting all of us in financial difficulties. We cannot handle our own financial or parking or murder problems now. The Olymplics here will be a disaster for everybody. Seymour Lazar Buffalo Grove Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: One of the mail points in our case against Chicago hosting the 2016 Olympics is that the city is terribly corrupt. Decisions about city policies and city projects are made not to ensure the highest quality but to ensure the highest profits and favors for the Mayor's friends and colleagues. It seems that everything in this city is for sale or subject to influence peddling. Now we learn that our public schools are being investigated by federal law enforcement officials for corruption. This is a new scandal and is making news daily here. Michael Scott, the President of the Chicago Board of Education has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grant jury. Mr. Scott is the chairman of the outreach committee for Chicago 2016.

CPS president subpoenaed SCHOOL CLOUT PROBE Scott surprised, looks forward to testifying August 5, 2009 BY FRAN SPELMAN City Hall Reporter Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott disclosed Tuesday that he has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating how students are chosen for admission to some of the city's

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Update from No Games Chicago - 57 Days - 2016 community outreach lea...

most elite public schools. Scott said he was surprised by the subpoena and flatly denied that he has ever flexed his political muscle -during two stints as board president -- to clout any student into a "selective enrollment" school. "I followed all the procedures," Scott said. Asked whether he has ever made a call on behalf of someone else, Scott said, "Nope. Never." Scott said the Board of Education launched its internal investigation of the admissions process before the federal grand jury issued separate subpoenas for school records and Scott's testimony. Asked whether he had ever heard of a call being placed to get a student clouted in, he said, "That's a different question. You asked me if I made a call. No comment. It's an ongoing investigation." Pressed on why the federal government would target him for grand jury testimony, Scott said, "I don't know. I keep telling you. I have no idea. But, I look forward to it. I can tell you that. "I'm telling you there's a process in place that I have absolute confidence in and I look forward to answering any questions about it. . . . People should have confidence in the system," he said. Scott made his comments after joining Mayor Daley at Robeson High School, 6935 S. Normal, to launch the annual back-to-school campaign. The Chicago Sun-Times began reporting on problems in admissions to elite CPS schools 18 months ago, disclosing that parents tried to clout their kids into one lottery magnet school, some with the help of a school clerk. The parents falsely claimed they had a child already enrolled in the elementary school. And in February, the Sun-Times reported that the first year of allowing the principals of CPS' selectiveenrollment college prep schools to handpick five percent of their students was a rocky one. During the news conference, Schools CEO Ron Huberman refused to be pinned down on the timeline of the internal and federal investigations. He would only say that the internal inquiry dates back "several months." "CPS detected an anomaly as part of the normal course of business at a particular school. . . . We then decided to launch an investigation. . . . We also wanted to bring in an independent auditing firm [to review] the process," Huberman said.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 57 Days - 2016 community outreach lea...

Daley said the investigation demonstrates the need for more magnet schools across the city. "More and more people want to stay in Chicago. More and more people want to get into better schools," the mayor said. One key target of the Board of Education's internal probe is the sweeping power that allows principals to hand-pick five percent of all students at nine college prep high schools that admit students based on tests and grades and at the dozens of magnet schools that admit by lottery. The Sun-Times reported in the February that 16 percent of the 129 students chosen by principals at seven of the prep schools did not pass initial law department scrutiny. Some principals picked kids who did not take the required admissions test or had not even filled out an application. The federal and CPS investigations come against the backdrop of the clout admissions scandal at the University of Illinois. Scott served as school board president from 2001 to 2006, only to return in February after his longtime friend Rufus Williams was forced out by City Hall. Scott is a trusted Daley lieutenant with a 30-year history with the mayor. He has served as cable administrator, a park board president, RTA and McPier board member and chairman of the outreach committee for Chicago 2016.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 56 Days - 2016 community hard sell

No Games Chicago Update 56 Days To Decision Daily News
August 6, 2009 The People Speak It's sad that our city chooses to throw away money on an event that will just worsen our economic dilemma rather than use it wisely and effectively on improving the situation and improving the city and its systems (Education system, health care, city workers, etc). Wake up, Daley. Sean Chang Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee is under fire from all sides. The local press which is now covering their mis-statements on the funding of the Olympic Village and from citizens who are demanding answers at the community meetings the 2016 Committee has staged around the city. StreetWise is a weekly news magazine sold by Chicago's homeless. It covers community issues and stories of social justice in the city. The current issue covers community reaction to the bid.

FROM THE STREETS: CHICAGO 2016 HARD SELL Shea Gibbs, StreetWise Contributor At a recent neighborhood meeting of South Shore residents, there was vocal opposition to the proposed 2016 Summer Olympics. It's not that residents don't want the games to come to Chicago-they just want to make sure the Olympics benefit their neighborhood. "Where's our guarantee?" asked Douglas Brown, an area man who was among more than 100 individuals who

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Update from No Games Chicago - 56 Days - 2016 community hard sell

attended the July 15 meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center. It offered residents of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th wards a chance to come out and respond to a presentation given by Chicago 2016, a nonprofit launched to attract the Olympics to the Windy City. Chicago's currently in the running with Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid to host the 2016 summer games; the host city will be voted on and decided by the International Olympic Committee on October 2. According to Chicago 2016, hosting the games would be a boon to the infrastructure-not to mention the coffers-of Chicago, and residents have nothing to worry about, particularly when it comes to displacement of renters and home owners. Chicago 2016 supporters point to the international spotlight - a worldwide viewing audience of four billion that Chicago would gain from hosting the Games. "It's my hope that 2009 will be the beginning of a new era for Chicago-one of renewed civic pride, expanded sport programs for youth, an elevated international profile and a stronger economic foundation;' Pat Ryan. local insurance magnate and Chicago 2016 Chairman and CEO of the nonprofit says on the Chicago 2016 Web site. Supporters say also that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will create the equivalent of 315,000 full time jobs for one year, over half of which would be in Chicago, at over $7 billion in wages. Economic development over 11 years would amount to $22.5 billion. The proposed site of the Olympic athletes village would become mixed income housing and retail with up to 30 percent affordable housing. "You should expect that Chicago 2016 will ... stage an outstanding Olympic Games that will make our city very proud ...[We will] manage the games efficiently and within our budget [and] ensure that the benefits from hosting the games will be shared by the entire city," Ryan said. But some groups aren't about to take Chicago 2016 at its word. The Kenwood Oakland Community Organization offered a similar view to that of Brown and other attendees of the recent meeting: according to a group spokesperson, the organization would support the Olympics coming to Chicago only if it receives "a legally binding community benefits agreement." Others at the meeting wondered if they could trust the city of Chicago to keep their best interests in mind given the municipal government's track record. The Chicago 2016 committee repeatedly stressed that it's not a government entity but rather a group of volunteers. However, the "guarantee" referenced by Brown refers to

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 56 Days - 2016 community hard sell

.

a sum of money Chicago must commit to providing should private funding fall through, or if its hosting duties run significantly over budget. Another opposition group, No Games, says the one thing that's guaranteed is that the city will be required at some point to pony up those funds. According to community coordinator and No Games spokesman Tom Tresser, no city has earned any profits from hosting the Olympics in the modern era, and the only real beneficiaries of hosting duties will be the games' corporate sponsors. Chicago already is in the red,"Tresser said. "Our city is falling apart." No Games contends there will be at least three direct negative effects if Chicago hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics: the city will be forced to pay money it doesn't have, residents will be displaced from their homes, and parklands will be damaged. Tresser also said he believes the city will attempt to clear its streets of people it deems undesirable. "It's like a mini police state," he said. "Young men of color will be swept off the streets." At any rate, the next significant date for the bid to host the 2016 summer games is something everyone can agree on. On October 2 the IOC will vote to determine which of the remaining contender cities gets to host the games; between now and then, Chicago 2016 will attempt to convince Chicago residents that the games will be profitable and that the exposure the city receives will be positive and attract tourists in the future. "We believe we can truly change the city and become world-class," said Chicago 2016 president Lori Healey. "We need your support. We need the support of the people of Chicago in order to win." No Games will carry the opposite message to the people of Chicago as well as the voting members of the IOC. The group shadowed the IOC in protest as it toured Chicago in April, and it distributed information to dissuade the committee from voting for Chicago at a recent meeting to discuss the four finalists in Switzerland. Meanwhile, at the July 15 meeting, a woman who didn't identify herself as a member of No Games repeated a mantra that's become associated with the group: "No blank check." The phrase refers to the guarantee required of the city of Chicago in order for it to continue with its bid for the 2016 summer games. After rolling out a poster board emblazoned with the slogan, she attempted to rouse the crowd into chanting it along with her.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

No Games Chicago Update 55 Days To Decision Daily News
August 7, 2009 The People Speak Giving Chicago 2016 is the worst idea ever- this will ruin the Olympics and goes against everything the Olympics are supposed to stand for! Dan Pellant Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Michael Scott, the President of the Chicago Board of Education and the leader of the 2016 Committee's Community Outreach program is in the news again today. The citizens of Chicago follow these news reports closely. Look to see protests and calls for Mr. Scott to resign his official positions.

TRIBUNE WATCHDOG Chicago 2016 Olympics: Member of city's bid team has deal to develop land near park earmarked for the Games Michael Scott, the city school board president, says he has done nothing improper By Todd Lighty, David Heinzmann and Kathy Bergen ChicagoTribune reporters - August 7, 2009 A member of Mayor Richard Daley's team working to bring the Olympics to Chicago has quietly arranged to develop city-owned land near a park that would be transformed for the 2016 Summer Games, potentially positioning himself to cash in if the Games come here, a Tribune investigation has found. Developer Michael Scott Sr., an early member of the mayor's Olympic committee, leads a group planning a residential and commercial project on lots kitty-corner from the proposed Douglas Park sporting venues, a location where land values could jump if the city gets the Olympics.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

The plan -- which would include a Nike store -- already has gotten crucial support from the local alderman, who has set aside the lots for Scott and his group. The city generally sells taxpayer-owned lots for $1 apiece for affordable housing projects, and in other cases negotiates land prices. Scott owns Michael Scott & Associates, a real estate development and investment firm. He also serves as president of the Chicago Board of Education, and was in the news earlier this week when he said he was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury looking into admissions to the city's elite public schools. Scott's designs on the public land are sure to reinforce concerns of residents that it's the mayor's friends who would benefit from Daley bringing the 2016 Olympics to the city. The story is a familiar one in Daley's administration, where City Hall insiders have personally profited from even the most civic-minded of projects, from recycling garbage to building Millennium Park. The development team includes six West Side ministers, some of whom are politically connected. Scott, who acknowledged plans to develop the lots around Douglas Park, said he has done nothing improper and defended his roles as a member of Daley's Olympic committee, school board president and developer. "I've had an interest in Douglas Park long before the Olympics came and will probably have an interest long after we get them or not," Scott said. "That's where I was raised, that's what I know, so if that's something that's punishable, I can't tell you that." Scott got his start in politics as a housing activist in the West Side's Lawndale neighborhood, where he was born and raised. He has served under several mayors, including Harold Washington and Daley. He was criticized in 1990 for his insider connections when he left his job as city government's chief cable administrator to go work for a cable company. Earlier this year, Scott's roles as school board president and as a member of the city's Olympic committee stirred controversy. In May, he asked all of the city's school principals to form plans to promote the Olympics. Teachers and union officials said Scott's tactics were heavy-handed and they feared retaliation if they did not support Daley's quest for the Games.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

Daley first floated his vision of bringing the Olympics to Chicago in 2005 after previously dismissing the idea as too costly. He assembled an exploratory committee in mid-2006 that included Scott. As Daley forged ahead with his plans, the exploratory team evolved into Chicago 2016, the committee spearheading the city's push for the Olympics. When the committee unveiled its original ideas in summer 2006 for hosting the Olympics, Douglas Park did not figure in the plans, nor was the park part of revised plans unveiled months later. By March 2007, however, Chicago 2016 announced it had again tweaked its plans. Among the changes, Douglas Park would play a role in the Olympics: The aquatics center would move from the University of Illinois at Chicago to the park. Ald. Ed Smith (28th) said he had pressed the Olympic committee to put a venue on the city's West Side. He said he originally wanted an Olympic swimming pool to be built at Westinghouse High School in his ward. Smith said he had met with members of the Olympic committee, including bid chairman Patrick Ryan, but could not recall if Scott attended. "I was adamant that we have Olympic activity on the West Side of Chicago. They came out and made the decision to use Douglas Park," Smith said. "I don't know who decided that." Scott served as president of the Chicago Park District board in the 1990s, and his son is now an area parks manager. The Chicago 2016 committee and Park District staff met several times to choose between Douglas and Garfield Parks as an Olympic site, a spokesman for the city's bid said. The spokesman said they decided on Douglas in part because it is closer to other downtown sporting venues. A Park District spokeswoman said neither Scott nor his son had any role in the park's selection. Organizers in December 2008 changed plans for Douglas Park, deciding to use it as the site for the indoor cycling facility or velodrome, and a temporary outdoor BMX cycling track. After the Games, the velodrome would become a multiuse sports facility, the largest of its kind in the city.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

In addition, one of the pools from the Olympic aquatics center -- now planned for Washington Park on the South Side -- may permanently be moved to Douglas Park. Scott and the ministers in December 2006 formed their company, WMC-I, Westside Ministers for Change. State records show Scott is the manager. They shared their vision with the local alderman, Sharon Denise Dixon (24th), a former flight attendant and social worker elected to City Council in 2007. In Chicago, aldermen have near total control over what gets developed in their wards. A developer who wants a project to get necessary City Hall approval must first visit the local alderman or risk having the project stymied. Aldermen can control or "hold" lots to block development or to allow development to proceed. Dixon enthusiastically backed Scott's plans and promised to hold nearly 20 lots for development. In a September 2007 letter to Scott with the subject line "Douglas Park Development," Dixon told Scott that his plans for possible "market rate and affordable" new homes on the city-owned lots was exciting and would continue to revitalize the neighborhood. "It will also showcase this area of Chicago for the proposed 2016 Summer Olympics," she wrote. "Please feel free to use my endorsement of this project in any way that will continue to benefit balanced growth and development in the 24th Ward." In a follow-up letter to Scott in May 2008, Dixon included the list of the lots and their addresses. Both of Dixon's letters of support were sent to the Department of Community Development to inform city staff of her backing for Scott's project. Dixon initially declined to talk about her endorsement of Scott's plans, referring questions to him and to City Hall. She called back later, saying the project actually would be developed by a group of West Side ministers. Asked why none of the ministers' names were included in her letters of support for the project, Dixon replied, "That's a very good question. I'm not quite sure. This is not a Michael Scott project per se. It's not about Michael Scott. It's about the development and enhancement of the 24th Ward." Scott and his team have yet to file any formal plans with the city to develop the lots, which are located in the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

3100 block of West Roosevelt Road, the 1100 block of South Albany Avenue and the 3100 block of West Arthington Street. Rev. Charles Robinson, a politically connected pastor and member of the Chicago Transit Authority board, said he and the five other ministers and their churches were involved. He said Scott will serve as "adviser and developer" in the for-profit project. Scott said he was acting on the behalf of the ministers. When asked whether he stood to make money on the development, Scott said it would be speculative to say the venture would be profitable. The team is negotiating to bring a Nike store to Roosevelt Road, near the potential Olympic venues, Robinson said. He said their early plans include a mix of commercial and residential, with stores at street level on Roosevelt Road and housing on the second and third floors. Scott has experience developing land around the park. Years ago, he teamed up with developer Cecil Butler to build a gated community nearby called Albany Park Townhouses at Albany and Ogden Avenues on the western edge of the park. He also owns other land for development adjacent to the park. "We started working out in the Lawndale community before there was interest," Scott said. "I've put my money in this community, and most people would never ever consider doing that." The International Olympic Committee votes for a host city Oct. 2, choosing among Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. Real estate experts said land close to Olympic sporting venues would become more valuable, with the economic impact on land values tapering off the farther a property is from the venues. "It's clear it is going to have a positive effect on the surrounding property values, and geographically, it will be highest for the closest units," said James Shilling, a DePaul University real estate professor. If Chicago is not chosen, the lots -- in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods -- may not become more attractive for developers any time soon. In June, as part of a series of meetings, Chicago 2016 and Park District officials met with residents at the Douglas Park Field House to get community feedback on

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Update from No Games Chicago - 55 Days - Michael Scott in news again

what should be left behind in the park after the Olympics. In the audience were Dixon and Scott's son, Michael Scott Jr., who is the area manager for parks in the Austin and North Lawndale communities. Michael Scott Jr. declined to comment for this story. Scott Sr.'s role in potentially developing the city lots is especially sensitive given that he is a co-chair of a Chicago 2016 subcommittee that crafted an agreement ensuring jobs and contracts for minorities, as well as promising affordable housing to be a part of the Olympic Village agreement. The agreement, approved by City Council in April, grew out of concerns from neighborhood groups that economic benefits from the Olympics would go mostly to politically connected insiders. In addition to his Olympic committee role, Scott also is involved in the proposed Douglas Park sports venues through his position as president of the school board. Chicago 2016's velodrome plans call for tearing down the Collins High School campus' two gyms and indoor pool, a sensitive issue with many community residents who don't want the recently renovated facilities demolished. Scott said that he was not on the school board when he become involved in the real estate project, and that his role with the Olympics at the time was minimal. But Valerie Leonard, a member of the Lawndale Alliance neighborhood group, said she was concerned about Scott's various roles. "I believe that everybody should have the opportunity to make money. I do believe in the American way," she said. "But I think it's problematic when you have insiders continuously getting access to information that most people don't have access to." tlighty@tribune.com dheinzmann@tribune.com kbergen@tribune.com

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Update from No Games Chicago - 54 Days - Residents continue to demand...

No Games Chicago Update 54 Days To Decision Daily News
August 8, 2009 The People Speak Chicago isn't prepared, financially or socially, to host an Olympics. Daley is too corrupt of an official to be honest and open about the bids, grants, and tax dollars. Too many people are seeing the short-term tourism effects rather than the long-term, negative socio-economic effects. Kimberly Richardson Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Residents continue to flock to the 2016 Committee's community meetings demanding answers to tough questions. We think it's fair to say - these questions are NOT being answered. 49th Ward 2016 meeting Let The Games Begin By Dimitrios Kalantzis - Lake Effect News If pointing out the holes within a salesman's pitch were an Olympic sport, Rogers Park would have a gold medal. Last night more than 150 people packed the Rogers Park Public Library with an overwhelming message for the Chicago 2016 Olympic committee: the emperor is not, in fact, wearing any clothes. Residents and activists of the 49th Ward listened to the committee's 35-minute presentation, the 27th so far of the mayoral ordered community meetings, which included sound bites from pro-sports athletes and President Barack Obama. As reported last month by LEN, the golden goose eggs offered up by Chicago 2016, include 31,000 jobs over the next 10 years, $10 million for work force development, $1 billion in federal money for repairing Chicago's mass transit system, new sports and recreational facilities to be turned over to city parks, and a lasting legacy for the children. But when the floor was opened for questions, the crowd went hunting for the magic beans. "In the history of Chicago and minorities," said one resident, "when it comes to the goodies, it's not good."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 54 Days - Residents continue to demand...

"Is there anything projected in the future that can address that?" the man asked before turning to Ald. Joe Moore, saying, "we bungled the parking meters." Arnold Randall, director of Neighborhood Legacies at Chicago 2016, tried to deflect talk of the City Council's infamous 75-year parking meter deal to no avail. "It's interconnected," the man said in response. The onslaught continued. "I think it's disingenuous to say there's zero risk, because quite frankly there's no such thing as zero risk," said Seth Mayer, a 5-year resident of Rogers Park, quoting Chicago 2016 president Lori Healey. "I'd much rather have an honest assessment of what the risks are than be told just: 'trust us, trust us,'" Mayer said. Chicago 2016 will take out insurance policies to protect it against the "unforeseen kinds of acts," said Healey: sponsor's bankruptcies, cancelled games and acts of terrorism; premiums will cost at least $41 million. Another resident questioned the committee's plan to offer 30 percent affordable housing in the Olympic Village following the games, citing the recent University Village scandal, in which many units were purchased by non-qualifying buyers for profit. When residents asked about the oft-penny-pinched Chicago Transit Authority, Healey dropped a bombshell for many residents who mistakenly think CTA improvements are guaranteed: "Our budget does not contain funding for CTA improvements," Healey said. "However history has shown that when U.S. cities get the games that they get infrastructure funding from the federal government to help support that," she said. Residents continued to evoke Chicago's current budget woes, much to the support of the audience and chagrin of the panel. "My question is concerning the budget and the fact that I don't really believe in your budget," said one resident. "The city's broke and we can't pay our daily expenses without selling off our parking meters," he said, garnering applause from the crowd. Citing a No Games Chicago report that China spent $40 billion and that London spent $16 billion, stark contrasts to Chicago's estimated $3.8 billion in expected costs, Chicago 2016 blamed those added expenses on

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 54 Days - Residents continue to demand...

misguided infrastructure development, mistakes Chicago will not replicate, Healey said. "Once we do get the bids and actual work starts, who's going to provide oversight?" asked another resident. "I personally don't trust the way the city does things," she said. If the city wins its bid, a new Olympic board will be appointed by the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. National Olympic Committee, said Healey. President Obama, the Illinois Governor and even the Mayor and "business community" can make appointments to the board, Healey said. The "transparency" of expenditures, she said, will be "web-based and reviewable by the public." Residents continued voicing their apprehensions, articulating the desperation many of us feel through this recession. "Chicagoans love their city," said one woman, "but we also feel as though our quality of life is eroding." Ultimately and despite the tough, pointed questions, Chicago 2016 was not on trial last night; the city of Chicago was. Following the meeting, Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward) said, "I think the questions that were asked were intelligent, for the most part, very thoughtful and, uh, I feel it was a good meeting." The City Council is now waiting on an independent review board's report on Chicago 2016's proposed budget. It is expected to be released in late August or early September. When asked if that would give the City Council enough time to review the report before the October 2 IOC announcement, Moore said, "Hopefully, we'll have enough time." As one man said, using a simple analogy: "I think the Olympics will do a great benefit to the city, but as it seems, most people have said: Clout Chicago

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Update from No Games Chicago - 53 Days - It's getting ugly in Chicago

No Games Chicago Update 53 Days To Decision Daily News
August 9, 2009 The People Speak My wife and I are unemployed. I know we will be stuck with a minimum of $100 million in taxes per the Chicago Sun Times of 8/6/09. For two weeks of fame for our mayor he and his buddies will make money. For we people of Chicago, our families and grandchildren to be paying for this for generations is unfair. PLEASE SAY NO. The largest ever ongoing federal investigation of a city, Chicago, shows the corruption here. PLEASE give the Olympics to a city were it will benefit the citizens, not Chicago fat cats. Donald Skonicki
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: It's getting ugly in Chicago. The Olympic leadership is under fire and when the press actually does its job and dares to question the Mayor, he gets very angry and reveals a side of his personality usually hidden from the public. Just read today's account in the Chicago Tribune:

Tough queries unleash a terrifying alter ego John Kass - Chicago Tribune - August 9, 2009 For most of last week, Mayor Richard Daley was doing fine, calmly making pronouncements, issuing sweeping edicts, decrees and commands. But then he released his inner Mayor Chucky. And when the terrifying Mayor Chucky persona came out by week's end -- after a Tribune investigation about political insiders poised to cash in on Daley's plans of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games -- it wasn't pretty. "I just saw it on TV," said a friend on the phone. "A reporter asks him a question about the Olympic land deal, and bingo. Mayor Chucky. Wow. It's scary." Positively Chuckified. Days earlier, Daley was publicly relaxed, almost like a normal person. He stood high above his metropolis, perched on a tiny sliver of glass, standing on the Ledge on the observation Skydeck of what I still call Sears Tower. He was master of all he surveyed, staring at the tiny humans on the street far below. The man looked

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Update from No Games Chicago - 53 Days - It's getting ugly in Chicago

Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

happy. And he didn't lose his cool when foolish Chicago Public Schools officials selected a popular singer as spokesman for the mayor's big back-to-school push, without telling him the singer's big hit is "Birthday Sex." But it was inevitable that Mayor Chucky would pop out. On Friday, observers noticed the aggravated facial expressions, then the hand waving, great circular motions from the shoulder, then the sneering, the finger pointing, and finally, the angry lip curling. It was more terrifying than that little killer doll in the horror movies. But this was no Hollywood fictional character on screen. This wasn't some demonic puppet with 12-inch legs and tiny overalls, scampering down a dark hallway, wielding a butcher knife, and shrieking for blood. No, this was the mayor of Chicago in real life, yelling and trying to bully reporters because he was asked about a Tribune investigation. The Tribune reported Friday that developer Michael Scott Sr., an insider who is also the mayor's president of the Chicago Board of Education, quietly arranged to develop nearly 20 parcels of West Side real estate right near a planned Olympics site. Scott also is on a Daley Olympic subcommittee that developed ethics guidelines about how politically connected insiders aren't supposed to cash in on Chicago Olympic gold. As if. The mayor didn't want to answer. All he wanted to talk about was how he was providing infrastructure developments for the good of the people. The Scott questions were considered "off topic" by the mayor. Many of you probably don't know that the mayor's office insists that reporters stay "on topic" at most of his public events. "On topic" means that he'll talk about the stunt of the moment, so reporters can give oodles of coverage to the news managed out of the mayor's press office. Many days, the mayor's schedulers inform reporters he'll only accept questions "on topic." And then you see the stunt on TV, the ribbon cutting or the meet-and-greet with the children or the seniors, and you think you're actually watching the news. But a few local reporters on Friday, including a young Tribune reporter named Dan P. Blake, figured they should act like reporters, not press agents. So they

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 53 Days - It's getting ugly in Chicago

dared ask "off topic" questions about Michael Scott. That's when the Mayor Chucky came out. "No," he said. "this is just gonna be on this." Translation: Shut up. Stay on topic. ABC-Ch. 7's Charles Thomas asked him, politely, why he would refuse comment on an important story. "You know, I'm out every day, Charles," said Mayor Chucky. "I'm sorry I can't be feeding the machine every day for you. I have a job to do. ... I'm sorry I can't answer questions every day. Every day. I do it enough. ... You ask me all types of questions. Today, yesterday, you all had the opportunity. There will always be headlines, there will be another headline Monday, another Wednesday on something else, but that's not my job, to fill your headlines." Another compliant reporter went back "on topic" hoping to appease the mayor, but then Blake politely asked a question: "When do you think you'll be available next to talk about the deal reported about Michael Scott?" "Oh, I do it every day," Mayor Chucky insisted. "You've been with me every day. NEVER insult me with that question! You're insulting me because every day I'm here, you're never here. And don't print that! So I know, you'll print it." Huh? What? All Blake asked was a legitimate question about when the mayor would answer a legitimate question. On Saturday, the mayor finally talked about Scott, but only long enough to deny, deny, deny and say reporters were making it all up just to hurt his feelings and ruin everything. "You come to conclusions, you're trying to hurt 2016. I don't know why. ...You come to conclusions!" What will happen if Chicago actually wins the 2016 Olympics? We'll have lots and lots of insider deals. And we'll have lots of Mayor Chucky. jskass@tribune.com

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Update from No Games Chicago - 52 Days - More scandal from the Daley...

No Games Chicago Update 52 Days To Decision Daily News
August 10, 2009 The People Speak Daley can't manage the budget for the City of Chicago and is one of the most corrupt politicians to date. His, I don't know or I didn't know, to every issue that falls at his feet shows how crafty and disingenuous a politician he really is. Chicago can not afford the Olympics. Chicago has too many costly problems already with its infrastructure to throw itself into bankruptcy by adding the cost of the Olympics. No Olympics in Chicago! Jean Brennan Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Scandal continues to swirl around Mayor Daley and his family Daley's nephew gets break from city pension funds Vanecko gets to put less of his own money in risky deal BY TIM NOVAK Chicago Sun-Times Reporter August 10, 2009 When they started their real estate investment company three years ago, Mayor Daley's nephew Robert Vanecko and his partners made a promise to five City of Chicago pension funds they were seeking as investors: We'll put $7 million of our own money into the deal to show we believe in our high-risk strategy of investing city retirees' pension money in developing inner-city neighborhoods. That assurance helped the start-up venture known as DV Urban Realty Partners quickly land $68 million from the city pension funds. But now it turns out that Vanecko and his partners -Chicago developer Allison S. Davis and his son Jared Davis -- will put in just $3.5 million, half of what they initially promised. Despite some concerns, the city pension funds quietly agreed to rework the deal with Vanecko and the Davises last August, making changes that financially benefitted the mayor's nephew and his partners, recently subpoenaed records show. Vanecko -- whose dealings have come under scrutiny by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago and the city's

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Update from No Games Chicago - 52 Days - More scandal from the Daley...

inspector general -- personally lobbied city pension officials to rework the deal with his company, records show. Three of the five pension fund boards voted on and approved the changes -- funds representing police, laborers and municipal employees. Each of those pension fund boards includes high-ranking members of the Daley administration who voted to approve the reworked deal. The approval of just three of the five pension fund boards was needed. So once those three agreed, the pension funds for Chicago teachers and CTA employees didn't even vote on the reworked deal with Vanecko's company. Which apparently was fine with CTA pension board executive director John Kallianis, who wrote in an Aug. 22, 2008, e-mail to his counterpart at the teachers pension fund: "I was hoping we could sit on the sidelines.'' Vanecko's negotiations with the pension fund officials are outlined in e-mails and other documents that a federal grand jury recently subpoenaed. Authorities are looking into how the pension funds decided to invest with the mayor's nephew, even though his new company had no track record; acknowledged that, despite potentially big payouts, its investment strategy was high-risk, and had been turned down by six other government pension funds. Two weeks after the grand jury subpoenas were issued, Vanecko announced in June he would leave DV Urban by July 1. Neither the company nor pension officials would say if Vanecko has indeed left the company he started with Allison Davis, a longtime Daley ally in the city's African-American communities. Davis formerly headed a small Chicago law firm whose staff once included a then-young attorney named Barack Obama. "We are continuing our discussions with Mr. Davis regarding Mr. Vanecko. In light of those ongoing discussions, we do not believe it is appropriate at this time to comment,'' said Michael Fishman, an attorney representing the three city employee pension funds that approved the reworked deal with DV Urban. Fishman was hired by John Gallagher Jr., executive director of Chicago's police pension fund, who led the negotiations to redo the deal. Gallagher cited potential federal tax liabilities that he said the pension funds could face if DV Urban's real estate deals ended up turning a profit by the time the deal expires in 2014. So far, DV Urban's investments have fallen in value, which it has

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 52 Days - More scandal from the Daley...

blamed largely on the recession. The new deal gives one key new benefit to the pension funds: They are now guaranteed that they will get back all of their initial investment before DV Urban is paid any incentive fees. Under the revisions, DV Urban would still be able to collect as much as $8 million in management fees from the pension funds. It also gets an extra year to invest the pension money, a quicker return on its investment, and the halved requirement for investing its own money, to $3.5 million. The subpoenaed records show the city pension fund managers had concerns about reducing DV Urban's initial promise to invest $7 million. "We want DV to have as much skin in the game as possible,'' James Mohler, of the municipal employees pension fund, wrote in a July 21, 2008, e-mail to the executive directors of all five pension funds. Fishman wrote in an e-mail that same day that the reworked agreement is "a much better deal'' for the pension funds because DV "gets no money until we get paid.''

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Update from No Games Chicago - 51 Days - Tribune wants transparency

No Games Chicago Update 51 Days To Decision Daily News
August 11, 2009 The People Speak Chicago is already tottering financially. Let's not let our vanity and wishful thinking get in the way of sound finance, and financing the essential infrastructure that Chicago citizens really need. Withdraw the Bid! Laura Louzader Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The Mayor and the 2016 Committee continue to be criticized by the business press. David Greising is the business reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Public on hook deserves look into Chicago's Olympics bid David Greising - Chicago Tribune - August 11, 2009 For Chicago 2016, the Olympic organizing committee, the long march through Chicago's 50 wards is nearly done. The community meetings that wrap up this month have been arduous. Yet the Chicago committee has endured, knowing its leaders, in cooperation with Mayor Richard Daley, will reign as near-sovereigns over Chicago for the next seven years -- building stadiums and housing complexes, controlling park land and transportation routes -- should the city host the 2016 Games. None of it will happen, of course, unless the City Council commits taxpayers to an unlimited financial guarantee that the Games will succeed. Daley and Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan have said as much. All of which raises an age-old Chicago question: "Where's ours?" If Chicago's taxpayers are to offer an indispensable guarantee, they should get more than the world's biggest swim and track meet. They should get, in fact, a tool that will provide a close-up view into the wheeling, the dealing, the high jinks and palm greasing that will make the 2016 Games uniquely Chicago.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 51 Days - Tribune wants transparency

In other words, the City Council should insist -- and Chicago 2016 should agree -- that the organizing committee become subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The law requires government entities to provide information of public interest about how they operate. Now, Chicago 2016 is not a public entity. If a nosy person should ask, say, what's up with the awarding of a contract, or about how a certain road got rerouted, or how a lakefront harbor became an Olympic rowing venue, Chicago 2016 could tell them to just buzz off. That's private business. Not anymore. Chicago 2016's demand that it needs an unlimited financial guarantee, not to mention $500 million from the city and $250 million from the state, makes organizing a Chicago Olympics a very public matter. The City Council, before granting the unlimited financial guarantee, should demand that Chicago 2016 agree to honor requests for information, following the same openness guidelines as described in Illinois' freedom of information law. The committee should appoint a freedom-of-information officer, answerable to the City Council and responsible for complying with information requests, as government offices do. Just last week, Tribune reporters Todd Lighty, David Heinzmann and Kathy Bergen showed what public information requests -- part of their research -- can yield. In revealing that bid committee member and Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott Sr. has set up a real estate deal that could benefit him if the Games go on, the Tribune reminded Chicagoans -- yet again -- that Chicago is the city that works, too often, for the clique that surrounds Daley. Why would Chicagoans need the power of the Freedom of Information Act? The answer is simple: Today, Chicago 2016 needs us. They need the citizens' financial backing or the International Olympic Committee will not designate Chicago as host city over Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid. Once Chicago gets the Games, though, the power equation reverses. For the next seven years, the Chicago organizing committee becomes the most powerful entity in town. Its needs will trump virtually anything else on the civic landscape. The Chicago Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games -COCOG, get used to those initials -- will be answerable

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 51 Days - Tribune wants transparency

to Daley and no one else. Last month, Chicago 2016 tipped its hand toward the sort of imperious behavior that could become common without appropriate checks. It delayed, until after the Oct. 2 IOC vote, the filing of IRS forms disclosing plans for funding the Games. So much for openness and the timely release of information. To some skeptics, this might seem like a far-out request. There is no way Chicago 2016 can commit to public disclosure, some might say. Unprecedented, others may argue. Under pressure early this year to demonstrate public support to the IOC, the Chicago bid committee voluntarily succumbed to community demands for openness in the awarding of Olympics contracts. Subjecting itself to freedom-of-information requirements would take the committee just a half-step further. It also would comply with the spirit of the Illinois law, which treats contractors serving a government function as if they are the government itself. In response to my request for its thinking on the topic, Chicago 2016 issued a statement with the expected boilerplate about being a private entity, the community meetings and its agreement to competitive bidding on contracts. What the committee did not say is the one sentence it should have: "Yes, we'll answer the public's questions about how we're financing and building the Games." Openness should be the price of putting taxpayers on the hook for the 2016 Games.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 50 Days - XXXX

No Games Chicago Update 50 Days To Decision Daily News
August 12, 2009 The People Speak My family traveled into the city on July 3 to attend the Taste of Chicago and watch the fireworks. Upon arrival, they were turned away by Chicago Police who said it wasn't safe and that the event was "closed" due to violence. My question is this: If Mayor Ricard Daley can't provide for the protection of people attending a regular event like the Taste of Chicago, how does he plan to protect those attending the 2016 Olympics? Mike Volling, Antioch
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee continues to meet with community members. The more they meet, the angrier the community residents get. Olympic Committee meets a skeptical local community By Dan Kolen | The Gazette - August 2009 Reaching out to local residents, the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee visited Marshall High School's auditorium on the West Side on July 14 in a meeting to discuss how the Olympics would affect communities if the City wins the Olympic bid. The Olympics would provide an indoor track located in Douglass Park on the West Side, an Olympic Village in Bronzeville that would be transformed after the games into housing (around 30% affordable), and a "direct surplus to the City's budget," committee members claimed. Many people who attended the meeting expressed concern about the Olympics, despite committee members' rosy view. "They didn't answer the questions, plain and simple," said Maurice Robinson. "With the Olympics being here, the issues that are ahead of us and thereare so many problems already - it's hard to imagine what's going to happen." Public transit Concerning public transportation, the committee announced officials would arrange an additional bus system specifically for the people going to the games; no parking would be permitted around the games' sites.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 50 Days - XXXX

Letter to the Editor Chicago Tribune July 29, 2009

Federal aid the City expects to get for transportation would "help immensely" to "permanently improve" the City's transportation infrastructure, according to committee members. "Both Atlanta and Salt Lake City benefited very significantly from federal transportation projects in their cities, so they would be ready for the games," said Doug Arnot, the committee's director of venues and games operations. "The existing system was improved in time for the games" and had a lasting impact, he noted. Stephanie Patton, now a Chicago resident, lived in Atlanta in the lead-up to the 1996 games and said Atlanta did see a positive, permanent change in the infrastructure. For example, she noted, express lanes of certain thoroughfares were increased from three to five, although traffic still was massive. "What happened was, though, during heavy traffic, the people of the city had to learn those back roads" during the games, she said. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics were held in a city growing and expanding, but Chicago is an already built-up city, with public transit plagued by frequent delays, fare hikes, and threats of service cuts. The comments by the committee therefore did not help calm the concerns many residents had about the permanent impact the games would have on public transportation. "You certainly have your work cut out for you," Lee Ford, a Garfield Park resident, said to Arnot, who expressed a negative view of "the public transportation access and the public transportation system in the City of Chicago." Public funding On June 17, Mayor Richard M. Daley signed a contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) saying the City will take on full, unlimited financial liability for "planning, organization, and staging" the Olympics. The contract and issues pertaining to funding the games drew criticism from several attendees. The IOC is "in bed with Mayor Daley." Patton said. "If we get the Olympics, it's going to be a travesty for Chicago. I feel strongly that with Mayor Daley's leadership we're going to have to go deep into our pockets." The committee members remained adamant that no taxpayer dollars would be used and that the City has not had to pay so far for planning the games. Despite the contract, the City "will not pay a dime for the games," committee members asserted. "No games since 1972 have lost money; all have turned a surplus," said Lori Healey, president of the committee.

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Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 50 Days - XXXX

"We also have additional insurance protection so we can cover costs on projects." Huge price tags are associated with many of the proposed structures: Olympic Village would cost $1 billion, a stadium in Washington Park just under $400 million, and the Douglass Park facility that would be converted into a permanent track and field center after the games would cost $37.1 million. The games' total cost is estimated at around $4.8 billion. To cover such massive costs, the City would receive more than one billion dollars from television rights, with private financiers paying the rest, committee members said. "No taxpayer dollars are included in the budget," Healey said. "We're 100% privately financed. In fact, we expect to turn a $450 million surplus." Neighborhood impact From reduced ticket prices for Chicago residents, to favorable vendor deals for locals, to World Sport Chicago's (WSC) sports program for kids in Chicago, the committee outlined direct, positive effects of the Olympics for the community. "It's our commitment that World Sport Chicago grows and continues to grow," Arnot said about the program that already has enrolled 30,000 of the 300,000 kids in Chicago Public Schools. The committee showed a short documentary during the meeting to highlight a gymnastics class for WSC. Those attending responded with skepticism about how much the program and committee really wanted to help the city. "We had never heard of World Sport Chicago until today," Patton said. "And with the games, we're going to be made to feel like guests or prisoners in our own backyards." Some in attendance voiced support for the games, however. "I think the Olympics are going to be a great thing for the city," said local resident Walter Fiedler. "The things that are going to happen are already under way, but it is a way for the people to know what is expected and what it's going to mean for us." Healey said that, with WSC and the new infrastructure, the games will "help us provide something new to the neighborhoods. There will be a lasting impact in the neighborhoods." She also stressed the importance of the residents' support.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 50 Days - XXXX

"We need to show that the people of Chicago are passionate about sports, about bringing the games to the city," Healey said. "With your support, we can really transform this city." Some at the meeting were not keen on lending their support, however. Patton said, "While you're advocating for support for the Olympics, advocate to get our children educated."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 49 Days - Community not buying Olymp...

No Games Chicago Update 49 Days To Decision Daily News
August 13, 2009 The People Speak I live in Chicago and my kids attend Chicago public schools. I currently have no plans to move. As a Chicago homeowner and taxpayer, I certainly have a vested interest in seeing my city thrive. I also know the city is in a tough financial spot right now. I've been reading your bi-weekly Olympic missives on this website and I'd like to suggest - in all seriousness -- a topic for your next entry. Many of us in Chicago are opposed to the Olympics coming to town because we do not trust a lot of Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee continues to meet with community members. The more they meet, the angrier the community residents get. Bronzeville Not Buying The Olympic Guarantee
Angela Caputo - Progress Illinois - August 12, 2009

Ever since they got a whiff of proposed plans to turn their Chicago neighborhoods into ground zero for the 2016 Olympics, many South Side residents have grown concerned that they will end up sidelined by the games. Last year, a coalition organizations began pressuring City Hall to produce a legally-binding "community benefits agreement" to guarantee the locals would see a cut -- via apprenticeships and housing -- of the Olympic development boom. As regular readers know, the city initially attempted to stonewall the group. But their campaign ultimately produced some bad PR for the bid committee, not to mention the mayor, and the City Hall insiders relented -sort of. In March, Chicago 2016 agreed to sign a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) upping minority contracting, local employment, and affordable housing goals. But legal experts subsequently confirmed what

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Update from No Games Chicago - 49 Days - Community not buying Olymp...

the public officials connected with the bid. (Many of us also think our city is too cash-strapped to take on this adventure.) Week after week, we read about insider deals and apparent conflicts of interest involving many folks close to those at the 2016 helm. Too often, journalists who probe, asks questions, and try to gather information using FOIA are routinely stonewalled (and often ignored). I'd appreciate it if, in your next piece for The Huffington Post, you'd make the case for why we taxpayers should trust these leaders to keep the 2016 Summer Games transparent and free from the cronyism and corruption that so permeates everyday life here in Chicago. Matt Farmer, Chicago Comment on Pat Ryan's online

community groups knew all along: the document hardly represents a guarantee. Apparently, Chicago 2016 thought that they had outfoxed the coalition -- and the public -- by handing them the MOU and walking away with some favorable headlines. Indeed, while appearing at one of the bid committee's community meetings in Bronzeville last night, chairman Pat Ryan attempted to trot out the document as "legally-binding" evidence that the South Side is in line for big gains. Luckily, the residents in attendance -- invited from the 3rd, 4th, and 20th Wards -- knew better. "You're selling it like it's going to protect us," Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization's Jitu Travis told Ryan. "It's not. Where's the legally-binding document?" Ryan countered that the committee's obligation is to its private investors, claiming that they will pay for "100 percent" of the games' "operating expenses." The identities of all those interests remains under wraps, though, as the bid committee continues to suspiciously push off disclosure requirements until after Oct. 2 (when the 2016 host city is announced). Moreover, the big expenses will come from capital improvements, not operating expenses. As Tribune business columnist David Greising pointed out yesterday, it's hard to swallow the committee's insistence that the Olympics are solely a private venture: Chicago 2016's demand that it needs an unlimited financial guarantee, not to mention $500 million from the city and $250 million from the state, makes organizing a Chicago Olympics a very public matter. If last night's meeting is any indication, South Siders are catching on. When Ryan attempted to prove his confidence in the Chicago 2016 plan by offering to bet each audience member $1,000 that they won't pay for any of the Olympics, he was virtually laughed off the stage.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 48 Days - Tribune wants more transparency

No Games Chicago Update 48 Days To Decision Daily News
August 14, 2009 The People Speak Our city does not need the Olympics!!! #1 Buildings crumbling, city services deteriorating. Our city needs better schools, Public transportation overhaul and city services to help the Chicagoans do to cutbacks. #2 more private sector jobs.. Without the jobs crime has riddled streets/neighborhoods. "NO WORK"!! (NO OLYMPICS) Kurtis Schmitt Chicago Signer of No Games online petition Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: David Greising is the business reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He's been growing skeptical of the 2016 Committee's willingness to be honest with the people of Chicago. Time to hold 2016 Olympics committee's feet to flame on open records
David Greising - August 14, 2009 "This is a good thing for our bid," Pat Ryan was saying the other night, after Bronzeville neighborhood citizens grilled Olympics officials for nearly three hours about costs and risks of staging a Chicago Olympics. A root-canal look on his face, Ryan had sat in a hot, crowded South Side meeting room as residents raised concerns about the demolition of historic buildings, travel inconveniences and access to business opportunities that could accompany a 2016 Games. The Chicago 2016 bid committee has been the most open ever, asserted Ryan, the chairman. The group that would run the Games -- the Chicago Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, or OCOG -- will be open to scrutiny too, Olympics officials have said. Yet when it comes to opening their own records to public scrutiny, the way all public agencies must, the transparency goes dark.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 48 Days - Tribune wants more transparency

As a private entity, Chicago 2016 typically would have no obligation to open its records. But because it will get $750 million in state and city financial guarantees -- and wants an unlimited city commitment to cover any major Olympics shortfall -in exchange it should agree to let taxpayers know how Olympics money will be spent. Ryan and his second-in-command, Lori Healey, felt no obligation to open the Olympic committee's records. Yet the more they tried to explain their reasoning the less persuasive it became. Ryan asserted that freedom of information requests might make it impossible for Chicago 2016 and the International Olympic Committee to sell sponsorships, the biggest source of money for any Olympics. Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! "We're going to be having a competition for sponsorships, and I hope that you wouldn't request the information in the FOIA that we reveal what this company is bidding and what that company is bidding," Ryan said. But Illinois' freedom of information law specifically protects proprietary business information. Bids for sponsorships and other contracts would remain secret. Healey implied that the bid committee is powerless to bind the actual organizing committee to an open-records commitment. "It's up to the OCOG," she said. Healey and virtually everyone else on Chicago 2016 are expected to serve on the Chicago Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, but Healey makes the two groups sound like foreign entities. "The OCOG is governed by its own board," she said. "They'll have to make decisions on this." If the bid committee cannot make commitments that bind the OCOG, someone has a lot of explaining to do. The state and city need to know, because this puts their $750 million guarantees at risk. Someone tell the community groups that the fair-contracting agreement hammered out with dozens of community groups may have no effect on how the OCOG operates. In fact, someone tell the IOC. They need to know if the bid committee's word is not the OCOG's bond.

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 48 Days - Tribune wants more transparency

What Ryan seems not to appreciate is that an open-records policy might help Chicago's bid. Contracting scandals have ruined past Olympics, and Chicago's reputation on such matters is hardly pristine. When Chicago 2016 goes to Copenhagen for the IOC vote Oct. 2, its bid will be stronger with an open-records commitment. Now, Ryan is a phenomenally successful insurance executive. He knows a deal breaker when he sees it, and he knows he needs the city's financial guarantee for the Games or there is no Chicago Olympics. Ryan and Mayor Richard Daley, who want the Olympics so badly, will do about anything to get that guarantee. And that is why -- in exchange for a government guarantee in a city and state with a corruption-riddled track record -- citizens must insist on access to the Olympic committee's records. This is called negotiating leverage, and taxpayers and citizens, in those rare moments when they have leverage, are fools if they do not use it. Access to the Olympic committee's records is within the reach of the people who are being asked to guarantee the Games. All the City Council has to do -- at hearings next month -- is ask. dgreising@tribune.com

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Update from No Games Chicago - 47 Days - The Chicago Way

No Games Chicago Update 47 Days To Decision Daily News
August 15, 2009 The People Speak The games are just another opportunity for the politicians to steal from the public. Let Pat Ryan spend his money on this nonsense, Not the taxpayers. Michael Underwood Chicago Signer of No Games online petition Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He has been critical of Mayor Daley and Chicago politics for many years. Like other journalists covering Chicago, the mayor, the 2016 bid and the general state of corruption and incompetence here, Mr. Kass is connecting the dots and placing the bid inside the circle of corrupt practices our leaders are so well known for.
Chicago's politicians have got ethics covered John Kass - August 14, 2009 With irritating frequency, national news anchors and members of Congress are using a cool new phrase they must have just invented themselves: "The Chicago Way." They talk like this even though President Barack Obama of Chicago continues to demand that citizens stand up and fight political corruption, just as long as they're citizens of Africa. He did so during his campaign, complaining that Africans felt numbed and powerless by corruption. Visiting Africa a few weeks ago and without a hint of irony, Obama struck again, saying that Africans hoping to open a business or get a job surely must feel as if they "still have to pay a bribe." Bribes? Can you imagine?

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Update from No Games Chicago - 47 Days - The Chicago Way

Someday, our president might visit Illinois and say the same thing, and that will really make news. Until that day, we're left with Washington media types snickering about this "Chicago Way" business as if there aren't any good ethics around here. When it comes to ethics, we have so many ethics boards, ethics panels, ordinances, laws and writs, all crafted with snazzy loopholes by machine politicians, that Illinois must be the veritable bastion of ethics in America. Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Consider the case of Gary M. O'Neill, lured from Louisiana to become director of the Chicago Board of Ethics. It's a collection of experts who decide what's ethical, and is controlled by Mayor Richard M. Daley. In 1990, a year after Daley was elected, O'Neill was named ethics boss, and many surely dreamed Chicago would transcend the tired politics of the past. Sadly, a few days after he took the job, it was revealed O'Neill had been sued by the Louisiana Ethics Board for financial irregularities. And he'd been subpoenaed as part of a criminal investigation in a Louisiana insurance company scam. Oh, and he also had an outstanding warrant for battery, stemming from a bar fight in Baton Rouge. So O'Neill resigned, hopped in a rental car and took off for Louisiana, but he was arrested in Missouri driving 102 m.p.h. That's the last we heard of the poor guy. Clearly, our politicians endeavor to persevere in the ethics department. Just this week, Chicago solved several ethical dilemmas. There were those snaky land maneuvers near a Chicago 2016 Olympic site that involved Michael Scott, the president of the Chicago Board of Education. Scott is also a member of a watchdog panel responsible for keeping political insiders from capitalizing on Chicago's Olympic dreams. The mayor said there was nothing to it, everything was completely ethical, the Tribune owed him a personal apology for stories (columns?) that said he was angry even though he really wasn't angry, just passionate. Basically (pronounced Basick-eee), he decreed we should just shut up about the "phony story." A few hours later, the mayor's Olympics ethics officer decided that, well, the story wasn't really phony and Scott probably should have disclosed that he was orchestrating land deals (featuring a cool Nike store) near a proposed Olympics venue. But what the heck?

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 47 Days - The Chicago Way

We also had another ethical snafu. No, not the Chicago reform alderman clouting his close family member into a top magnet school though the relative didn't have the grades. And no, not those wholesale changes in the city's contract department that has a great track record of giving affirmative action deals to white guys who know the mayor. I'm talking about the retirement party for the grand poobah of Chicago zoning, Ald. William J.P. Banks (36th), the chairman of the zoning committee. His nephew, James Banks, has made a fortune as a zoning lawyer. The Banks retirement party was to be held (where else?) in Rosemont. Invitations ordered revelers to fork over $200 apiece: "Make checks payable to William J. P. Banks (memo: retirement party)." The Tribune's savvy City Hall writer Dan Mihalopoulos broke the story. He was also part of a Tribune investigative team that worked on a series called "Neighborhoods for Sale" involving the Banks family zoning empire. Now the feds are looking into the 36th Ward group and there's been a plethora of retirements. After the story ran, Banks' guys said the money was really going to unspecified "children's charities" in the ward, though the invitation never mentioned charities. Unhappily, Steve Berlin, executive director of the Chicago Ethics Board, did not return phone calls. But then Banks had his retirement party canceled, just because. Cash and politicians are like hot dogs and buns. Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, who now wants to serve Daley as his County Board president, had a habit of regularly accepting cash gifts from employees on her birthday. But she finally stopped, so don't worry. See how things work around here? Obama probably won't be forced to say anything about Chicago corruption. That's because we've got ethics out the wazoo, the Chicago Way. jskass@tribune.com

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Update from No Games Chicago - 46 Days - Chicago closed for business

No Games Chicago Update 46 Days To Decision Daily News
August 16, 2009 The People Speak I don't want the Olympics here in Chicago. Our mayor is a crook and has made every effort to make deals, pass ordinances and make the hard working citizens of Chicago pay fines that are truly illegal and violate our rights so that he can get the $$$ to fund these Olypics . Shame on you Richard Daley... Anonymous Chicago Signer of No Games online petition City Government Closed For Business On Monday Sun-Times News Group, August14, 2009 If you planned to check out a library book, visit a city clinic or have your garbage picked up on Monday, you're out of luck. Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The city of Chicago is in such poor financial shape that the city will close tomorrow, Monday. This is just the first of a series of planned shut downs over this and next year. We told you that the city is broke. Every week we are getting new details of just how bad our finances are. The more news we get about our terrible finances, the angrier citizens are getting about the Mayor's relentless pursuit of the 2016 Olympics.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 46 Days - Chicago closed for business

The City of Chicago will basically be closed for business on Aug. 17, a reduced-service day in which most city employees are off without pay, according to a release from the Office of Budget and Management. City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most city offices will be closed. Emergency service providers including police, firefighters and paramedics will be working at full strength, but most services not directly related to public safety, including street sweeping, will not be provided, the release said. Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago" That also includes garbage pickup. Residents who receive regular collection on Mondays should expect trash to be picked up the following day, the release said. Some other customers may experience a one-day delay as collectors catch up. As part of the 2009 budget, three reducedservice days were planned for 2009, days which are unpaid for all affected employees -- the Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; and New Year's Eve. The City Council recently approved moving the reduced-service day planned for New Year's Eve to Monday. The 2009 budget anticipates saving $8.3 million due to the reduced-service days. In addition to reduced service days, all non-union employees were asked to take a series of furlough days and unpaid holidays, and most non-sworn union employees agreed to similar unpaid time off. "Every dollar we save from these measures helps to save jobs, and in the long-term, maintain services for Chicagoans," Mayor Daley said in the release. "This plan relies on most of our civilian employees to be part of the solution to our very serious budget challenges. I want to thank them again for their sacrifice."
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Update from No Games Chicago - 45 Days - Prominent Chicago consultant...

No Games Chicago Update 45 Days To Decision Daily News
August 17, 2009 The People Speak It's more than obvious that the leaders (politicians) of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois are incapable of keeping their promise to keep funding private for the 2016 Olympics. It is a myth that Olympics make a profit for the host cities. Instead, we should be focusing on making sure our citizens have quality healthcare, education, improved infrastructure and access to good jobs. If we can't balance a budget how are we going to pay for the Olympics? Oh yeah, keep taxing the Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
Don Rose is a prominent Chicago political and communications consultant and commentator. His views are very influential in Chicago civic circles. NO-lympics for Me By Don Rose Chicago Daily Observer - August 17, 2009 A few weeks back an old friend called to say he could get me $25,000 from Very Important People if I would "blog in favor of the Olympics." For those of you who may have been comatose in Central Waziristan for the past year or two, bringing the 2016 games to Chicago is something Mayor Daley wants more than oxygen itself. "I am still agnostic on the Olympics," say I. This friend is indeed close to the mayor, but rarely actually represents him in such dealings. He is also close to many wealthy developers. Through the years this friend, with whom I occasionally cooperate on a political project, has tried to lure me over to the Dark Side, suggesting that this Daley or the preceding one would welcome me with open arms if only I would endorse or work for such and such a candidate. My sense always is that he is free-lancing these offers of municipal largesse rather than being a direct emissary, but I never know for sure because I never take him up on them.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 45 Days - Prominent Chicago consultant...

citizens. Darla Brown Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

"Rose," says this friend, "forget agnostic. You are now old enough to sell out and nobody would blame you. I'm talking about $25,000 cash, which is way more than you get for a lousy column." "Is this a firm offer?" ask I. "I'll go to those people and get back to you before you leave for Paris," says he. Of course I never hear back. I am apparently not as saleable a commodity as I once may have been. It is clear, however, that the mayor and his business confederates are spending a lot of money as well as much political capital buying up the opposition-apparently even endorsing a sometimes reform alderwoman for the presidency of the Cook County Board in exchange for her switching from anti- to pro-games. This is one of the reasons my agnosticism has morphed to antagonism. Daley Inc. just wants this thing too much, which is always a dangerous sign. (Whether a firm offer of that 25-large would have swayed me in the other direction is something strictly between my shrink and me.) I admit I am not a big follower of Olympic sports, though I enjoy watching an occasional hour of gymnastics and the Dirty Old Man inside me sometimes sneaks a peek at women's beach volleyball.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

I also love Chicago a lot, despite its political acne, and wouldn't mind having the world see it in a new light. Millennium Park, for example, is so wonderful I can almost forgive Daley his past sins. But what I see more and more is the old non-Olympic game of Chicago-style political scam. Daley and his business crowd are in this for more than civic glory. More like fun and profit at taxpayer expense, desecration of parklands and a stiff-arm to minority communities. (Most minority leadership, however, has been bought.) Building the necessary infrastructure, housing and sports facilities--in effect one of Chicago's largest-ever public works projects--will be a fiscal Niagara for the development and hospitality crowd. Why do you think they're so eager to put up the front money?

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Update from No Games Chicago - 45 Days - Prominent Chicago consultant...

One look at the planning map also shows the whole thing resembles several past boondoggles designed have the city pay for infrastructure along the south lakefront and stymie expanding black communities; the World's Fair, rejected by Harold Washington, was one. All of them were part of what we used to call "the master plan." Here they go again. Why do you suppose the master builders won't make all their records and proceedings public? Would they show that private funding will not cover the multibillion-dollar deficits the games are sure to bring? Daley says the city's financial commitment will be limited, but he won't permit a City Council ordinance to cap the amount of tax money we taxpayers will have to cover. He's been caught in several little fibs about exactly what long-term fiscal commitments he made to the International Olympic Committee. Would it be too paranoid to suggest that Daley might have much more than personal grandeur at stake here? He will not be mayor forever-maybe not after 2011, let alone 2015. Could this be a little retirement planning? Could all those fat-cats he will be enriching (and those already enriched) perhaps return the favor once he is out of office with all sorts of sinecures, consulting contracts and other comforts of old age? Could this be an Olympian IRA--the Chicago way?

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Update from No Games Chicago - 44 Days - Neighbors protest at 2016 me...

No Games Chicago Update 44 Days To Decision Daily News
August 18, 2009 The People Speak Chicago does not have the money or leadership to sponsor these games. The city cannot fix potholes on the streets. How can they sponsor the Olympic games? This is simply another opportunity for Daley and his cronies to make a load of money. Anne Haggerty Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee continues to hold community meetings. The one last night in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood turned ugly because neighbors were protesting the increase in violence in their neighborhood. They were angry that the city is not spending enough money on crime prevention and youth services. Yesterday was also the day the city shut down all non-essential services in order to save money. People are getting angrier and angrier at the Mayor and the way Chicago is being managed. Uptown Residents Protest Violence Fox News Chicago - August 17, 2009 Meetings like this are being held all over Chicago---in every neighborhood---to talk about the city's bid for the Olympic games in 2016. Chicago is a finalist but some people in tonight's crowd say the city has been playing games in Iptown for a long time, games with their safety. Dozens of residents stood outside while that meeting took place. They say Chicago shouldn't be able to bid on the games because the city's streets aren't safe. They say crime in Uptown is getting worse and the alderman of the 46th ward, Helen Schiller, isn't doing enough about it. Last week at the intersection of Leland and Sheridan, a neighbor caught a fight between rival gangs on camera. "What are you going to do about bullet casings on the corner of Leland and Sheridan?" Joe Gray shot this video last Thursday and says this was the third night of fighting. He called police but says it took just as many calls to get them out on the scene. Over the weekend, Gray says he got a call from the Chicago Police Department about what he documented. Patrols on foot

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Update from No Games Chicago - 44 Days - Neighbors protest at 2016 me...

and by car have increased but so far, he's says heard nothing from the alderman. Gray says: "Alderwoman Schiller will just not show up for CAPS meetings." Alderman Schiller did attend the city's 2016 meeting but got in through a side door. She wasn't so lucky going out. The crowd chanted: "Run away Helen. Run away."

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Chicago shuts down to save money BBC News - August 18, 2009 Public services in the US city of Chicago have been shut down for a day as the authorities face an expected budget shortfall of some $300m (£184m). Non-essential services such as rubbish collections, libraries and health centres were closed, in the first of three planned reduced service days. City authorities hope the move, with workers taking an enforced unpaid holiday, will save an estimated $8.3m. Other cities in the US have already introduced similar measures. The savings from Chicago's reduced service days are small compared with the overall deficit. But in a statement last week, Chicago's Mayor Richard M Daley thanked state employees for their "sacrifice". "Every dollar we save from these measures helps to save jobs, and in the long-term, maintain service for Chicagoans," he said. "This plan engages most civilian employees to accept cuts and to be part of the solution to our budget crisis." Two more reduced service days have been scheduled - one for 27 November, the day after Thanksgiving and another for Christmas Eve, 24 December. Workers have also been asked to take a series of unpaid days off and holidays without salary. Chicago is one of a number of US cities and states to introduce closures and furlough days to address deficits.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 44 Days - Neighbors protest at 2016 me...

In California, which has a budget deficit of some $24.3bn (£14.5bn) and has declared a fiscal emergency, state offices have been ordered to close for three days each month. Michigan has said it will not pay its state employees on six days up to the end of September, to save nearly $22m.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 43 Days - Tribune calls for "Olympic c...

No Games Chicago Update 43 Days To Decision Daily News
August 19, 2009 The People Speak We have the highest taxes in the nation! Gentrification is rampant! Our public schools are a disgrace! Few inches of rain and our streets flood! Public transportation is poor! And yet we have funds to host the Olympics. LET'S GET OUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!!!! Maria Depp Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The Chicago Tribune is a conservative leaning newspaper owned by a billionaire real estate developer. It's been a consistent booster of the 2016 bid. But lately even it can't turn a blind eye to the deficiencies of the Chicago bid and the arrogance of its sponsors. The advice the editors of the Chicago Tribune is offering the 2016 Committee will most likely be ignored. Meanwhile, Chicago's citizens are not as patient and trusting as the Tribune editors seem to be. They are showing up angry and very skeptical at the 2016 community meetings. Olympic candor August 19, 2009 Barely six weeks from now, the International Olympic Committee will select a city to host the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago's organizers, from Mayor Richard Daley on down, are a committed lot. On the streets, in workplaces and over kitchen tables, though, many citizens remain ambivalent. Would an Olympiad net out as a plus for this city -- or as a sinkhole of taxpayer debt? Before Chicago organizers close their sale to the IOC, they need to close their sale to Chicagoans. The best way to do that is to shower Chicago in all of the financing details -- and to create a rock-solid protocol for sharing future information with citizens as well. That isn't too much to ask, given that there will be no Chicago Olympics unless the City Council obligates taxpayers to an open financial guarantee that the games will succeed. The city has already provided a $500 million guarantee; the state has committed to $250 million in the event the Games lose money. With each new guarantee of public financing, the Chicago effort to land the Games becomes an increasingly public endeavor. We second Tribune business columnist David Greising's proposal to give citizens their own guarantee, a guarantee of openness: "The

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Update from No Games Chicago - 43 Days - Tribune calls for "Olympic c...

City Council, before granting the unlimited financial guarantee, should demand that Chicago 2016 agree to honor requests for information, following the same openness guidelines as described in Illinois' freedom of information law. The committee should appoint a freedom-of-information officer, answerable to the City Council and responsible for complying with information requests, as government offices do. ... Openness should be the price of putting taxpayers on the hook for the 2016 Games." That proposal builds on a precedent: Earlier this year, responding to public suspicions, Chicago's bid committee agreed to community demands for openness in awarding of Olympic contracts. Recent events have only reinforced the need for a culture of full disclosure: --The Tribune reported Aug. 7 that a member of Daley's team working to land the Olympics was involved in plans to develop city-owned land near a park that would be a 2016 Olympic venue. Developer Michael Scott Sr., who serves as president of the Chicago Board of Education, now is severing his ties to the potentially quite profitable project. But the disclosure dovetailed with public suspicions that a 2016 Olympics would be a honey pot for political insiders. --That news followed word that Chicago 2016 had delayed the filing of Internal Revenue Service documents on the financing of the Games until after the IOC announces its choice of a site. The committee says the City Council will have all of that information and more. So why not file the documents with the IRS before Oct. 2? --The Tribune reported that street and sewer costs associated with the proposed Olympic Village would add $100 million to the cost, bringing the total to $1.18 billion. Does anyone think that surprise is the last? Aldermen and citizens need to be confident that the Games will come off without the city taking a bath. Because if and when Daley signs an agreement in Copenhagen guaranteeing that Chicago will deliver the Olympics -- no matter the cost -- those aldermen and citizens will be sitting in the tub. Our advice to Chicago 2016 head Pat Ryan as he tries to sell an Olympics to Chicago: Be candid. Be specific. Don't sugarcoat risk. And focus on the following: Taxpayers' risk This is the big question. Can the city be reasonably assured that the games can be staged without taking a big loss? You keep saying that every Olympics since 1972 has made money. Explain in detail why this is so -- and why Chicago's plans are solid. Is it whom you know? Underlying a lot of the public's uneasiness is the suspicion that contracts and jobs will go to the "connected" few, and everyone else will be left out in the cold. Lay out in detail your policies for

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 43 Days - Tribune calls for "Olympic c...

keeping clout and other illicit influences out of the action. About that insurance policy Tell us as much as you can about the $500 million of private insurance you're working to arrange, and why you are confident it will insulate taxpayers from further liability. How will the insurance be structured? When would it kick in? Who's underwriting that risk? How much will it cost? Who resolves disputed claims? So far, there are no details. It takes a village Vancouver's 2010 Olympics got into trouble because the city awarded the Olympic Village contract to a single developer, which used a single lender, and they bet the ballgame on luxury condos just when the real estate bust hit. Village construction stalled and the city had to step up. Chicago proposes a village of 21 12-story buildings erected by multiple developers and multiple lenders, and a post-Olympic plan for a mixed-income residential and retail complex. So it won't rely on a single developer or lender. That's good, but more information on who is interested in participating would help assure Chicagoans they won't play the role of Vancouver in some future meltdown. There are venues and there are venues London's 2012 Games are way over budget. Explain why: London has to build 63 percent of its venues. Its games were always designed to boost the downtrodden East End; pollution remediation and European value-added taxes have made costs skyrocket. Chicago needs to build only five of 27 venues. It doesn't have to redevelop an entire swath of the city. It also doesn't have to build airports, train lines, subways or roads. Explain why you think McCormick Place is Chicago's "secret weapon": It exists; it's huge and it can host concurrent events. The rosy scenario At the City Council's insistence, Chicago 2016's $4.8 billion budget is being independently scrubbed by a London-based consulting firm hired by the Civic Federation. That neutral analysis of Chicago 2016's budget, revenue and cost projections -- and that additional insurance policy -- could go a long way toward reassuring Chicagoans. Finally: freedom of information Mr. Ryan, you and yours would do yourselves a great favor by voluntarily making your committee, and the successor Chicago Organizing Committee, subject to the provisions of Illinois' freedom-of-information law. That would allay the fear that, once you have the City Council on board, Chicago citizens will lose their leverage to protect the huge commitment you're asking of them.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 42 Days - Trial set for Alderman

No Games Chicago Update 42 Days To Decision Daily News
August 20, 2009 The People Speak Chicago needs to focus all its monies and energies on improving its infrastructure and services for people who live here, not to fund the red herring that is the Olympics. Crime, schools, and housing will all be ignored apart from the most superficial fixes in order to throw money at bringing the Olympics here. I ask that, please, as a lifelong citizen, taxpayer, and someone who is deeply concerned for the future of this city, our leaders shift the focus to where it counts.! Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: There are a number of federal prosecutions under way that involve key members of the Chicago political establishment, including Alderman Ike Carothers, a key ally of Mayor Daley. Trial date set for Ald. Ike Carothers Chicago pol has been charged in zoning-for-bribes case Comments August 19, 2009 - NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter - Sun-Times A federal judge today set a March 8 trial date for indicted Chicago Ald. Ike Carothers (29th) and a wealthy developer, both accused of taking part in a zoning-for-bribes scheme. Prosecutors, meanwhile, plan to turn over evidence in the case to the defense today. Carothers, an ally of Mayor Daley, and Chicago developer Calvin Boender have pleaded "not guilty" to the bribery and fraud charges. Carothers had cooperated with the government since last year - cooperation that included wearing a wire to secretly record conversations. Carothers' lawyer, Larry Beaumont, said the alderman was waiting to review the evidence before deciding whether he'd fight the charges against him.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 42 Days - Trial set for Alderman

Katherine Hannon Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

Boender allegedly paid off Carothers as he sought zoning approval to redevelop a 50-acre former railyard and industrial site on the West Side into a residential and commercial neighborhood. Prosecutors say the zoning change could have brought Boender $3 million. Michael Jackson's onetime attorney, Thomas Mesereau of Los Angeles, appeared in court for the first time today after signing on as Boender's attorney earlier this summer. Here's what one reader commented: "ike's daddy served three years .. Maybe his son will follow in his footsteps... Check it out on wikipedia.. Ike and his brother Tony went around terrorizing people. Straight outta wikipedia..... In 1985, a federal judge ordered William Carothers, his two sons, and a fourth man to pay $152,000 in damages for a campaign of physical violence and intimidation organized by William Carothers, from prison, against a political opponent. Independent incumbent Illinois State Representative Arthur Turner of the far west side 17th District was challenged in 1982 by William Carothers' former assistant, Ozzie Hitchins, who was supported by the then imprisoned William Carothers. Turner aides were threatened with guns and one Turner aide suffering severe injuries to the side of the head, including broken bones. At the time Isaac and his brother were both Cook County deputy sheriffs with access to guns. Turner and aides filed a civil lawsuit following their defeat by Hitchins. U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras said Isaac Carothers appeared to be the ringleader and "organized their acts of intimidation" by force while the other son used his deputy's position to verbally threaten the plaintiffs. Isaac Carothers was ordered to pay $25,000 of the damages. And Tony Carothers was just given a merit promotion by..... Ike Carothers."

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 41 Days - Chicago mass transit tops in d...

No Games Chicago Update 41 Days To Decision Daily News
August 21, 2009 The People Speak Mayor Daley, you can't run a city effectively - that's been proven. So I know for sure you can't pull this off without burdening the citizens of Chicago and the State of Illinois without further tax ramifications. Steve Crnkovich Crystal Lake Signer of No Games online petition Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We've told you that Illinois and Chicago are broke. The state and city are running rivers of red ink and it's not projected to get better soon. One of the most important components of our city is our public transit system which is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Our public transit system barely keeps up with the current needs of users. The systems need repairs, upkeep and expansion. Unfortunately, these vital needs are being neglected. Stranded at the Station: The Impact of the Financial Crisis in Public Transportation is the first systematic analysis of the conundrum faced by communities and their transit systems: Historic ridership and levels of demand for service, coupled with the worst funding crisis in decades. According to a recent survey by the AmericanPublic Transportation Association, state, regional and local funding for more than 80 percent of U.S. transit systems has remained flat or has fallen lately, and nearly 90 percent of those systems have had to raise fares or cut service. Nearly half have done both. Chicago is at the top of this list of major U.S. city transit systems running deficits.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 41 Days - Chicago mass transit tops in d...

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs040/1102402695779/archive/11026...

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

We know you place considerable weight to the candidate city's transit system in making your decision to award the games. There are no concrete, real plans to improve our transit system. The 2016 Committee has been asked about their transit plans in many of the community meetings they've held over the past month. In every case they admit that their bid is based on existing infrastructure. We hope you will take this into consideration when you make your decision on which city is most fit to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 40 Days - Sing along with the Clout Me...

No Games Chicago Update 40 Days To Decision Daily News
August 22, 2009 The People Speak
Same ol' people gettin' overtime Same ol' names makin' headlines Same ol' crew stealin' from the kitty Slitherin' snakes through departments of our city Mayor Richie Daley tells us wrong from right It's hard to do when he's on the next flight He's hangin' out in Switzerland cuttin' big deals Too much funny business here, everyone steals Chicago Clout, Little Richie's getting richer Chicago Clout, nothin' stays the same Chicago Clout, there's never gonna be change

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We've told you about the rampant corruption in Chicago politics. It's so widely known that a group of city workers as formed a band and recorded a song called "Chicago Clout Blues."

They uploaded the video to YouTube where you can watch it. They've become an overnight sensation and they've been covered by the Chicago Tribune: Clout Meisters sing the 'Chicago Clout' blues City workers write, perform anti-Daley ditty August 22, 2009 After fighting City Hall for more than a decade, city worker Patrick McDonough has the blues -- the "Chicago Clout" blues.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 40 Days - Sing along with the Clout Me...

So, when you turn around a new scandal is brewin' Daley knows nothin', it's none of his doin' Now I have to move out, my taxes too high Daley don't care, "Let the middle class fry!" And why should we change? Everything is so good Who cares if kids are gettin' shot in the 'hood? We're cuttin' deals for our family and our friends 2016 is when the world's gonna end! Chicago Clout, Little Richie's gettin' richer Chicago Clout, nothin' seems to change Chicago Clout, it all stays the same Lyrics of "Chicago Clout Blues" by the Clout Meisters

McDonough, a self-professed whistle-blower in the city's Hired Truck scandal, and Chicago Park District music instructor Emery Joe Yost are the creators of a catchy little ditty about their beef with Chicago politics. "Either you accept what they give you or you keep fighting to try and change what they're doing," said McDonough, a city plumber and investigator and longtime critic of Mayor Richard Daley. "I've been banging away for a very long time, and I think I've gotten very good at it." Earlier this year, McDonough decided he needed a tune for his blog, ChicagoClout.com, where he documents his complaints and opinions about the city. So he approached Yost, a 30-year friend, for his help in creating something "sad, dramatic, beatendown," McDonough said. Yost, who wrote the music and collaborated with McDonough on the lyrics, nailed it, McDonough said. The song is performed by Yost, John Bernardi, Eric McCabe and Phillip Garifuna -- known as the Clout Meisters. (McCabe is employed by Chicago Public Schools; Bernardi and Garifuna do not work for the city.) And their work has become a local sensation. "It's insane," said Yost, who added that decades of watching overtime and promotions go only to the politically connected have pushed him to speak -- or, rather, sing -- out. "When we wrote this song, we didn't write it for one specific scenario," he said. "We wrote it for all the scenarios combined."

Watch the Clout Meisters on CBS News!

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Update from No Games Chicago - 39 Days - Selling the bid

No Games Chicago Update 39 Days To Decision Daily News
August 23, 2009 The People Speak Politicians have our State screwed up enough. All areas of our government are in bad shape and we are taxed to the limit right now. We don't need or want more taxes to pay for the Games (and many of us believe that will happenregardless of what our politicians are saying). Chicago can't even meet it's payrolls now and has to force employees into days off with no pay! No games here with the economy in as bad shape as it is - no way. Japan wants them - let them have them. Anonymous Montgomery, IL
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee has been taking its case to the neighborhoods of Chicago on an almost daily basis since July 8. As we've been reporting to you, this has been a very bumpy ride. Today, the Chicago Sun-Times gives a fair summary of how the process has unfolded.

Selling the Games, a ward at a time
'16 OLYMPICS | Promoters seeking residents' support and input are getting an earful August 23, 2009 - LISA DONOVAN ldonovan@suntimes.com As it has at times in recent weeks, a community meeting about Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics soon veered off into a heated discussion about other things. Affordable housing. Jobs. Crime. An upset Mark Carter, 35, stood in the audience and demanded

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Update from No Games Chicago - 39 Days - Selling the bid

Signer of No Games online petition

that Mayor Daley's Olympic bid team, assembled on the dais, set aside some of the projected 310,000 jobs -- some temporary, others permanent -- expected to be created by the Olympic Games for North Lawndale residents. He also asserted that the beleaguered West Side community wasn't getting the help it needed because "the alderman sold us out." First-term Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon (24th), standing next to the audience, didn't hold back. "Shut up," she told Carter, who ran against her in the last election. "I'm an alderman, not a miracle worker." This week, the Chicago 2016 Olympic organizing committee winds up a series of community meetings dubbed "50 wards in 50 days" -- a sprint to sell the Olympics to the public, even as criticism has built this summer over Daley's surprise announcement that he'll sign the standard Olympic host-city contract, putting taxpayers on the hook for any losses if the city ends up hosting the 2016 Games and the city's rosy financial predictions don't come true. Chicago is competing to host the Olympics against finalist cities Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee will meet Oct. 2 in Copenhagen and announce the winner. Each city is required to sign the contract -- an open-ended agreement to pay for any losses the Games might incur. The Olympic bid team's refrain at the community meetings has been that "not a single tax dollar has been spent on the Games" and that the $4.8 billion Olympic plan will be bankrolled by private donations. The bid team has also said the Games here would make money, generating a $450 million surplus. But so-called "tax-increment financing" dollars will be used in the planned Olympic Village on the South Side, and the safety net for the Games includes a state guarantee of $250 million, and a "lastresort" $500 million in taxpayer money from the City of Chicago. Olympic organizers say that in the unlikely event the Games end up losing money, they'd have to burn through millions in privately purchased insurance before touching public dollars. Chicago 2016 has organized more than 400 community meetings since 2007, according to a spokesman for the organization. But these last sessions are particularly crucial, as aldermen gear up for a vote that would give the mayor the green light to formally sign the host-city contract. If history is any predictor, the mayor will get what he wants -- and he wants the Olympics. But the meetings were organized so city residents could ask questions and weigh in before the vote. Chicago 2016 President Lori Healey told the 350 people assembled for the kick-off meeting at the McKinley Park field

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Update from No Games Chicago - 39 Days - Selling the bid

house on the Southeast Side that their support was crucial to winning the Games. "We can't do it alone," Healey said. "The IOC does not want to give the Olympic Games to a city whose residents don't want it. We will lose this race without your support." Well-versed in "the Chicago way," people attending the meeting wanted to know what's in it for them. A mother asked whether there would be money to open a bowling alley in Austin. Another city resident, who attended the St. Xavier University meeting on the Far South Side, wanted to know why there was so much fuss about winning the Summer Olympics when the city's focus should be on stopping the violence that's ravaging some communities. Patrick Ryan, Chicago 2016's chief executive officer, answered: "Let me say that we can't, as the Olympic organizing committee, impact [social] problems. We all suffer with that emotionally."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 38 Days - 2016 economic impact claim...

No Games Chicago Update 38 Days To Decision Daily News
August 24, 2009 The People Speak Please withdraw Chicago's bid to host the Olympics. No matter how it is spun, the Olympics being here will displace the poor, trample civil liberties, and cost the city billions, which we will be paying for for generations. Don't let it happen! Corinne Westing Chicago Signer of No Games online petition
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The veracity of Chicago's 2016 leadership comes under renewed criticism today in Crain's Chicago Business, our premier business news weekly.

Daley's Olympian stretch
By: John Pletz - August 24, 2009 Mayor Richard M. Daley's prediction that the 2016 Olympics would give Chicago's economy a $22.5-billion boost vastly overstates the likely benefits of hosting the games, experts say. "That's crazy," says Victor Matheson, a professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts who has studied the economic impact of the Olympics. "Anyone using this $22.5-billion number as justification to vote for the Olympics is being led down the garden path." The figure far exceeds estimated benefits in forecasts prepared by other cities that have sought the games. Atlanta, for example, figured the games it hosted in 1996 would produce an economic jolt of just $7 billion in 2009 dollars. Similarly, the Chicago Olympics bid committee's prediction that the 2016 games would create 315,000 jobs over 11 years is more than four times the jobs estimate for Atlanta. Chicago's bid committee is touting the $22.5-billion figure as it tries to rally support for the 2016 games and persuade the City Council to approve a blanket guarantee of Olympics expenses. Mr. Daley's estimate of likely costs - $4.8 billion, including construction - already has been called into question. If projected benefits appear unrealistic, the council would have another reason to reject the guarantee when it votes next month. Economic benefits of the 2016 games are more likely to range between $11 billion and $17 billion, based on the analysis of economists who question two key assumptions underlying the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 38 Days - 2016 economic impact claim...

Chicago 2016 committee's estimate. The committee's economic study predicts a tourism boom following the games, something other host cities didn't see. And it applies an unusually high "multiplier" effect to Olympics-related spending. The forecast predicts the 2016 Olympics will generate $8.4 billion in direct spending, more than twice the $3.1 billion forecast in Atlanta. Some $7 billion of the Chicago 2016 figure represents tourism spending during and after the games.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

The committee predicts attendance in 2016 would exceed Atlanta's by 48%, owing to the increase in the number of events and larger venues. Economist Sanjay Varshney of California State University, Sacramento, who co-authored the committee's forecast, says that's one reason for the high tourism spending figure. Another is Chicago 2016's prediction that the city will see a $1.9-billion rise in tourism revenue in the five years after the games. Committee Chairman Patrick Ryan frequently points to Australia's increase in tourism after the 2000 games in Sydney, saying the number of international visitors passing through the city's airport has risen 25% since then. But an expected $2.2-billion boost in tourism spending during the five years after the games "never materialized" for Sydney, says economist John Madden of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Dennis Tootelian, of Sacramento State, the other co-author of Chicago 2016's report, stands by his prediction: "When you take a look at the press the last Olympics received, that opens markets internationally. Over time, tourism should grow as the exposure grows."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 38 Days - 2016 economic impact claim...

Without the post-Olympics tourism boost, direct spending predicted for the Chicago games would slip to $6.5 billion. The follow-on impact of that direct spending is another area where economists say Chicago 2016 goes too far. The committee predicts a "multiplier" effect of 2.67, or $1.67 in additional spending for every dollar in direct Olympics spending. That's far higher than the 2.2 multiplier used in Atlanta's forecast for the 1996 games and the 1.68 figure that Washington, D.C., used in connection with its bid for the 2012 games. "Typically, anything over 2 is pretty questionable," says Scott Watkins, a consultant at Anderson Economic Group LLC, a Lansing, Mich.-based firm that studies the impact of sporting events and expects to release next month an economic impact forecast for a Chicago Olympics. Mr. Varshney and other economists note that multiplier effects are often higher in larger metropolitan areas like Chicago with economies big and diverse enough to absorb more follow-on spending locally. Mr. Tootelian says the multiplier is dictated by data fed into ImPlan, a frequently used economic-forecasting software program. "We don't set it." Even economist who use ImPlan question the 2.67 multiplier. "I'm not sure how you get an induced impact that large," says Richard Clinch, a researcher at the University of Baltimore who co-authored the Washington forecast. Mr. Tootelian dismisses questions about the proper multiplier, saying, "Even if it is 2, we're talking almost $17 billion in economic impact." Predicting the economic effect of a future event is inherently speculative, but $17 billion is 24% less than Chicago 2016 says the games would inject into the local economy. And if the 1.68 multiplier used by D.C. is applied to the $6.5 billion economists consider a more realistic direct spending estimate, the benefits of the games would be $10.9 billion, less than half the committee's projection. Similarly, the committee's forecast of 315,000 jobs over the 11-year period starting in 2011 is eye-popping compared to Atlanta and Washington, which estimated 77,000 and 70,000, respectively. Mr. Matheson of Holy Cross says a study he conducted with Lake Forest College economics professor Robert Baade found that the Atlanta games actually created about 42,000 jobs at most. "The Olympics in Chicago would be cool," Mr. Matheson says. "But don't expect them to make you rich."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 37 Days - 2016 bid "ragged" and "smells"

No Games Chicago Update 37 Days To Decision Daily News
August 25, 2009 The People Speak NO OLYMPICS IN CHICAGO - NOT IN 2016, NOT EVER. With budged defecits running more than 450 Millions for the schools, the highest sales tax rate in the nation, an 11.5 trillion dollar defecit for the State of Illinois and only God knows what the true defecit is for the City itself because Dailey keeps selling assets, we do not need, and we do not want this added financial burden. NO OLYMPICS, NO WAY, NOT IN 2016, NOT EVER! Bruce Barnes
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 Committee continues to come under withering fire from the local press. Here are two items from yesterday.

Olympic Bid Running Ragged Chicago losing steam as facts emerge
By STEVE RHODES - NBC News Online

The home stretch for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid looks about as promising as the Cubs winning their division. The local organizing effort is springing leaks in every direction. Emergency ward meetings designed to quell unrest over the about the taxpayer liability aren't working. "People are just not buying into the spin coming out," Stephen Alexander, a senior research fellow at DePaul University's Egan Urban Center, tells the Tribune. Alexander has attended several of the ward meetings and played witness to aggressive questioning from citizens and disingenuous answers from Olympic officials. Some residents are also unhappy that the ward meetings are

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Update from No Games Chicago - 37 Days - 2016 bid "ragged" and "smells"

Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

happening now -- as an obvious attempt at damage control -instead of early on. "Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to have all these meetings last year or the year before or the year before to get all this out before we had to sign a host-city contract that will obligate to us to anything the IOC committee wants?" Joan Levin, a member of No-Games Chicago, asked at one ward meeting, according to the Trib. Last week AFP reported that the Chicago effort was losing momentum while Rio was on the move. A source told the news agency that officials behind the Chicago bid had alienated IOC members who had previously been on their side. A large chunk of the blame has been laid at the feet of the United States Olympic Committee, which recently pulled a controversial broadcast plan off the table to appease the IOC, but the damage might not be repaired in time - and trust retained - for Chicago to win its bid. - And Crain's reports what close observers have known for a long time but the media is only now examining: that Mayor Daley's claims of a $22.5 billion economic boost from hosting the Summer Games is pure fantasy. "That's crazy," Holy Cross professor Victor Matheson, who has studied the economic impact of the Games, told Crain's. "Anyone using this $22.5 billion number as justification to vote for the Olympics is being led down a garden path." Truly, this bid feels like its in reverse. A well-oiled machine at the outset is turning ragged at the finish line. That's what happens when folks finally start asking questions; sometimes the truth emerges. Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Greising: Olympic Secrecy "Doesn't Smell Very Good"
Josh Kalven on August 24, 2009 - Progress Illinois This month, Tribune business columnist David Greising has written two pieces urging more disclosure on the part of Chicago's Olympic bid committee and, in doing so, spurred a lengthy editorial from his paper on the topic. On Friday, he appeared on Chicago Tonight's "Week in Review" show to discuss the games and continued to push back against the committee's assurances that they are being "open and transparent." Watch it (full video here):

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Update from No Games Chicago - 37 Days - 2016 bid "ragged" and "smells"

GRIESING: It's interesting. I've talked to people at the Olympic committee -- Chicago 2016 -- and they all believe that they've been the most open and transparent group that has ever been seen in the face of the Olympic movement. And yet, a few weeks away, 40-some days away from the October 2 vote, we still don't know who these insurance companies are that are supposed to be backing -guaranteeing the bid. We have no idea who any of the developers are of the Olympic Village. The guarantee they're looking for -- the unlimited guarantee from the city -we don't know much about. We've had a little bit of corruption -- not corruption, conflicts of interest pop up with this Michael Scott -- this Olympic committee member who is involved in a development near the village. It's just all kind of stirring around and it doesn't smell very good to longtime Chicagoans.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 36 Days - Mayor gets an earful - "Stupi...

No Games Chicago Update 36 Days To Decision Daily News
August 26, 2009 The People Speak "If you can get that money together for a stupid Olympics, you can take that money and put more police on the street." Judith Rodgers Chicago Speaking to Mayor Daley at a public forum on Chicago's 2010 budget at the South Shore Cultural Center August 25
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

It's been a VERY rough few days for Mayor Daley. He appeared at a public meeting on our 2010 budget last night on the City's South Side. Many angry citizens demanded to know why essential city service continue to be cut back while he pursues his dream of bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. Here are just a few of the stories covering his troubled administration.

Here's a gem from our public radio station's overage of the hearing. "The mayor didn't answer that - or most - questions directly, instead asking his staff to meet people individually. A handful of speakers brought up the city's 2016 Olympic bid almost all, like Judith Rodgers, opposed to it. RODGERS: If you can get that money together for a stupid Olympics, you can take that money and put more police on the street." You can listen to this short clip by using the Evoca player by clicking here.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 36 Days - Mayor gets an earful - "Stupi...

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Click to read article

Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Click to read article

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Update from No Games Chicago - 36 Days - Mayor gets an earful - "Stupi...

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Update from No Games Chicago - 35 Days - 2016 Committee finances crit...

No Games Chicago Update 35 Days To Decision Daily News
August 27, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The unfavorable publicity for the 2016 Committee and its work continues today with the release of the Civic Federation's review of the 2016 bid financing. This review was ordered by the City Council and was directed by the Civic Federation, an independent good government group. The Civic Federation hired L.E.K. Consulting to do the actual research. Olympic 'real estate risks' Athletes' village could be financial drain, consultant says Chicago Sun-Times August 26, 2009 - FRAN SPIELMAN and LISA DONOVAN

The People Speak I oppose the Olympics coming to Chicago. We have a great city that needs a lot of work to make it livable for all citizens. The time and money devoted to hosting and promoting the Olympics is misspent. The true priorities should be quality of life, safety, education, environment and jobs.
Chicago's $4.8 billion operating budget for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games provides "adequate protection" for taxpayers, but the $1.1 billion Olympic Village exposes the city to "ongoing real estate risks" that must be insured and closely managed, the Civic Federation has concluded. The Civic Federation and its handpicked consultant, L.E.K. Consulting of London, conducted a six-week review of Chicago's Olympic bid at the City Council's request after the furor caused by Mayor Daley's pledge to match the full government guarantee promised by rival cities -- and Chicago 2016 Chairman Pat Ryan's decision to keep aldermen in the dark about it. Today, the study was hand-delivered to aldermen, who are expected to vote next month on whether to authorize Daley to sign the blank-check promise. The report recommends that: * the Olympic Organizing Committee that replaces Chicago 2016 be led by a "professional and experienced management team" that selects employees and contractors "based on non-political criteria." * The City Council ride herd over the games by mandating

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Update from No Games Chicago - 35 Days - 2016 Committee finances crit...

Karen Harlander Chicago Signer of No Games Chicago online petition

"regular reports." *That insurance coverage designed to limit the contribution from Chicago taxpayers to the $500 million the City Council has already pledged include "capital replacement insurance" for the Olympic Village to be built on the campus of Michael Reese hospital. "If developers proceed with the village as planned and are not required to buy the insurance, then taxpayers could be exposed to risk," the report states, noting that Chicago 2016 has a $68.3 million insurance budget. "It is critically important that aldermen provide legislative oversight to ensure the Organizing Committee is sticking to the detailed plan laid out by the Bid Committee," said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall. "Some of the greatest risk ... does not come from the plan itself, but from not following the plan." The report reveals that the city expects to spend $122 million on direct city services during the games, including police, fire and emergency services, however, public safety expenses would be reimbursed by the federal government. City costs after federal help are estimated at $41 million. Those costs would be covered by revenues generated by the amusement tax assessed on ticket sales and some sales taxes tacked on to Olympic concessions and merchandise.

Civic Fed OKs 2016 cost forecast - except for Olympic Village By John Pletz - Crain's Chicago Business - Aug. 26, 2009

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

The Civic Federation has come out with a report that generally concurs with Mayor Richard M. Daley's budget projections for the 2016 Olympics - with the exception of the development of the Olympic Village. In a highly anticipated report, the tax-policy group said that "the operating budget, including venue construction, proposed by (Chicago) 2016 is fair and reasonable." But it warns that the Olympic Village, which would house athletes if Chicago gets the games, exposes the city to "continuing real estate risks that must be managed." The report recommends that the city purchase additional insurance to protect against cost overruns on the $1-billion project. See related story: "The next Olympic land mine" Patrick Ryan, CEO of the bid committee called the report "very gratifying." "We've been working on it for over three-and-half years, and they came out with the conclusion confirming what we've been saying all along," Mr. Ryan said. While the Civic Federation found the projected $3.8-billion operating budget "fair and reasonable," it warned that several of the mayor's estimates of how much revenue the games would generate are "optimistic compared with previous games." Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said the Olympic

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Update from No Games Chicago - 35 Days - 2016 Committee finances crit...

Village project presents the greatest risk in the bid because it's the most expensive project and relies on private developers. Last month, the city paid $86 million for the Near South Side land under what used to be Michael Reese Hospital. The intention is to sell the land to a private developer that would build the Olympic Village if Chicago lands the 2016 Summer Games, or turn it into private housing if Chicago is outbid. Vancouver and London, hosts of the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, respectively, have had to step in with public money for Olympic housing projects when private funding dried up during the global recession. Chicago 2016 told the Civic Federation that it has identified a relatively new class of insurance, called capital-replacement coverage, that would cover a financial shortfall on the part of developers. Mr. Msall says such coverage costs about $17 million per $250 million of coverage, and the bid committee is contemplating about $2 billion worth of coverage. That would cost Chicago 2016 $137 million. The Civic Federation's report says that such insurance - along with other policies the city plans to buy to cover everything from event liability to default by corporate sponsors - should be sufficient to shield taxpayers from financial risk, but only if Chicago 2016 sticks to its current financial plan. "Much of the protection planned by the 2016 committee requires the purchase of insurance," Mr. Msall said. "That insurance is not yet available until it's determined whether Chicago gets the bid or not. That is the role where the City Council has to step forward with oversight." Such insurance will increase the amount of private donations the Olympic committee will have to raise to $269 million to $287 million. Previously, the bid committee expected it would have to raise $246 million to cover previously identified construction-fund shortfalls. The group's report comes in advance of the City Council's vote on whether to authorize a host city contract. The contract means the city would have unlimited financial liability for hosting and planning the games, a move drawing sharp criticism at a time when Chicago faces a growing budget shortfall. Some have slammed Mr. Daley for going back on his word that no public dollars would be used for the event. The host-city guarantee is set to be presented to the City Council's Finance Committee on Sept. 8, followed by a full council vote Sept. 9. Aldermen asked the Civic Federation to undertake the review, which was performed by London-based LEK Consulting and cost more than $100,000. Mr. Msall said the analysis was paid for largely with donations from private groups such as the MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and the Chicago

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Update from No Games Chicago - 35 Days - 2016 Committee finances crit...

Community Trust. The International Olympic Committee requires bid cities to sign the host city contract. Chicago is competing against Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. The IOC will announce the host city on Oct. 2.
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Update from No Games Chicago - 34 Days - Trubune: "Olympic pitfalls a...

No Games Chicago Update 34 Days To Decision Daily News
August 28, 2009 The People Speak
Please award the 2016 Olympic games to a city other than Chicago. Awarding them to Chicago could well damage the Olympic brand by inspiring contempt for the games. Here is my reasoning. Chicago now runs a deep deficit. It can hardly afford the games. Organizers of the Chicago bid recently toured the city in an attempt to build up support for the Chicago bid among people other than city employees and contractors. During that tour, one of the organizers admitted that Chicago could afford the games only by appropriating city parks for the purpose. We are so poor we have to take opportunities for recreation away from Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The unfavorable publicity for the 2016 Committee and its work continues today following the release of the Civic Federation's review of the 2016 bid financing. This review was ordered by the City Council and was directed by the Civic Federation, an independent good government group. The Civic Federation hired L.E.K. Consulting to do the actual research. David Greising is the business reporter for the Chicago Tribune. RACE FOR THE 2016 GAMES

Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid: Deeper look shows potential financial pitfalls
David Greising - August 28, 2009 The Chicago 2016 Olympics committee is determined for Chicago to host the Games, come hell or high water. But Chicagoans, who are being asked to guarantee the Games, need to worry about what will happen if we get both hell and high water. The Civic Federation gave a remarkably robust go-ahead to the Olympics bid on Wednesday. The financial watchdog group's president, Laurence Msall, stepped before microphones in City Hall and declared that the Chicago 2016 projection of a $451 million financial surplus is "fair and reasonable." Everyone expects Chicago 2016 to puff up the potential of their Summer Games. By the same token, there are people with every bit as strong a motivation to take a careful look at how much it would cost if things go terribly, financially wrong. For such worrywarts, a close read of the Civic Federation report reinforces their skepticism of all this Olympics hoopla.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 34 Days - Trubune: "Olympic pitfalls a...

citizens. Appropriating city parks for up to two years, parks that are now regularly used by Chicagoans, will undoubtedly generate resentment and contempt for the Olympics. For instance, the planned tennis venue near my home requires the construction of a tennis stadium in a heavily trafficked area of the park. This confiscation of park land will obstruct and prevent the use of 4 baseball fields, 16 tennis courts, a lovely stand of trees, a parking lot for golfers and a picnic area as well as be perilously close to a prized area for migratory birds. To simultaneously anger golfers, ball players, tennis players, bird lovers, and casual park users is quite a large gaffe. Security and construction required for the construction (2 years) will also close a path by the area, a path that now carries continual traffic of bicycle riders, joggers, and walkers. What a blunder! What a blunder to displace so many athletes in the name of promoting athletics. I for one resent it.

Take a careful look at Msall's report, and one can only wonder: Did he read the darn thing? For starters, there is that problematic graph that shows a variety of potential shortfalls that add up to $864 million in red ink. That's enough to wipe out the Olympic committee's projected budget surplus and then some. We're not talking doomsday scenarios, either. Between now and the Games, a mere 1 percent difference in the annual growth rate of sponsorship revenue adds up to a $234 million shortfall. A 10 percent increase in construction costs would lop $146 million from the budgeted surplus, not that construction projects in Chicago ever go over budget. Other assumptions and projects not delineated on the graph further compound the sense of risk. Naming rights figure prominently in the Chicago 2016 budget: $15.7 million for the velodrome and another $19 million for two facilities, the rowing and shooting venues. In other words, the bid committee expects revenue that approximates the most lucrative naming deal in sports: slapping Citibank's name on the New York Mets' new stadium at a cost of $20 million a year. Chicago's most lucrative deal to date, for U.S. Cellular Field, nets all of $3.4 million a year. Employee benefits are budgeted at 25 percent of salary, when the going rate in Chicago is 30 percent, the report notes. The cost difference? Some $25.5 million. The bid committee budgets $9 million in outside legal costs. That may sound like a lot, but it's less than one-third the estimate of the bid committee's own legal department, which pegged the cost at between $25 million and $40 million. Much is made of all the insurance to be taken out to cover any budget shortfalls. The bid committee boasts plans to secure $1 billion in various policies, on top of the $500 million city guarantee and $250 million in state backing. "We talk about it as 'belt and suspenders' protection," said Rick Ludwig, chief financial officer of the Chicago bid. The sort of shortfalls spelled out by the Civic Federation would happen only in a "perfect storm," he added. Here's what the bid committee doesn't talk much about: The insurance would not cover a great many of the shortfalls laid out in the Civic Federation report. The insurance is meant to cover major disasters: cancellation of the Olympics, for example, or a sponsor's bankruptcy. The worst likely will not happen. The Games likely are not headed for financial disaster. If professionally managed, with careful oversight and a little luck, chances are the Chicago Olympics can succeed. But in guaranteeing the Games -- unequivocally, without limit,

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Update from No Games Chicago - 34 Days - Trubune: "Olympic pitfalls a...

An old Chicago saying about corruption goes, "Chicago ain't ready for reform." It also ain't ready to host the games. I would appreciate it if you could convey my message to the members of the IOC. Ask them to vote for a city other than Chicago. William M. Kudlaty Chicago

come hell or high water -- that's a chance Chicago taxpayers are being asked to take.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC:

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Update from No Games Chicago - 33 Days - The city that furloughs

No Games Chicago Update 33 Days To Decision Daily News
August 29, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Sometimes a simple letter to the editor from an average citizen is worth more than all the reporting and editorializing that we have been sending you. This letter appeared in the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! The city that furloughs Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"
August 28, 2009 "The city that works" is what Richard J. Daley dubbed Chicago. How sad would he have been to have seen our recent "reducedservice" day, with all but emergency services closed to Chicago's taxpayers and citizens. Can we have any better example of the abject fiscal failure his son Richard M. has been as mayor than these reduced-service days? They show us that it's obviously a lot easier being mayor when the cash is flowing in during market and real estate bubbles.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 33 Days - The city that furloughs

However, it's quite another thing to be prepared for the times when those days have ended. After all, isn't that what we elect a mayor for, to make such preparations that would allow city services to continue during the bad times as well as during the good? But, the history of the second Daley administration has never been one of preparations. It has been a history of do it on the fly, grab the quick buck, plug the hole in the dike and pray. An example is taking cents on the dollar for parking meter or airport deals and then patting yourself on the back for your ingenuity. Right now, the only long-term plan Mayor Daley seems to have, for anything, is Olympics, Olympics, Olympics. What we do to pay for the needs of Chicago's citizens, between 2016 and now, though, no one seems to know, especially Richard M. Daley. Most insulting is that the $25 million in TIF funds Daley just gave away to United Airlines, from Chicago taxpayers' pockets, to move into the unblighted Willis Tower, would have paid to keep city workers working all three of this year's scheduled reducedservice days, three times over. -- Walter R. Kowalczyk, Chicago

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Update from No Games Chicago - 32 Days - Arab-American commentator...

No Games Chicago Update 32 Days To Decision Daily News
August 30, 2009 The People Speak Olympic losses Why don't we put the cost of any anticipated and/or realized loss from the Olympics on the people and corporations that stand to gain from them? Build into any contracts a clause that attaches a percentage of the value of the contract as a bond to offset any loss suffered by the City of Chicago. This should occur with any contract with a value greater than $10,000. This would shield small suppliers (if there were to be any this small). Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The unfavorable publicity for the 2016 Committee and its work comes from a wide range of sources and points of view. Ray Hanania writes columns analyzing Middle East issues that are distributed internationally. Winner of three Lisagor Award for Column Writing, Hanania was also named Best Ethnic American Columnist by the New America Media in November of 2007. He also hosts a daily radio show and maintains several public affairs blogs. He has criticized Mayor Daley and the 2016 Committee for discrimination against the city's extensive Arab-American community. Click here or on the image to watch his commentary.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 32 Days - Arab-American commentator...

Rosanne Barrett Northfield Letter to the Editor Chicago Tribune August 30, 2009

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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No Games Chicago IOC Newsletter - No Confidence in Civic Federation...

PRESS RELEASE August 31, 2009

For Immediate Release Contact: For more information: Tom Tresser, 312-804-3230, tom@tresser.com Or Bob Quellos, 773-531-2341, rquellos@gmail.com http://www.nogameschicago.com/report

IOC NEWSLETTER - Aug. 31, 2009

No Games Chicago Has No Confidence in Civic Federation 2016 Report
(Chicago) No Games Chicago today issued its own review of the Civic Federation's review of the 2016 Committee's finances. "What we've got here is the sheep paying the foxes to audit the wolves" said No Games organizer Tom Tresser. "There are so many conflicts of interest in the inception, staffing and execution of this report as to make it virtually toothless." Nevertheless, despite the many flaws in the reporting process, the document still reveals many new reasons for Chicagoans to be concerned about the 2016 bid process and its authors. No Games Chicago has a number of major objections to this report: THE KEY PLAYERS ARE BIASED (Page numbers refer to the L.E.K. report unless otherwise indicated. Additional information and back up for this assertion is available at our website.) 1. The sponsoring body, the Civic Federation, is hardly impartial. Of the 82 board members listed at the end of the Civic Federation's 2007 annual report 40 or almost 50% - work for companies that are supporters of the 2016 bid - either as donors or members of the 2016 Committee. 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan is displayed prominently in the Civic Federation's 2007 report because he was awarded their 2007 Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution to the city. He is also a major donor to the Civic Federation. Three of the seven funders of this study were major donors to the 2016 Committee. The Chicago Community Trust, the MacArthur Foundation and the Polk Brothers Foundation have donated a total of $3 million to the 2016 Committee. 2. L.E.K. Consulting, the firm hired by the Civic Federation, has ties to both the city administration and the Olympic movement. L.E.K. has done major consulting work for the City of Chicago and has a major proposal pending - regarding retail opportunities at O'Hare Airport. The firm did work on the privatization of the Monroe Street garages (p.1). How can we expect them to be critical of the

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No Games Chicago IOC Newsletter - No Confidence in Civic Federation...

Olympic bid when they know this is Mayor Daley's obsession? In addition, L.E.K. has done work on Olympic bids, according to Civic Federation President Lawrence Msall, quoted in Crain's Chicago Business online. L.E.K. called upon subject matter experts friendly or directly beholden to the bid process. The list of experts "consulted to understand how the 2016 budget was crafted" shows 15 individuals from14 companies. Ten of those individuals were from eight companies that have donated to the 2016 Committee - that's two thirds of the "experts" consulted. If your firm is a major contributor to the 2016 effort what sort of perspective are you going to bring to a review process? (p.7) 2016 ASSUMPTIONS UNCHALLENGED - TOUGH QUESTIONS UNASKED 1. The Civic Committee's Narrative Summary says that "the following report is not a financial audit but rather a high-level review." (p. 3) So they're NOT really running the numbers but "testing the assumptions" used to develop the plan. 2. The report adheres to the fantasy that the 2016 committee is independent of City Hall and that their plans will be executed without the endemic corruption and overruns that have plagued every city project for decades. 3. Assumptions regarding the Olympic Village are extremely optimistic and are unwarranted given Olympic history and the Chicago marketplace. The report accepts the committee's estimate that the Village, which will contain 7,300 athlete units, will cost about $1.2 billion to complete. The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Village, 1100 athlete units, is now estimated to cost almost $1 billion. How can Chicago possibly construct 7 times the space at approximately the same cost for a project that will take place seven years from now? The report does not question the feasibly of finding private developers who will undertake this project. However, a report in Crain's Real Estate Daily quotes a principal at Kargil Development as saying lenders today will not finance more than 60-70% of a project, leaving taxpayers to pick up as much as $720 million if the project comes in on budget. This is in addition to $110 million in TIF funding for infrastructure costs. The private development of the Vancouver and London villages ran into severe economic difficulties and left the citizens of both cities will the entire bill for completing the buildings. Once the Olympics are over, the city may be responsible for selling those units in a condominium market that has historically been volatile and risky. An aggressive estimate assumes the market will be able to absorb all 2,000 of the units created from the athletes' housing at a premium price over several years, although the report notes that "the true costs and sales potential will not be evident until trends in the construct and real estate markets become more certain." (p. 64-65) 4. Local sponsorships and donations are budgeted at substantially higher rates than previous Olympics (the report calls them "aggressive") and depends on many companies to participate at historic levels. However, no fundraising plans to achieve those goals have been established. The $1.8 billion in sponsorship revenues, which account for one-third of total budgeted revenues, are $1 billion more than was achieved in Atlanta in 1996 (p. 20). $177 million in naming rights, considered "donations" by the 2016 committee, are based on revenue costs and not on the market for naming rights. For example, the committee has set a target of $19 million for naming rights for the shooting and the rowing venues, equal to the amount Citibank pays annually (for a seven month season and 81 home games) for the right to put its name on the Mets stadium. Naming rights for the Olympic Stadium are budgeted for $47 million in a time of corporate cutbacks and cost cutting! (p. 26) 5. The contingency of $451 million included in the budget is likely to be insufficient if the

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No Games Chicago IOC Newsletter - No Confidence in Civic Federation...

aggressive sponsorship and donation are not reached and construction costs are more than 10% over budget, as overruns have been in major Chicago projects such as Millennium Park, Block 37, and the Monroe Street garage. 6. Although the 2016 committee has repeatedly maintained that not one penny of taxpayer money is included in the Olympic bid, the report makes clear the City of Chicago and its citizens will be supplying, in addition to the $86 million in costs to buy the Michael Reese site (plus tens of millions for security, demolition and remediation costs), $110 million in TIF funding for the Olympic Village site (p. 66) and $35 million supplied by the Park District to build a velodrome in Douglas Park and a slalom canoe and kayak course on Northerly Island (p. 73), neither of which was requested by the citizens of Chicago and neither of which would have been thought of except for this Olympic scheme -- at a time when employee cutbacks have caused beaches to open later and close earlier and parks to be cleaned less often, when park programs have been cut and fees raised. 7. It was only after the L.E.K. report was issued that Chicago 2016 revealed its latest insurance policy to be put in place in the event of cost overruns -- leaving the plan for taxpayer protection unchecked by an outside body and L.E.K's review of Chicago 2016's proposed insurance policies virtually useless. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Chicago's bid team said it negotiated to move a $500 million "catastrophe" insurance policy to the front of the line of guarantees to be tapped. If that policy is exhausted, an additional $500 million in "umbrella" insurance will become available. After that, planners could tap Game revenues to date or take out a line of credit based on $450 million projected revenues from the Games." However, if a "catastrophe" or something of the like were to occur and the insurance fund is tapped, Chicago taxpayers would again be responsible for picking up the tab. And despite promises to taxpayers that insurance policies will pick up the tab, Natalie Moore of Chicago Public Radio reported that, "The insurance doesn't cover failure to secure sponsorships and game ticket sales," leaving taxpayers of Chicago on the hook for any portion of the optimistically budgeted $1.8 billion in sponsorship revenues not raised. L.E.K. reports, "If construction insurance is triggered and emptied, additional funds will be drawn from the contingency, city and state guarantees and then additional funds from the city" (p. 77). And with all the talk of "construction-overrun insurance" coming from Chicago 2016 it turns out that the policy isn't even required if Chicago is awarded the Games. L.E.K. states that, "cost overrun insurance will be optional as fixed price contracts may be negotiated instead of procuring the insurance." (p. 77) Again, leaving Chicago taxpayers exposed to cost overruns. No Games Chicago believes there are numerous fundamental problems with the L.E.K. report. "How can we trust the independence of L.E.K.'s report when it is was hand picked by individuals backing the bid and L.E.K. is currently competing for a contract at O'Hare's International Terminal that is worth $33 million a year in revenue? This whole process reeks of typical Chicago politics," says Bob Quellos of No Games Chicago. Even so, L.E.K.'s report does provide enough information to conclude that Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid is a raw deal for the people of the city. From shaky promises about insurance policies to over inflated projections on sponsorships and donations -- it is clear from L.E.K.'s report that Chicago 2016 is attempting to sell the people of the city a lemon.

No Games Chicago is an all-volunteer group of social justice activists, concerned citizens and grassroots organizations opposed to bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. The group was launched on January 31, 2009 with a public forum at the University of Illinois Chicago. ###

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Update from No Games Chicago - 30 Days - Tribune continues to criticize...

No Games Chicago Update 30 Days To Decision Daily News
September 1, 2009 The People Speak Olympic Ticket Prices Outrageous When it all started, I was all in favor of the city of Chicago bidding for the 2016 Olympics. The idea, I thought, was to participate in the spirit of the Olympics to bring friendship and sportsmanship as well as the financial rewards to the city and bring us into the world scheme of things. That was my idea until I read the article "2016 tickets would be as high as $1645" This, to say the least, is outrageous. With the economy as it is, and who
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: David Greising, the chief business reporter for the Chicago Tribune, continues to criticize the 2016 Committee on its lack of candor, transparency and believability with regard to preventing corruption and incompetence inside the operation of the Chicago olympic effort. RACE FOR THE 2016 GAMES Chicago 2016 bid committee still short of finish line on public disclosure Bid leader Pat Ryan says rules will solve disclosure problems -- but rules alone rarely are enough to stop corruption David Greising - September 1, 2009 Chicago 2016 is making commitments to disclose all kinds of information about the way money, clout and contracts would flow leading up to the Olympic Games the city hopes to host. The salaries of top executives, contributions made by individuals and companies that get Olympics contracts, the organizing committee's revenue and spending totals: All would be subject to disclosure, Chicago 2016 says. And how will anyone test whether there are no conflicts of interest? Simple, said Chicago 2016 chief executive Pat Ryan in a visit to the Tribune editorial board in advance of a City Council appearance Tuesday. "We test it by having the rule that we won't do that," Ryan said. Now there is an approach Chicago has never thought of before: Just make the right rules. Everyone will follow them, and we'll all live cloutlessly ever after. Had the rules just been clearer, no one would have turned the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 30 Days - Tribune continues to criticize...

knows how it will be in 2016, it would seem to me that in order to garner support of the people, who are afraid that their taxes will be used to pay for these games, that it would be good to get full participation of all the spectators who would like to see the games, not by reserving them for a select few who can pay that fee. I have always wanted to see an Olympic game, as have I am sure other people in this city, but if I and others are to be excluded by these outlandish prices and higher fares for transportation, Mayor Daley can forget about support from me and and others like me. John Ibes, Portage Park Letter to the Editor Chicago Sun-Times August 31, 2009

city's Hired Truck program into a symbol of graft. Tougher rules against patronage, and the Shakman decree would not have been necessary. When Shakman did not work, even better rules would have erased the need to hire an independent monitor to enforce the decree the city was ignoring in the first place. Better rules, and city pension funds would never have granted lucrative insurance business to a firm founded by Mayor Richard Daley's nephew. At a hearing Tuesday, the City Council is expected to focus mainly on the question of whether Chicago 2016 has presented a sound economic plan for the Games. A mostly adulatory Civic Federation report late last month largely made that question moot. And Chicago 2016 took a step further last week, redrawing its insurance lines to give more financial protection to taxpayers. Anyone who has watched Ryan and his team in action knows financial soundness is not the core issue. This group can shoot straight. They have the right mix of business acumen and Olympics know-how. But this is, after all, the bid committee from clout city. Whenever the words "Chicago" and "bid" come together, something regrettable often results, and with the Olympics there will be billions and billions of dollars in contracts for bid. Rules alone do not kill clout. Many not-so-good citizens of Chicago seem to have trouble following such rules. That is where the Freedom of Information Act comes in. It enables the public to learn who is following the rules and who is not. Though Chicago 2016 has taken strides to open itself to scrutiny, it is not yet going far enough. For starters, the organizing committee is both writer and enforcer of its own disclosure rules. That is problematic, to say the least. The bid committee is releasing names and salaries of only top officials -- those making more than $200,000. That hardly is the full-fledged list that might help the public trace the connections that show how clout affects who gets hired, who gets contracts and how much they are paid. If construction costs get out of control, Chicago's Olympics organizers will know, but the public will not. And without Freedom of Information, the public would never be able to trace the internal communications that might reveal what went wrong. What business does the public have in any of this? After all, Chicago 2016 is a private entity. The Chicago Olympic organizing committee would be, too, if Chicago wins the Games on Oct. 2. But the Chicago Olympic committee wants the public to guarantee it will cover any shortfall from the Games. That guarantee will make or break Chicago's bid. Even Chicago 2016 should know

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Update from No Games Chicago - 30 Days - Tribune continues to criticize...

that, in this town, no one gets something for nothing. The Games could and likely would be good for Chicago. But not at any price. The best way to keep costs -- and clout -- under control is to provide the public the same access it has to information about any other entity with that much power over the city's purse.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago" Jack Higgins' political cartoon from today's Chicago Sun-Times sums up how people feel about Mayor Daley and his 2016 Olympic Committee.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 29 Days - Scratch our backs, we'll 'Bac...

No Games Chicago Update 29 Days To Decision Daily News
September 2, 2009 The People Speak A check for $75.00 is in the mail. I sincerely wish it could be more. Please keep the pressure on these filthy crooked bastards, especially the Daley Administration. The level of corruption and deceit exhibited by many of our city officials is absolutely staggering! These individuals would sell their own mothers if a profit could be made. They are nothing more than a bunch of political thugs and scam artists. Have they already forgotten that Chicago is deep in the middle
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today's news cycle is all about your 2016 Evaluation Commission's report and how the 2016 Committee is spinning it. John Kass, the senior columnist for the Chicago Tribune, has an amusing, but very telling, take on the bid backers. Scratch our backs, we'll 'Back the Bid' John Kass - Chicago Tribune - September 2, 2009 Pat Ryan, the mayor's tough-minded point man for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, paused near my office on the way out of Tribune Tower recently. The poor fellow didn't want to stop. But he had to stop because once I saw him, I jumped up and ran out into the corridor and all but tackled him. That's when I dropped the Chicago Way on the guy and named my price for supporting the Olympics. "Hey, Pat, guess what? I'm ready to drop my opposition and support Chicago 2016! I'm ready to back the bid," I said, referring to the big "Back the Bid" promotion Sept. 13, in which such institutions as the Art Institute and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will offer discounts to help drum up support for the mayor's Games. "Really? You're in support?" asked the distinguished, white-haired former insurance company magnate. "That's nice." I don't think he believed me. "Yes," I said, shaking Ryan's hand, pumping it up and down as if we'd just made a deal. "And all I want are the exclusive Gyros/Celtic Corn contracts, and the exclusive bottled water contracts for every Olympic venue. I mean, who's really gonna

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Update from No Games Chicago - 29 Days - Scratch our backs, we'll 'Bac...

of a serious financial crisis? The individuals who have been promoting Chicago as the best site for the 2016 Olympics are the very same people who are responsible for seriously mismanaging or squandering our limited resources. This fact alone should be of grave concern to the IOC Evaluation Commission. If the games are awarded to Chicago, the inevitable boycotts will be remarkable to say the least and nobody will be able to claim that they were not forewarned. The Olympic Games are a special "once in a lifetime" event for most athletes. They deserve so much more than a venue tainted with unrelenting controversy and shameful political scheming. I hope the IOC thinks so too and makes an informed decision. I give my personal thanks to everyone

know?" If you're wondering, there were witnesses present, including at least one distinguished member of the Tribune's editorial board, which is an august panel of specialists in economics, government, politics and foreign affairs, each with a fine grasp of subtle policy shifts and nuance. (And a couple of them bring some really tasty baked goods for coffee time.) Naturally, I am not a member. But I did have Ryan's hand. And I wasn't letting go. "Nice seeing you," Ryan said, trying to escape. I didn't have to tell Ryan this, but there is no Freedom of Information law mandating reporting requirements on who gets what if the Games come to Chicago. There's just a promise by Ryan about full disclosure and another promise that clout will have no place at Mayor Richard Daley's Olympics. I've never heard of Ryan lying about anything. His promises about disclosure are nice promises. Olympic disclosure is a subject that my Tribune colleague David Greising has written about extensively. Promises aren't law. There is no force of law behind the vows to disclose who gets what so the public can see who's really getting the Olympic gold. Such disclosure laws apply to other agencies, but Illinois is still the most politically corrupt state in the union. Of the last three governors, two have been indicted for corruption and one is already in prison. And at City Hall, there has been conflict after conflict, and promise after promise from the mayor to stop it. He's been promising an end to conflicts and cronyism for 20 years. Yet in a few weeks, the International Olympic Committee will be deciding whether Chicago or some other town gets the 2016 Games. Billions of dollars will be spent on a two-week sports festival that will reshape the South and West Sides, erect some fantastically cool architecture, and, oh, some guys will get really rich. And the rest of us chumbolones in Illinois? We'll most likely end up paying for it one way or another, as we've paid for every deal, with ever-increasing taxes and fees. But since the Olympics are wired, why not get on board? Just do me a favor. Don't tell anyone about this, not even my editor. Keep it a secret among you and me and Ryan. Because without the force of law behind vows of disclosure, nobody really has to know, do they? "So I'm ready to back the bid," I told Ryan. "But don't forget the gyros, the corn, the bottled water contracts, and then I'm yours." "Uh-huh," Ryan said. If Chicago gets the 2016 Olympics, there will be about a gazillion tourists in town, and I plan on feeding them oodles of salty meat and salty starch. Once they're thirsty enough, I'll sell bottled

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Update from No Games Chicago - 29 Days - Scratch our backs, we'll 'Bac...

who has fought hard to end this Olympic sized charade. You are the true champions in my view and your selfless efforts will be an example to others. Thank you Again. Bill Schandelmeier, Chicago - Donor to No Games Chicago

Chicago tap water at an outrageous price, and with my monopoly, I'll make a fortune. If the 2016 Olympic committee keeps my name out of the newspapers and gives me the salt and water concessions, then I just might just become a cheerleader. "Hmm," Ryan said. "Ah." Then he walked away, looking over his shoulder every few feet to make sure I wasn't following. My young colleague, Wings, was sighing loudly at his desk. "What's wrong with you?" I hissed. "Go grab him! You're letting Ryan get away!" "You forgot to tell him about my Sangria stands," Wings whispered. "What about my exclusive 2016 Sangria stands? I want to wet my beak too." So I yelled at Ryan's back: "And Wings wants the exclusive Sangria contract! Remember, Sangria for Wings. Water and salt for me! We're your men!" He's such a nice fellow, that Mr. Ryan. He didn't actually promise anything -- perhaps the mayor wants to see if I really mean it this time -- but at least Ryan didn't say no. Actually, he didn't say anything. jskass@tribune.com

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to

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Update from No Games Chicago - 28 Days - It's official, Chicago rejects ...

No Games Chicago Update 28 Days To Decision Daily News
September 3, 2009 The People Speak Joyce Thoele, one of several poll respondents who spoke with the Tribune, said she did not believe Daley and others who said taxpayers are not at risk. She opposes Daley's Olympic plans and said she would not attend any events if the Games come here. "I'm against this because it's going to cost us taxpayers more money," said Thoele, 76, of the Northwest Side. "The older I get,
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: It's hard to overstate the importance of today's Update to you. The Chicago Tribune conducted a poll to measure public support for the bid. Chicago citizens overwhelmingly reject the notion of hosting and paying for the 2016 Olympics. 84% DO NOT WANT TAX DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THE GAMES. TRIBUNE/ WGN POLL

Olympic opposition getting second wind as support in Chicago fades 47 percent of Chicagoans polled favor the bid, but that support had been at 61 percent in February
By Todd Lighty and Kathy Bergen - September 3, 2009 Support in Chicago for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games has dwindled, with residents now sharply divided over whether the city should host the Games, a Tribune/WGN poll has found. Nearly as many city residents oppose Mayor Richard Daley's Olympic plans, 45 percent, as support them, 47 percent. And residents increasingly and overwhelmingly oppose using tax dollars to cover any financial shortfalls for the Games, with 84 percent disapproving of the use of public money.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 28 Days - It's official, Chicago rejects ...

the more I don't trust Chicago politicians." Mary Beth Nick, who lives in West Rogers Park, said the Olympics were not worth the disruption they would cause. "And I think we should concentrate on improving the quality of life in the city for more than a lot of visitors who are going to be here for a fortnight," she said. Chicagoans polled by the Chicago Tribune

The poll comes a month before the International Olympic Committee selects the host city for the 2016 Olympics. Chicago is competing against Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. The new results show slippage from the 2-to-1 support found in a Tribune poll in February, and experts said the findings could hurt Chicago's chances. "When less than half of the folks polled indicate they'd be willing to support the Olympics, that's certainly not an enthusiastic mandate for bringing the Games to Chicago," said sports finance expert Dennis Howard of the University of Oregon. "I can't speak for the IOC members who will be making the decision, but I'd be fairly certain this would not help the cause for Chicago." Patrick Ryan, who is leading the Chicago 2016 bid committee, declined to comment Wednesday about the poll results. But this morning, the committee issued a statement saying the poll was taken at a time when some taxpayers had lingering questions about whether they would be protected in the event of financial losses. "In the days since this poll was conducted, those questions have been answered and those concerns have been alleviated," said the committee's spokesman, Patrick Sandusky. Sandusky noted that the Civic Federation and the IOC issued reports stating that Chicago 2016's plan was financially responsible and posed "minimal risk to taxpayers." He added that aldermen have given the committee "high marks" for its plan. Also, Sandusky said, polling is only one way to evaluate community sentiment. He said the committee has raised $70 million in private donations and that more than 20,000 volunteers support the bid. The telephone survey of 380 Chicago registered voters, conducted Aug. 27 through Monday by Market Shares Corp., has a margin of error of 5 percentage points. The Tribune/WGN poll is the first measure of public sentiment since Daley did an about-face in June, saying he would sign the standard host city contract giving the city full financial responsibility for any losses -- a move that triggered a firestorm of criticism. Until then, the city had been lobbying for amendments to the contract that would recognize the city's limited guarantees.

Visit our web site and download the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 28 Days - It's official, Chicago rejects ...

"Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Poll respondents made it abundantly clear that they disapprove of Daley's promise of an unlimited guarantee in the event the Games lose money, with 75 percent opposed. In a city already upset over the privatization of parking meters and worried about further cutbacks in government services, those respondents who talked to reporters expressed concerns about the economy, the cost of hosting the Games and traffic congestion. Even a majority of those who favor the Olympics opposed using taxes to cover losses and were against the unlimited guarantee. Joyce Thoele, one of several poll respondents who spoke with the Tribune, said she did not believe Daley and others who said taxpayers are not at risk. She opposes Daley's Olympic plans and said she would not attend any events if the Games come here. "I'm against this because it's going to cost us taxpayers more money," said Thoele, 76, of the Northwest Side. "The older I get, the more I don't trust Chicago politicians." Mary Beth Nick, who lives in West Rogers Park, said the Olympics were not worth the disruption they would cause. "And I think we should concentrate on improving the quality of life in the city for more than a lot of visitors who are going to be here for a fortnight," she said. North Side resident Melanie Payne said she was ambivalent about the Olympics. She said the Games would provide an international showcase for the city, which she called the "most wonderful place to live." But she wondered about costs. Daley and members of his Chicago 2016 bid committee said most costs will be covered by revenues from the Olympics, developer financing and donations. They project making money but have lined up $750 million in city and state guarantees in case of losses. Chicago 2016 also has lined up $1 billion in private insurance coverage to protect taxpayers in the event of natural disasters, cancellation of the Games or a collapse of development financing. The Tribune/WGN poll was conducted over five days, beginning the day after the Civic Federation released a report that was generally supportive of the 2016 committee's financial plans. Aaron Williams-Banks, a college student who works part time for the Chicago Park District, favors the Games and believes taxpayers are adequately protected. "We need a boost to our economy," he said. "This is a great thing. The Olympics will help the city." When the Tribune last took the pulse of city residents on the Olympics in February, 61 percent supported the Games compared with 47 percent now. Opposition has grown from 26 percent in February to 45 percent now.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 28 Days - It's official, Chicago rejects ...

The IOC conducted its own poll in February, finding that 67 percent of the residents in Chicago and the suburbs were in favor. The IOC did not measure the sentiments of just city residents, as both Tribune polls did. Since the last Tribune poll, feelings against using tax money to cover any shortfalls have grown stronger, with 84 percent opposed now, compared with 76 percent in February. The extent to which the new poll influences IOC voters on Oct. 2, when the winning city is announced, will depend in large part on whether the results change the political landscape, said Kevin Wamsley, an Olympic historian at the University of Western Ontario. He said the fresh poll results could provide fodder for opponents. Kevan Gosper of Australia, one of the longest-sitting IOC members, said he believed Chicago's bid was gaining traction among Olympic voters. But he also said community support was an important element. "Normally," Gosper said, "you would hope public sentiment would be building as a candidate city approaches the competition."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 27 Days - Sports writer says "NO" to 2016

No Games Chicago Update 27 Days To Decision Daily News
September 4, 2009 The People Speak Totally bankrupt some other city, not Chicago. How about the mayor's family and the P. Ryan family guarantee everything before putting one single taxpayer $ on the hook ? We don't want this 2016 event. How often and in how many ways does the IOC need to hear this turndown? We are saying "no" the dance, so move on to the next available partner. L. Geiger
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The tide has turned in Chicago against hosting the 2016 Olympics. Every day sees more public outcry. Today's column is by the sports reporter from a popular local news site.

Boosters oversell benefits of sports venues - Say NO to 2016
Patrick Kissane - Chi-Town Daily News Jeff Long and Ken Manson report at the Chicago Tribune about the troubles that are beginning to ensnare the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. It was a story covered in part in this column too, when the United Hockey League Chicago Hounds were unable to reach an agreement with the Sears Centre for a lease renewal and folded. It could also be the future story of the Metro Centre in Rockford, home of the American Hockey League Rockford IceHogs and it could also be the story of the 2016 Olympics in Chicago. Public funding of large venues, from the Cell to the renovation of Soldier Field, has promised great financial rewards. But, according to the story by Long, the village of Hoffman Estates is on the hook for millions in bond repayments if the venue isn't profitable. First, of course, the current owners, a combination of the Ryan Companies US of Minneapolis and Sears Holdings must move to terminate their ownership. Sears had helped to sell the deal to the village by promising to cover the bond payments for four years, according to the story. Now that the four years are up, the ownership group is looking to bail. Potentially holding the bag:

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Update from No Games Chicago - 27 Days - Sports writer says "NO" to 2016

Chicago Signer of No Games Chicago online petition

the good citizens of Hoffman Estates. Cal Skinner, a well-known writer who edits the McHenry County Blog, has been following the effort by Crystal Lake to create a minor league baseball stadium in his blog. Skinner lists a number of studies that question some of the key sales points of proponents for large sports venues. But it doesn't matter what the opponents know about the lies put forward about economics by sports boosters. The boosters ignore the facts and continue to sell the dream of money falling from the sky. Here's the reality. Over at the Illinois Sports Finance Authority, once you get past the offal about helping the community, you can see that financially, the Chicago White Sox contribute a tiny 7.3 percent of the total revenue for the last fiscal year reported. Tax payers, including visitors to the city, contribute almost 87 percent of the total revenue needed to pay the ISFA's bonds through a subsidy of $5 million from each of the city and the state general fund and "hotel" taxes. Meanwhile, the ISFA makes this claim: "ISFA provided the public contribution, a total of $406 million, of the $606 million needed for the Chicago Lakefront Development project, including the significant restoration of Soldier Field. ISFA financed this operation through the issuance of municipal bonds backed by an existing 2 percent Authority Hotel Tax. This revenue did not come from State or City general revenue funds, nor is it a result of increased taxes for Chicago or Illinois residents."

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

It is Orwellian, at least, to claim that after being funded to the tune of 87 percent of your budget, that you did not use any of it to redevelop and restore Soldier Field. Can I get my part of this back please? A simple walk around the neighborhood that once called Comiskey Park home, will demonstrate that there wasn't a large scale redevelopment of the area. While the North Side went through a massive change which was largely funded by private developers, the South Side has largely languished. Further, I think it should be argued that the massive debt loaded onto Chicago taxpayers is a subsidy to the private company which owns the Chicago White Sox. To be fair, shouldn't the taxpayers also assist the Chicago Cubs? We live in a truly Orwellian place called Chicago. Guided by the mayor and the local Olympic boosters, we are being sold tripe about the economic benefits to the 2016 games. The mayor has defended tax increases by calling them abatements, has sold us tax increases by saying they won't effect us, just tourists. What I see in the Sears Centre floundering is mismanagement by the Sears Centre, boosterism by the local supporters resulting in the citizens holding the bag and a warning of what could happen on a massive scale in Chicago if it pursues the 2016 games. Boosters cannot and will not see futures that challenge their rosy forecasts. I am a citizen of Chicago, I am upset by the mismanagement by

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Update from No Games Chicago - 27 Days - Sports writer says "NO" to 2016

the city of its assets. I do not believe the committee and this mayor any more. I say NO to the games. NO to taxpayers assuming the risk. NO to this mayor and this inept City Council and even worse Cook County government.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 26 Days - Our transit system broken

No Games Chicago Update 26 Days To Decision Daily News
September 5, 2009 The People Speak How is it possible that Chicago is spending an obscene amount of money on the one hand to win this bid and on the other hand is pleading "no money" to properly run this city without further totally unethical political "theft" from the taxpayers. Not one person we know wants this 2016 event held here in Chicago. Take it else where. B. Geiger Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We've read the Evaluation Commission's report on the four 2016 finalist cities.Frankly, we think you missed a many relevant factors. One important problem that the report did note was the state of Chicago's mass transit system.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 26 Days - Our transit system broken

Chicago Signer of No Games online petition

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates our trains and buses. The Red Line is our major north/south line and it stops at the stadiums where the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs play. The above sign was posted at the Grand Street Station - in the heart of Chicago's major shopping district Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Chairman of Chicago's CTA Admits $7 Billion in Unfunded Repairs CTA Chairman Carole L. Brown gave a speech to the APTA Rail Conference in Chicago on June 15, 2009. In it she revealed an alarming backlog of repair work for our mass transit system. "We still have an almost $7 BILLION - yes, 7 BILLION DOLLARS of unfunded repair needs." Read her full remarks here.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 25 Days - 2016 under continued scrutiny

No Games Chicago Update 25 Days To Decision Daily News
September 6, 2009 The People Speak A recent Tribune poll showed 86% of Chicagoans against using tax money for the Olympics. What makes Chicago a great city isn't the skyline or the lakefront, or the arts, it is the people! Chicago people make this a great city, and the people have made it clear they do not want to pay for this mess! Even a Sun Times online poll showed 78% against the Olympics Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
The more people learn about Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics, the less they support it. Today's Chicago Sun-Times published a summary of the defects of the bid. Chicago 2016 Olympics debate amps up

CHICAGO 2016 | With decision a month away, here are pros, cons of hosting Games
September 6, 2009 - BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter - ldonovan@suntimes.com Chicago's now in the final lap. Next month, we'll find out whether Mayor Daley and his team cross the finish line first or go down as an also-ran in the race to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Chicago 2016 organizing committee is in the midst of a last-minute phone and letter-writing campaign to the 107-member International Olympic Committee, hoping to allay concerns that Chicago's transit system can't handle the influx of just over a million visitors during the Games or that Chicago's financing plans don't

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Update from No Games Chicago - 25 Days - 2016 under continued scrutiny

recently! Why doesn't the Sun Times reflect the views of their readers? Ken Kunz, reader comment on today's Sun-Times article

provide an adequate safety net. Chicago 2016 chief executive Patrick Ryan said the bid team wants IOC members, who will select a host city Oct. 2 in Copenhagen, to know they've cleared several hurdles, including getting the City Council's blessing for the mayor to sign the controversial host-city contract -which puts taxpayers on the hook if a Chicago Olympics ended up losing money. The mayor's announcement in June that he'd sign the agreement was a surprise, fueling criticism that the process was shrouded in secrecy. Even some of the aldermen were ticked off, and a ward-by-ward community meeting blitz followed. There, the Olympic bid team -- minusthe mayor -- touted the jobs and tourism dollars that pour in to an Olympic city. Still, some questioned whether the city could afford to host the Games. Here's a look at some of the pros and cons: Finances Pro: A "frugal" $4.8 billion plan to stage the Games, including an Olympic Village whose transformation from athlete dormitories to permanent housing is expected to help with costs. The Games would be bankrolled by private donors, and just under half of the planned venues are in existing facilities, touted as a cost-saver. Con: Chicago has a history of missing deadlines and going over budget with its big projects - including the $480 million Millennium Park, which opened in 2004. Allen Sanderson, a University of Chicago economics professor, said that while Chicago is making use of its existing facilities, "You're still building the biggest venues - the village, the stadium, which are not only big-ticket items for Chicago, but for . . . London, too." The Olympic Village is priced at around $1 billion, while the proposed Olympic Stadium in Washington Park is priced at $397.6 million. London is on track to spend $18 billion for the 2012 Olympics - more than double what it budgeted, Sanderson noted. Jobs Pros: Chicago 2016 has been touting that the Games would create 315,000 new job years, or roughly 31,000 jobs over a decade. Cons: Just what "315,000 job years means" is a stumper. Tom Tresser, spokesman for the group "No Games Chicago," said the figure doesn't say whether this is long-term employment or for a single year. And Tresser said he remains concerned that the Olympic

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 25 Days - 2016 under continued scrutiny

organizing committee running things - with City Hall entrenched in the process - will follow the tradition of trading jobs for political favors. Tourism Pro: With a projected 4 billion viewers tuning in to the Games and TV cameras panning across Lake Michigan and the dramatic skyline over Grant Park, Chicago could shed its image as a metropolis in flyover country and bump up its tourism numbers. Con: Just how long Olympic fever can sustain that remains in question. Legacies Pros: The IOC's evaluation team, in a visit here last spring, praised Chicago 2016 for creating a lineup of 31 venues that would leave behind no white elephants - like Beijing's architecturally stunning but now-empty Bird's Nest stadium. The city's plan makes use of 15 existing facilities and calls for building six new venues that would all be scaled back after the games - including the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium. Cons: The question remains, then, whether there's a visual centerpiece that would be left behind. "Maybe the Olympic Village - I don't know if it's a grabber or not," Sanderson said. "Depends on whether people want to walk through an Olympic Village." Transportation Pros: The city and region are expecting, as other American cities have, millions in federal dollars to fix and upgrade the public transit system. That's important, considering the IOC's concern that Metra might not be able to handle a spike in demand during the Games. Cons: Plans for public transit upgrades should be part of a 20-year plan and focus on regional and local needs. The concern, according to Sanderson, is that upgrades would be too tightly focused on July and August 2016 and not for the following years and decades. Also, during the Games, 366 miles of Chicago area roadways, including two lanes in either direction of Lake Shore Drive and single lanes of the Kennedy and Stevenson expressways, would be closed.

Chairman of Chicago's CTA Admits $7 Billion in Unfunded Repairs CTA Chairman Carole L. Brown gave a speech to the APTA Rail Conference in Chicago on June 15, 2009.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 25 Days - 2016 under continued scrutiny

In it she revealed an alarming backlog of repair work for our mass transit system. "We still have an almost $7 BILLION - yes, 7 BILLION DOLLARS of unfunded repair needs." Read her full remarks here.
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Update from No Games Chicago - 24 Days - Mayor says he wants oversigh...

No Games Chicago Update 24 Days To Decision Daily News
September 7, 2009 The People Speak Once again, the corrupt and spinless politicians of Chicago, have allowed Mayor Daley, to make underhanded decisions on the "behalf" of all Chicagoans. Mayor Daley has consistently LIED to Chicagoans about this Olympic bid and I don't trust him. He is only interested in himself and his cronies. NO OLYMPICS IN CHICAGO Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The 2016 bod is embroiled in continued controversy. Now there are two competing City Council laws to introduce oversight and monitoring to the 2016 bid process and beyond. Ben Joravsky from the Chicago Reader has a skeptical take on these two ordinances. The Sun-Times editorial cartoon shows what people think of the Mayor and his announced desires for good government and "transparency." The Substitute for the Substitute Posted by Ben Joravsky - Sep 1, 2009 I'm under no illusion that the 2016 Olympics-should we be so unlucky as to host them-will be anything but a waste of money, as the well-connected gorge themselves at the public's expense. So the best the City Council could do for the masses would be to effectively kill the games by passing First Ward alderman Manny Flores's original proposal to cap

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Update from No Games Chicago - 24 Days - Mayor says he wants oversigh...

public spending at $500 million. Erica Smith, Chicago Signer of No Games online petition But since Mayor Daley has made it clear that he won't let that legislation come up for a vote, much less win approval, the council's next best bet is to pass Flores's new proposal calling for strict oversights. (You can check out a PDF of it here.) Now it's clear the mayor won't let them do that either. Flores introduced his substitute proposal today and the mayor quickly countered with his own variation [PDF], which offers next to nothing in legitimate oversight. Click here for a chart that the alderman put together comparing the two proposals. "This ordinance will ensure greater public transparency about the Olympic finances as well as provide further protection to our taxpayers," Mayor Daley said in a prepared statement. Right. So here's how tough things are for open government in Chicago: Mayor Daley's pushing a substitute for the substitute for the real legislation our aldermen ought to pass. Hang tough, Manny. I guarantee you'll get votes from aldermen Scott Waguespack and Joe Moore and maybe even Roberto Maldonado-that is, if he can get his mind off his real estate holdings. Just kidding, Alderman M.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 24 Days - Mayor says he wants oversigh...

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Update from No Games Chicago - 23 Days - Proposed 2016 overseer exposed

No Games Chicago Update 23 Days To Decision Daily News
September 8, 2009 The People Speak This is the wrong time in this city's history -- hell, in this nation's history -- to gamble on whether or not the Olympics will bring money to this city. But because Daley and his cronies know the damage they take if it fails won't really hurt them, they are attempting to shove this down our throats. But it will hurt the little guy who works hard every day. And that's why he
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

Today the Chicago City Council Finance Committee voted to approve the signing of the Host City Contract and the Mayor's pledge to you that city taxpayers will cover all expenses of the 2016 games as needed. The Aldermen also voted to make the Committee's Chairman, Ed Burke, a member of the Operating Committee should Chicago be awarded the games. He will be expected to exercise oversight over 2016 operations on behalf of the citizens of Chicago. Unfortunately, Mr. Burke was exposed in today's Chicago Sun-Times as using Chicago tax dollars for his personal benefit. Crain's Chicago Business recently did a story on Alderman Burke explaining how the powerful alderman exercises no oversight at all over the Mayor's financial plans. The article stated that Alderman Burke takes in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and legal fees from firms that do business with the city. "Among recent contributions was $3,000 from Patrick Ryan, the former Aon Corp. CEO who chairs the Chicago 2016 Olympics committee. In his latest disclosure statement filed with the city, Mr. Burke reported receiving

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Update from No Games Chicago - 23 Days - Proposed 2016 overseer exposed

basically lied to us and the Olympic Committee about the financial coverage issue. Daley's like any other inveterate gambler at a roulette table. Sure, if his number falls he'll be the big hero--but if it doesn't, he loses his house and his family gets dumped out on the street. Unfortunately, we are his "family," and the "house" translates to loss of city services, extra taxes, etc. Also unfortunately for us, Daley is so fat, he is only minimally affected when he screws up...as he did with the overbudgeted Millennium Park...and the parking meter fiasco. Comment on CLTV News website,"Garrard McClendon Live" segment onthe 2016 bid

at least $5,000 in 2008 from each of 31 law clients that also do business with the city. His firm, Klafter & Burke, is known for its work on property tax appeals." We point these developments out to you so you will understand the outrage that will follow from Chicago taxpayers.

The fence that Burke built
Powerful alderman spent $45,499 in taxpayer money to build a sidewalk and fence longer than a football field that keeps teens from hanging around the railroad track behind his home CHRIS FUSCO and TIM NOVAK Staff Reporters- September 8, 2009 For years, the single railroad track south of Curie Metro High School on the Southwest Side had been a hangout for teens and a cut-through for commuters walking to and from the L's Orange Line station at Pulaski. Then, a year ago, City Hall put up a wrought-iron fence south of the track, eliminating the shortcut.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 23 Days - Proposed 2016 overseer exposed

This fence keeps people off a railroad track and away from the home (seen at

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

top right) of Ald. Edward Burke (inset).

That also stopped teens from hanging out by the neighborhood's newest and biggest house -- built and occupied by one of the city's most powerful politicians, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th). City taxpayers picked up the tab for the new wrought-iron fence and a sidewalk that directs pedestrians away from the house. It was Burke's call to put in the fence and sidewalk. He used his "aldermanic menu," a perk given to members of the Chicago City Council. They're given money they can spend on whatever public works projects they want in their wards. Burke -- who didn't respond to requests for comment for this story -- wanted the fence and sidewalk, each longer than a football field. "I am asking that . . . funds be allocated to the Department of Transportation for the purpose of installing a sidewalk along with a wrought-iron fence from Harding to Pulaski on West 51st Street," Burke said in an April 17, 2008, letter to city officials. "The reason for the installation of the sidewalk and wrought-iron fence is to prevent the students from Curie High School using this rail-road grade cross as a shortcut." Burke estimated the work would cost taxpayers $25,000. He was a bit off. By the time it was completed earlier this year, the bill came to $45,499, city records show -$14,079 for the sidewalk, $31,420 for the wrought-iron fence. That fence connects to the fence Burke already had around his $900,000 home. Before, people could walk right alongside his property.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 23 Days - Proposed 2016 overseer exposed

They can't anymore. From Burke's property, the fence runs west between the railroad track and a strip mall for a little less than a block, to Pulaski. The fence has done some good, neighbors say. They credit it with helping cut down on crime and fights and discouraging gang members from hanging around. "It's better than not having it," says one neighbor. But he also says: "It's really for Curie kids to stay off the tracks. Without that fence, they would go right past that house" -pointing to Burke's house. The alderman's home sits just south of the single track that, on average, is used by nine trains a day, most of them passing at under 10 mph, state records show. Another neighbor says it's obvious why the fence went up. And it's not to keep kids from crossing the track, she says. "I think it's to keep that house safe," she says, pointing to Burke's home. "If it was for the trains, they would have put it up a long time ago." Burke had the fence put up three years after his family moved into the house on the far southwest edge of his ward in 2005. Work on the fence began late last year. It was finished in April, city records show. Already, it's rusting.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

No Games Chicago Update 21 Days To Decision Daily News
September 10, 2009
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Yesterday the Chicago City Council voted to approve the Mayor's commitment to you and endorsed the Host City Contract. Here's just a small sample of the citizen outrage that is pouring into the media, blogs, radio shows and online comments following 2016-related news stories.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

The following comments are from JUST TWO articles, one from the Chicago Sun-Times and one from the Chicago Tribune. THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS CAN BE FOUND AT: http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/1762851,CSTNWS-olyanalysis10.article lee star wrote: As anyone in Chicago knows the Alderman are the biggest Daley b.u.t.t. Lickers in this state, they no shame or scruples. lennny wrote: YOU LIE! xbillcosby wrote: Fran you don't mention the aldermen in oversight are Burke and Austin. Two of Daley's biggest shills. Can you explain how this is a win? Or any real oversight? focus wrote: Daley has money for the Willis group and the TIF in the Loop, but not for Citzens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEgn98vCnbs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o570-57dVaU& feature=related justanotheropinion wrote: Got a message for my alderman who likes his picture in the paper, Jim Balcer you are supposed to be representing the majority of your consituants, not just those deemed to have clout. WE DO NOT BACK THE BID.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

And we will not back you come the next election cycle. This WILL be remembered. Time for you to get a real job and it shouldn't be in politics. center cut wrote: If there was a public hearing about the olympics in the 41st ward somebody forgot to invite the public. What backroom of what bar was it held in trex47 wrote: Not in Chicago but still in Illinois which will also be taxed up the yingying if Chicago gets it in 2016. Hope the residents also vote unanimously next election to send the King & 50 Daleyites a clear message, BID THIS!!! on windy wrote: Chicago Aldermen: sheep following the Judas Goat! When Da Mare shouts "Squat!" fifty pairs of drawers hit the Council floor. blackpanthers09 wrote: 49-0 huh! I can't wait for 2011 elections so we can vote 5million-0 on putting these daley lap dogs & his House Negros out office for good. Power to the people! jack12345 wrote: What good is oversight by 49 lapdogs? It is like the CTA Board overseeing the CTA--laughable. Daley threw them a meaningless bone, and they said "yes, master." antiseptic wrote: wizards23 wrote: This is not a rubber-stamp City Council. There's give and take. There's back-and-forth," he said. The taxpayers "give" and Daley "takes". The "back and forth" is Daley and his croonies giving it to the taxpayer up the wazooh. LOL!!

tim tells it like it is...chicago wrote: So there are a total of 49 complete idiots, plus 1 - Daley. Put your own cash on the table Bozos. Getting the word out, you are all so fired come election time. nobama08 wrote: Just think of the traffic, security issues, clean up costs, maintenance of these facilities for years to come, etc. This is going to be a disaster for the City of Chicago and her taxpayers. This is all about Daley and his ego and not about Chicago. I hope the IOC curses some other city with this bid. citizen cane wrote:

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

Oh, and yes... don't forget to roll up your bits of WIT here into little balls of sh't... where it doesn't mean a thing... but it is good therapy and cathartic, so do it where it doesn't count. Ha, Ha, simply remarkable. PS: Don't forget to "twitter" as well, this is after all the Information Age, and YOU certainly do want to be informed... don't you? dgm wrote: GIVE ME A BREAK!!! You laud the commissioners for attaining concessions? Laughable! You have 49 morons that voted the way Daley told them to vote...they did NOT, I repeat, did NOT utilize a democratic-republic process and ask their constituents how to vote...they voted they way they wanted to vote, PERIOD. The citizens of Chicago will be on the hook for Billions for DECADES...You morons who live in Chicago and pay ever increasing taxes have only yourselves to blame for continuing to vote these morons into office...enjoy your 2 weeks of Games...and MASSIVE debt for generations to come!!! citizen cane wrote: WOW! UNBELIEVABLE!! CONGRATULATIONS Chicagoans! In view of YOUR city council's votes, Chicago... YOU "again" continue to be in the forefront of proving the theory that indeed you can fool ALL of the people ALL of the time. Ah yes, never so STUPID are those that fail to realize it... when they are being made so. Chicago, ENJOY paying for the games and the FOOLS that "some" folks; your neighbors (city council) make of you... while they laugh about and carve up the money pie. Question: CAN Chicagoans BEcome any STUPIDER? Answer: ABSOLUTELY, YES U CAN!! :D (lol) chicrooko wrote: Chicago remember not to vote for incumbants in the next election. Let's vote out these Daley lap dogs. mindus wrote: And let me guess, one of those two city council "representatives" is public enemy #2 Aldercriminal Ed Burke? The second biggest scumbag liar and money waster who's been allowed to city in an alderman's chair EVER! Wow, now I trust everything. And as far as Fioretti's BS fake ordinance, JUST

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

ANOTHER BS FAKEOUT TO SAVE FACE AGAINST HIS CONSTITUENT'S HATRED FOR THE GAMES. That ordinance will NEVER pass and he knew it when he introduced it. The only line of BS that has changed from before is now two of the biggest scumbag aldermen in this city, and two of daley's best friends to boot, are now allegedly supposed to watch how the crime spree is dibursed. Nothing has changed, Daley is now going to r@pe this city dry of money and turn it into detriot thanks to the lying scumbag aldermen laying down for a couple TIFF dollars to be spent in their ward. Let's all see where that tiny percentage of TIF starts flowing now shall we? amazing grace wrote: How nice to see the 11th Ward Alderman DALEY'S LACKY in the photo...it somehow fitting....Gee, I wonder how many Alderman and their familes businesses will benefit from contract....? Why are they NOT forbidding any ALDERMAN and their families to do business??????? WHY NOT........? focus wrote: This is amazing, 50 fools that will sign off on anything pushed in front of them,and then want hearings after public outcry. I hope people remember this in 2011,$100,000 a year for a part-time job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o570-57dVaU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2NPG1wSnQE

bluestatecowboys wrote: Las Vegas has set the "over/under" at 2.5 for the number of current aldermen who will be in prison when the 2016 Olympics takes place -- no matter where the games are held. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4v5ihLlYKQ GOOD KING RICH (Spoken Intro) This is an open letter to the International Olympic Committee: As you travel the world these next few months Being wined and dined in five-star restaurants In Madrid, Tokyo, and Rio De Janeiro, remember this:

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

You're upholding the proud tradition of your predecessors, Many of whom allegedly accepted bribes In exchange for awarding the 2002 Winter Games To that paragon of urban virtue - Salt Lake City, Utah (Chorus) Well, you can scrap that bid from old Madrid Say adios to Spain And just say no to Tokyo With its fancy bullet train And if you're ill at ease speakin' Portugese Then Rio ain't your town Oh, but Good King Rich, he'll scratch your itch When he throws that cash around (Verse) Well, some folks say that it don't make sense To hold the Games in the 312 They say our city's broke; schools are a joke Well, friends, that just might be true Oh, but Good King Rich, he'd rather fight than switch You know how the story's gonna end With all the King's family and all the King's friends Lining their pockets again and again (Repeat Chorus) (Verse w/ tag) From the two-flats and the bungalows We applaud his every scheme From a tax increase to a parking meter lease He's helping us live the dream Now with a wave of his hand and a line in the sand He's gonna bring the Olympics home So da_mn the torpedoes, full speed ahead He's gonna get us a velodrome We can't pay for salt when there's ice on the streets But at least we'll have a velodrome (Repeat Chorus (w/ tag)) Yeah, Good King Rich, he's gonna scratch your itch When you bring those games to town wizards23 wrote: This is not a rubber-stamp City Council. There's give and take. There's back-and-forth," he said. The taxpayers

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

"give" and Daley "takes". The "back and forth" is Daley and his croonies giving it to the taxpayer up the wazooh. orion wrote: Willie Cocharan, you are not running a laundremat anymore - this is the City of Chicago. Reviewing every contract over $25K will grind progress to a halt. THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS CAN BE FOUND AT: http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/09 /chicago-aldermen-embrace-olympics-plans.html#more I'm glad I moved out of Chicago. I look at the people who own my old place as 'suckers'. Daley & the crooked City Council pat themselves on the back and whoop it up while spending other people's money. I don't miss the 10.25% sales tax one bit either. Posted by: Cash | September 10, 2009 at 08:02 AM OH BOY! Daly is some piece of work. He has gone from ..we will have an insurance policy so taxpayers will not pay for any losses....but there has never been a city that has lost in the Olympics.. to Let's screw the Chicago taxpayer... AGAIN. Oh, by the way, Richie, EVERY city has lost money on the Olympics. When are the TAXPAYERS of Chicago going to vote this person out of office????We need to get rid of the alderman too. Let's stop being their pansies. I hope I get my property sold by the time 2016 comes around!!!!! Posted by: Gail Soberski Most of us got a water bill a few weeks ago. That bill was about $10 more than the last instalment. That was a Daley family added value tax. Let me explain. Almost all of the trucks used in the truck for hire scandal were used by the water department. Remember that John Daley's brother-in-law was convicted of ghost payrolling at the water department. Daley's son and nephew got a contract to clean sewers for the water department. And when Daley's nephew raided the city pension funds for investment money he bought a warehouse that was storing trucks for the water department that they bought after the truck for hire scandal. The water department had a month-to-month lease so no city council approval was needed. The cost of the lease went up 600% after Vanecko bought the property. DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN HERE? Now imagine what these people can do if we get the Olympics! Posted by: NorthSide TaxPayer GO RIO! Posted by: Chicago Citizen The day we get the Olympics is the day I say goodbye to

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

this fat, bloated city of pigs. Posted by: Chicago Joe Funny how some people want this, I know of no one. Put it to a vote...it will lose. Fitzgerald, please, please, get this creep out of office... Posted by: dumpdaley The rubber stamps stamp again. Posted by: Pete | NOlympics! Posted by: nothin' left in my pockets but lint | There is no way an Olympic village can be built for less than proposed. Remember Millennium Park? I concur, time to start fighting our the Daley's and all who go along with this circus! Posted by: chicagoguy Here's what I don't understand. In Congress, it's common for a Senator or Congressman to have an opinion on a bill, but that his constituents of on the other side. So, if the winning side doesn't need his vote, he can vote the way his constituents feel, without risk of angering his party's leadership. This was the case, when Congress voted for the bailout of the banks. Why doesn't anyway ask for this kind of dispensation from the Mayor? Is it that hard to say, "Mr. Mayor, I completely agree with you, but if I vote with you, your army of campaign workers simply can't get me re-elected. Please let me vote against you without reprecussion. You'll have my vote the next time a vote appears to be very close." Posted by: Chuck I'm certainly glad that Suarez thinks that "It will make Chicago a world-class city," he said. Whew...finally we'll be a city worth something. WHAT? Aren't we a world-class city already? I'm out of here if we get the Olympics. We'll be bilked for millions and millions of tax dollare as the project will overrun their budgets day one. We're f'd. Posted by: Mr.B Let's say the Olympics fail financially. SOME people will have come to Chicago, stayed in a hotel or motel, eaten food, bought 'stuff', etc. It was my impression that Chicago had a sales tax, an entertainment tax, and a tax on hotel and motel room rentals among others. Oops, I forgot city income tax - from cab drivers, employees at eating establishments, and all manner of other people. Because Police and Fire pay income tax, I suspect that some of their overtime will go back to the city. Even in an Olympics that does not do well at the gate, the city will collect some (extra) tax that the city would not have

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

otherwise. These extra tax revenues are what hosting the Olympics are about anyway. Posted by: Ed Like this is news... You know it is a slow news day in Chicago when Rod and the Olympics are on the front page. Why wouldn't the Alderman put the taxpayers on the line? That's what they do everyday. Now if you have any money in retirement or pensions -end your contributions now -- trust me these politicians will takje out a loan on the pension funds to fund the Olympics. How soon til election day? Posted by: Ed Kasprzycki I don't see anyone protesting in their faces at City Hall. That's exactly what it will take to restore any sense of democratic representation in our municipal government. But people are too fat, too low on energy carrying all that lard around all day. They'd rather type and call it a day. Posted by: Guy This is hardly surprising. Don't think medical science has advanced enough for the alderman to get spine transplants since the fiasco about the parking meters deal was exposed. Our only hope now is that the IOC gets a bigger bribe from one of the other host city candidates and let's Chicago off the the hook. Here's hoping that mayor Daley's quest for the 2016 Olympics will put the final nail in the coffin of machine politics Chicago style. Are you listening Patrick Fitzgerald? Posted by: Lee Majella To all those that have decided to leave the city, don't forget to pay your exit tax. Those taxpayers left behind are going to need the money to help offset the cost of the freeloaders and the olympics. Posted by: Think Before You Vote | Haven't these guys learned if you can't afford something, you just don't buy it? Why should city taxpayers cough up the cash? I'm sooooo glad in live in the 'burbs...but then, they'll probably find a way to put part of the burden on the suburban taxpayers, too...particularly if you live in Cook County. For that matter, the state of Illinois will pay their share. Get ready, downstate farmers! Posted by: Vote 'em all out Does anyone have contact info for the IOC so we can let them know how we feel about the games coming to Chicago? Posted by: Emily

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Update from No Games Chicago - 21 Days - Reaction to City Council vote

If the Olympics make money, and lately they haven't, do the taxpayer get the profit? No the taxpayers only get the debt. The rich guys get the profit. Don't forget they are worth it. Posted by: Dougmohns If they can find money for the Olympics, they can find money for the homeless, stop the killing of kids and improve Chicago's school system. If we are put on the hook for paying something then we should have a vote in it. Well you know what maybe we should reconsider who we vote for. Posted by: PCarr this will be like the parking meter mess. when things go wrong, they will say they didnt know what they were voting on. Posted by: mike h of course they will screw that taxpayer. And the lemmings will keep wanting this scam. GO RIO .. THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY FOLKS. and please people. theres no cleaning house like you think. they will just cart in more crooks. Nothing will change untill there is literally a revolt on the steps of city hall. Posted by: meesohawnee

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Update from No Games Chicago - 20 Days - Irate citizen speaks for us all

No Games Chicago Update 20 Days To Decision Daily News
September 11, 2009

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

This letter from today's Chicago Sun-Times sums up what most people here are feeling.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 20 Days - Irate citizen speaks for us all

An Olympic-sized risk for taxpayers September 11, 2009 Once again, the Mayor Daley cadre has universally rubber stamped a taxpayer obligation to foot any Olympic overruns should Chicago get the 2016 Games. Alderman Joe Moore had the nerve to make an impassioned speech declaring that the citizens are correct to question this obligation but voted for it anyway. Talk about gutless. Talk is cheap. The Olympics will be very, very expensive. Mike Koskiewicz, Portage Park

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Update from No Games Chicago - 19 Days - President will send his wife

No Games Chicago Update 19 Days To Decision Daily News
September 12, 2009 The People Speak I just wanted to basically say that in my opinion Chicago should not get the Olympics. We supposedly have so many budget deficits. How are we going to be able to afford this. It's ridiculous. And Mayor Daley do need to get his priorities in check because the crime rate...get that in order first. You know what I mean. We have so many other things to take care of. And he's so worried about the 2016 bid torch passed to Michelle Obama First lady -- not president -- to fly to Copenhagen to help make final pitch for Chicago to land Games
Katherine Skiba, Kathy Bergen and Philip Hersh Chicago Tribune reporters - September 12, 2009 First Lady Michelle Obama will lead a delegation to Copenhagen next month for the vote on whether Chicago beats three rivals to win the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. But the White House announcement Friday trumpeting the first lady's high-profile mission did little to extinguish a question that burns as brightly as the Olympic torch: Will the popular first lady ultimately let her husband take the lead in the hour long presentation before the International Olympic Committee's vote on Oct. 2? On Friday afternoon, amid heavy speculation over whether the president would travel to Copenhagen to try to seal a deal, White House officials revealed that Mrs. Obama would serve as an ambassador for Chicago 2016 when it states its case for the bid over Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 19 Days - President will send his wife

Olympics. Give it to somebody else 'cause they deserve it. We don't, we don't need it. Latisha, Chicago Call in comment to the "Gerrard McClendon Live" television show, September 2, 2009

In announcing Mrs. Obama's loftiest assignment yet, White House officials said President Barack Obama on Friday informed the president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, that the effort to pass health-care reform "keeps him from committing at this time to travel to Copenhagen on Oct. 2." "At this time" was the operative phrase that seemed to leave open the prospect of a last-minute surprise trip by the president. Mrs. Obama will be accompanied by Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser, longtime friend and big backer of bringing the Games to Chicago. A group of athletes and celebrities is expected to join them. "There is no doubt in my mind that Chicago would offer the world a fantastic setting for these historic games," Mrs. Obama said in a statement, "and I hope that the Olympic torch will have the chance to burn brightly in my hometown." Mayor Richard Daley said he was "thrilled" that the first lady was going. "As a lifelong resident of our city, Michelle's passion for Chicago is contagious," he said in a statement, adding, "This is not just Chicago's bid, it is America's bid." At a news conference in Chicago, Patrick Ryan, CEO of Chicago 2016, applauded the choice and termed Chicago's bid historic, citing "total cohesion" in support "from City Hall to the state capitol to the White House." Still, reporters asked: Is the door closed to a presidential trip? Ryan said the White House statement spoke for itself, adding: "I think Michelle Obama will represent our country, our city and our bid tremendously. ... This vote is not going to be decided based on how many political leaders are going to be there." One observer said the announcement that Mrs. Obama would take the lead convinced him that the president would indeed show up at the 11th hour, creating a bigger splash. "This is a great strategy to generate much more interest and to have a much greater entrance," said sports industry expert Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp Ltd. "His wife can go and represent him. It's someone senior from the White House and someone who's much better than Valerie Jarrett, who's a lovely lady but does not have the gravitas of the president or Michelle.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 19 Days - President will send his wife

"And watch, Barack will show up almost unannounced, for a couple hours," Ganis said. "He'll give his commitment, look IOC members in the eye and say, 'I want your vote.' The same day he'll be back on Air Force One and back in Washington. This is a wonderful David Axelrod moment." Axelrod, a top White House adviser from Chicago, spearheaded President Obama's campaign. The first lady, whose approval ratings approach or exceed 70 percent, is sure to add substance and sizzle by virtue of two Ivy League degrees, a spot on Vanity Fair's International Best Dressed List and her advocacy of a host of pet issues including support for military families, healthy eating and education. High-profile lobbyists have held sway in the past. Britain's Tony Blair and Russia's Vladimir Putin helped persuade IOC members before their countries won Olympic Games set for 2012 and 2014. This time, a large cast of VIPs -- including King Juan Carlos of Spain, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and possibly the Japanese royal family -- will go to Copenhagen to push for their countries. Next Wednesday, the Obamas will welcome Olympic and Paralympic athletes to the White House to advance Chicago's bid, and questions about whether the president will appear in Copenhagen are bound to persist. Olympics historian Kevin Wamsley of the University of Western Ontario said the first lady's presence is unlikely to carry as much weight as the president's could. "He does have a presence, and it's a little more overwhelming than other international leaders," Wamsley said. "My guess is that a lot of minds may be made up, but there may be little bit of a swing vote." One person who didn't think that the president's presence would matter was IOC member Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden, an Olympic champion alpine skier in the 1990s. "I think the people from Chicago will be able to do a very good job with or without President Barack Obama," she said in an e-mail. "If he comes I would love to say hello, but I am sure it will not make me vote in one way or the other!"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 18 Days - Mayor approval rate at 35%

No Games Chicago Update 18 Days To Decision Daily News
September 13, 2009 The People Speak Daley's mismanagement of Chicago was hidden by a booming national economy throughout the 90s and from 03-07. It took a bad recession to see the full effects of his poor management. Now he expects people to believe he can complete Olympic projects on time and on budget when his track record for most major projects is pitiful. Daley has Olympic

Mayor Daley is now extremely unpopular in Chicago and his pushing of the 2016 Olympics has contributed to his historically low approval ratings. Despite what you are being told, the people of Chicago do NOT want the 2016 Olympics to come here.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 18 Days - Mayor approval rate at 35%

tunnel vision. He believes they are a panacea for all of Chicago's ills. The problem is the man has absolutely no Plan B or alternate vision if Chicago does not get the Olympics. It's time to dump this tired, paranoid old fool who has drained the taxpayers for the benefit of his family and friends. A reader comments on the Chicago Tribune article, "As Olympic vote looms, Daley struggles"

As Olympics vote looms, Daley struggles
Dan Mihalopoulos - Chicago Tribune September 13, 2009 ...But with the pivotal Olympics decision three weeks away, Daley finds himself in one of the most troubled periods of his long reign. Daley's decision to lease the city parking meter system left motorists furious over skyrocketing rates and balky machines. Then he fumbled in explaining his promise that taxpayers would cover potential losses from the Olympics. For the first time since he became mayor two decades ago, Daley's critics outnumber his fans, a Tribune/WGN poll found. The mayor's approval rating is at an all-time low of 35 percent in Tribune polls, according to the new survey.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 17 Days - Cartoon says it all

No Games Chicago Update 17 Days To Decision Daily News
September 14, 2009 The People Speak WHY!!!!!! Why are you doing this.. We already pay the highest taxes in all of the United States. Do you ereally have to do this... Have you guys not learnd anything from Atlanta! Sad really sad.....
From Crain's Chicago Business, September 14, 2009.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...

Marisa Moy, Chicago Signer of No Games Chicago online petition

Chicago is NOT ready to take this leap for the Mayor!

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Update from No Games Chicago - 16 Days - Chicago 2016 desperate

No Games Chicago Update 16 Days To Decision Daily News
September 15, 2009 The People Speak With the shocking increase in crime in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, we need to be spending money on city services, not these games which will certainly bankrupt the city. The promise of federal assistance is Mayor Daley's only hope of keeping Chicago from collapsing. Ed Linn, Chicago Signer of No Games Chicago online
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Crain's Chicago Business is our premier weekly business publication. This report ran today on their web site. They report what we at No Games Chicago have known for some time - namely, that public support for the 2016 bid has dissolved and the 2106 Committee is getting desperate to try to shore up its failing status. They go from one bad idea to another, as this report documents.

Chicago 2016 launches last-ditch ad push
Jeremy Mullman - Sept. 15, 2009 (Crain's) - Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics has had no shortage of marketing firepower at its disposal: Nearly all of the major creative agencies in the nation's No. 2 agency market -including Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Downtown Partners and others - have pitched in to help craft ads and presentations in support of the bid. But for all the creative firepower aimed primarily at persuading the judges of the International Olympic Committee, the bid hasn't spent as much time or energy persuading Chicagoans that winning the games is a worthwhile goal, and that may wind up undermining its

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Update from No Games Chicago - 16 Days - Chicago 2016 desperate

petition

efforts. A Chicago Tribune poll earlier this month found that only 47% of Chicagoans supported the city's bid to host the games, a potentially devastating blow so close to the Oct. 2 decision deadline. People close to the situation said organizers have leaned on mostly favorable coverage in local newspapers and TV shows to make their case but were caught off-guard by that news, which will almost certainly be wielded by rival cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid in their own bids to host the games. "I think they were shocked," said one person close to the bid. "And now they know it's going to be used against them." So, in a last-ditch effort to generate local enthusiasm, organizers last week began broadcasting audio messages supporting the bid on city buses. If Twitter is any indication (search for "CTA" and "2016") the appeals from former Olympians are doing more harm than good, as sentiment toward the "propaganda" is overwhelmingly negative. "It doesn't demonstrate public support and in fact will only erode whatever support exists," wrote Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, in a piece that mirrored the sentiment of many posts. "No one likes being aurally assaulted while part of a captive audience." The bid also last week launched a series of print and radio ads intended to tout the potential positive economic impact that hosting the games could have for Chicago and the surrounding region. But in the weeks and months before the recent spate of messages, the local dialogue concerning the impact of the games has largely centered around who pays for it, and a controversial provision that could leave city taxpayers on the hook for certain cost overruns. Those sorts of concerns tend to be particularly potent in a city where citizens have become accustomed to daily headlines about corruption probes in city and state government. There are also persistent worries about the traffic and congestion that will surround construction for the games, and over whether the city's public-transit system could handle the increased traffic that would come with the Olympics. Chicago 2016 Chief Brand Officer Mark Mitten last week referred an inquiry to a spokesman, who did not return a phone call. A subsequent call to the Chicago 2016 media line was not returned.

Visit our web site and download the "Book of Evidence" that we delivered to you in Lausanne! Open letter to the IOC: "Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

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Update from No Games Chicago - 15 Days - Cartoon says it best

No Games Chicago Update 15 Days To Decision Daily News
September 16, 2009 The People Speak The aldermanic backbone was only that of a very few and momentary at best as evidenced by the unanimous cave in of the vote. We citizens are on the hook just as the IOC wants it. The IOC is not willing to take on any risk for its self which of course is why it is so high on their list of host city Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The editorial cartoon in today's Chicago Sun-Times expresses the sentiments of 84% of Chicago citizens.

Today's Chicago Tribune has a front page story, "Sorting out bid's true cost" that contradicts the 2016 Committee's repeated claims that "not one penny of taxpayer funds has been or will be used

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Update from No Games Chicago - 15 Days - Cartoon says it best

requirements prior to holding the vote. IOC is beholden to no one, no city, no state, no government, no country. NO ONE. Yet, who ever is the bid "winner", a questionable term, is beholden, held hostage if you will, to the IOC and its governance of the games, not the "winners" own citizenry. At least not until after the fact, when of course "oversite" comes into play. In this instant, oversite becomes an oxymoron, even a lie, as there is no F.O.I.A..that applies. No FO.I.A. anywhere on this earth that applies to the IOC. None, Nada, Nunca, Zip. Oversite comes after the fact. The only party left holding the bag are the only ones not invited to the party, you and me, the

for the 2016 Olympics." They compiled a chart of expenses that tops $2 billion and has several "unknown" figures that alarm citizens with fears of costs that could spiral out of control.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 15 Days - Cartoon says it best

taxpayers. The IOC wants you to have all the liability, as does the Chicago City Council, Pat Ryan and his 2016 bid committee, Mayor Daley, the State of Illinois, and "Chicago politics lite" the Obama administration. Comment at Chicago Sun-Timesonline blog

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5/8/2011 2:55 PM

Update from No Games Chicago - 14 Days - Mayor once scoffed at Olympics

No Games Chicago Update 14 Days To Decision Daily News
September 17, 2009 The People Speak According to Wikipedia, Millennium Park was "finished four years behind schedule and cost approximately three times as much as was initially budgeted." I don't think the Olympic venues will be any different. I figure that since the Olympics won't get delayed, the overtime will kill Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
The Chicago Tribune's John Kass today reveals that Mayor Daley originally dismissed the idea of seeking the Olympics for Chicago. "The Olympics is a construction industry," he told the Rotary Club in 2004. "They wanted $2 million from me just to make a proposal! They want to build everything new." But his administration became plagued with scandal and several of his highest ranking officials were arrested, convicted and sent to prison. He then became an Olympic advocate to divert attention from the failings of his administration.

May the farce be with you, Obama and Daley
John Kass - September 17, 2009 Some think President Barack Obama was playing Zorro on the White House lawn Wednesday, fencing with an Olympic foil, with Mayor Richard Daley looking on. Others figured the president was Han Solo to the mayoral Yoda, foreshadowing a climactic scene to come in Copenhagen, Obama swooping in on Air Force One as if it were the Millennium (Park) Falcon, heroically rescuing the tiny-legged, verbally challenged sage.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 14 Days - Mayor once scoffed at Olympics

us tax wise. I have no confidence in the city being able to do it on time and budget. Secondly, I have talked to many people about this and no one wants the Olympics here. I'm not sure where the polls are being taken, but it's not by my associates. Ironically, co-workers in Madrid don't want it there either. Finally, I had read that the opening ceremonies could cost $1,800.00 per person. Even in the best of economies, how many Chicagoans can afford to go to that? I'm not talking about Oprah, Obama, Daley, etc. I'm talking about the normal, middle class. Comment on John Kass's column posted to the Chicago

But please, let's not get bogged down in confusing mythic symbolism. The message from President Obama was real clear politics: Chicago's president of the United States wants Chicago's political boss happy and hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. "Chicago is ready, the American people are ready," said the president, with about two weeks until the International Olympic Committee meets in Copenhagen to decide whether Chicago gets the Olympic payoff. "We want these Games." But a recent Tribune poll showed mixed feelings. People might not be crazy about the Games, but Daley sure is. He reaches for the Olympics the way a drowning man reaches for a floating chunk of wood. And if Daley doesn't get the Olympics -- if the IOC chooses Rio, Tokyo or Madrid -- don't be surprised if this becomes the mayor's last term. Because, after a 20-year spending spree, the money is finally gone. Daley is now so desperate for cash that he allowed parking meter rates to be increased, knowing there would be a public backlash. Now he needs that Olympic gold, to pass it out among the hungry interests and maintain control. His Olympic push is not about sport. It's never been about sport. The Olympic theme song and wondering who might carry the torch down Michigan Avenue has been part of the children's fairy tale. But grown-ups know that the Chicago Olympics are about keeping Daley in power. Period. It began four years ago, just as big business and labor and the guys behind the guys started wondering if Daley was weakening. A boss thought to be weak is a boss in danger. So just getting to this point has been a masterful political stroke on the part of the mayor. In August 2004, Daley was busy ridiculing the idea of a Chicago Olympics. "The Olympics is a construction industry," he told the Rotary Club. "They wanted $2 million from me just to make a proposal! They want to build everything new." Back then, he was in trouble. The Hired Truck scandal was widening. Daley's administration was also under siege by another federal investigation into the wholesale abuse of political patronage through the mayor's office. Taxpayers subsidized Daley's political troops who were working the precincts and controlling elections.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 14 Days - Mayor once scoffed at Olympics

Tribune

In December 2004, Daley loyalist and water department boss Donald Tomczak was charged with bribery. Tomczak's illegal patronage army of hundreds of workers helped elect then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Tomczak) to office. Emanuel is now Obama's chief of staff. In May 2005, the feds raided the mayor's offices with search warrants. On July 18, 2005, Daley patronage chief Robert Sorich and others were charged with fraud. Daley would soon be sitting down with federal prosecutors, giving his own deposition on corruption matters. But one week after Sorich and others were charged in the July 18 indictments, the mayor formally changed his tune and started backing the Olympics for Chicago. "It would be done with private money," said the mayor. "This is a big-ticket item that ... we should look at very carefully." In the weeks leading up to that announcement, Daley privately began offering a choice to establishment Chicago: Get on the Olympic bus with the mayor or get left behind. No CEO could afford to be left behind. They jumped on, as did the rest of the power players. That was Daley's brilliance. The 2016 Olympics became the mortar keeping his brick house from collapsing. If he wins the Olympics, he'll stay boss for years. Even the president, who once vowed to transcend the cynical politics of the past, jumped on board. Why not? The guys running the Obama White House come direct from Daley's City Hall. On Wednesday, as the president joked around with swords, First Lady Michelle Obama offered a reality check. She'll accompany Daley to the Oct. 2 IOC meeting in Copenhagen. Don't be shocked if the president makes a "surprise" appearance and wins the day. "You should have seen the president in there fencing, it was pathetic," Mrs. Obama laughed. "But he passed the baton really well." Actually, Daley passed the baton. And now it can't be dropped. It is handed from Chicago's boss to his presidential anchorman, in the most important political relay of Daley's life.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 13 Days - Corruption update from Chicago

No Games Chicago Update 13 Days To Decision Daily News
September 18, 2009 The People Speak Chicago does not have a sufficient infrastructure to host an event of this magnitude. One only need to look at Millennium Park to see that huge delays and huge cost overruns are the hallmark of the Daley administration. Goodness knows what Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today we're sending you updates on various scandals relating to local government here. Hardly a day goes by without some local official being caught or sentenced for some misdeed. Chicago is experiencing a political tsunami as a consequence of Mayor Daley's scandal plagued administration. Scandals at the county and state level also reflect poorly on the Mayor as he controls state Democratic politics.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 13 Days - Corruption update from Chicago

Daley would sell to the highest bidder to pay for this - naming rights to the city? Michael Matlock, Chicago No Games online petition signer

City: Chicago police scandal: 4 cops in special unit sentenced after pleading guilty in long-running probe
Chicago police officers assigned to the elite Special Operations Section stole nearly half a million dollars after targeting a Hispanic man driving an expensive car and withheld insulin from another man until he told them where he hid cash and cocaine, prosecutors alleged Friday. The new details came as four former officers became the first to plead guilty in the long-running state and federal investigation that contributed to the early retirement of Police Supt. Phil Cline.

County: Stroger upset with leaked subpoena
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger said today that a subpoena for financial records tied to a "current grand jury investigation" was leaked to the news media by county commissioners who put politics ahead of "what's good for the government.".

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Update from No Games Chicago - 13 Days - Corruption update from Chicago

Cook County prosecutors issued the subpoena last month for records from Deloitte and Touche LLP, used in the "customary preparation" of the 2008 annual audit of county finances.

State: Patti denies taking charity's donor list IT'S 'MY LIST' | Accused of using it to contact people to promote ex-gov's book
A fuming Patti Blagojevich fired back Thursday at "galling" allegations that she absconded with a contact list from her old job at a charity so she could promote her husband's new book. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Blagojevich said she took no such list from the Chicago Christian Industrial League, despite public comments from an official with the group who accused her of acting unethically.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 12 Days - Columnist advises President

No Games Chicago Update 12 Days To Decision Daily News
September 19, 2009 The People Speak Chicago is no position to even consider hosting the 2016 olympics. Our educational system is in a shambles, we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, we have one of largest budget deficits in history, and the crime rate is seriously out of control. Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Ben Joravsky, one of Chicago's most distinguished political reporters, has this advice for President Obama with regard to visiting you in Copenhagen: "Near as anyone can tell, the race to host the 2016 Olympics has come down to Chicago versus Rio. Most accounts have Madrid and Tokyo falling further behind as the International Olympic Committee gears up to make its decision on October 2. A crucial factor seems to be President Obama. If he shows up in Copenhagen to charm the IOC delegates, Chicago will probably prevail. If he doesn't, the favorite is Rio. But even as Mayor Daley and other Olympic boosters urge him on, Obama isn't making any promises-he's said only that the First Lady will be there to make a pitch for Chicago. The media's also calling on him to go: on September 11 the Sun-Times even ran an open letter to the president, begging him to catch that plane for Europe, and the Trib followed suit four

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Update from No Games Chicago - 12 Days - Columnist advises President

In my opinion, the resources being spent to lobby the IOC, would be better spent repairing some of the ills we're facing right now. Anonymous, Chicago No Games online petition signer

days later. Well, here's my advice: Don't go, Mr. President. It's not just that you have more important things to do-remember that little health care problem?-or that the games are looking like bad news for your cash-strapped hometown, since they're sure to mutilate the parks and gobble up billions of dollars that could otherwise go to needy schools and city departments that are reducing services as basic as trash collection. It's that having the games in Chicago will ultimately be bad for you and detrimental to all that you want to accomplish. Once you make a grand pitch for Daley's games, they'll become your games too. Every scandal, cost overrun, and delay (and you were around this town long enough to know there will be plenty of each) will be laid at your feet by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and all your other haters. If you forgot how dirty Chicago politics can be, read Blago's book and remember you were lucky to get out of this swamp. Don't be foolish enough to dive back in."
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Update from No Games Chicago - 11 Days - League of Women V oters say...

No Games Chicago Update 11 Days To Decision Daily News
September 20, 2009 The People Speak Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The League of Women Voters is a 79-year old organization that promotes civic engagement and informed voting in all elections. The organization was started in Chicago. Their members and leaders are among the most informed and active citizens in our city. Today the Chicago League of Women Voters went on record opposing Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid.

I have figured out a way to fund the Olympics and keep everyone in the city happy, even all the folks like me who do not want the Olympics here: All the rich people in the TV ads for the Olympics can put their money up as a guarantee since they seem so sure that it would be great

Questionable Olympics plan
Chicago Tribune - September 20, 2009 The League of Women Voters of Chicago opposes the selection of Chicago as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. We do so in reliance on the principle of our organization that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the people's right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed

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Update from No Games Chicago - 11 Days - League of Women V oters say...

  

for the city. Skip Feats, Chicago Letter to The Chicago Tribune, September 20

actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible. Preparation of the Chicago bid to host the 2016 Olympics did not provide us with adequate notice of the proposal as it developed, and we had no opportunity to comment or question aspects of the proposal. Many questions exist; the bid proposal, ostensibly a privately developed plan, relies on substantial public funding and facilities. With declining revenue to fund existing city and Park District costs, what sources exist to fund construction of the Olympics facilities? Will TIF funds be used? And from which TIF districts? On what basis does the Olympics planning committee believe that the federal government will provide the funds for transit repair and extension or the security costs? Our organization believes that the parks should be used for public recreation only, consistent with and enhancing their aesthetic quality. Buildings should be kept to a minimum. Funds should be distributed equitably for maintenance and development of parks throughout the city. Construction of the venues in the parks will eliminate open space for residents' use. This is space in which an individual can walk, children can play games and families can gather. A separate concern is the lengthy withdrawal of park facilities from public use. Areas of Washington, Douglas and Jackson Parks will be closed to the public during construction and the post-Olympics facilities will eliminate residents' unstructured use of open space. Also, will park maintenance and programs continue unaffected by the Olympics preparations? Or will these decline to provide funds for the construction? The preparation of the Chicago Olympics bid occupied years and the plan relies on public money from all levels of government. Yet only recently have public meetings been held throughout the city. The people can comment, but we cannot influence either the proposal or the decision to seek selection as the site of the 2016 Olympics. The Chicago bid to host the 2016 Olympics was undemocratic and

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Update from No Games Chicago - 11 Days - League of Women V oters say...

unworthy of the great city in which we live. -- Esta Kallen, president, -- Margaret Herring, board member, League of Women Voters of Chicago
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Update from No Games Chicago - 10 Days - Crain's Chicago Business Do...

No Games Chicago Update 10 Days To Decision Daily News
September 21, 2009 The People Speak
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Crain's Chicago Business is our premier local business publication. Today they published a review of the 2016 Committee's supposed financial guarantees and found them wanting. This adds to the growing dis-enchantment with the 2016 Committee, the 2016 bid and Mayor Daley.

The problem is not going to rest solely at the city level. You know that when push comes to shove His Honor will be asking the state to kick in money because "The costs were so unexpectedly high and the Olympics brought fame and money to Illinois as well as Chicago." His Honor and Mr Ryan would make me feel a lot better if both of them would pledge ALL of their assets plus

Peeling back the coverage
John Pletz - September 21, 2009 Mayor Richard M. Daley and Patrick Ryan assure Chicago taxpayers that a safety net of insurance would insulate them from the financial risks of hosting the 2016 Olympics. But the insurance policies Mr. Ryan says he'll secure would cover only about $1.1 billion of the $3.8-billion operating budget that the mayor's Olympic point man has drawn up for the games. In many key areas, no insurer stands between taxpayers and the risk of revenue shortfalls or cost overruns. For example, there's no insurance against the risk that private lenders won't shell out $1 billion to finance construction of the Olympic Village, as Messrs. Daley and Ryan predict they will. And there's no coverage against shortfalls in corporate sponsorship sales, which they predict will rake in $1.8 billion,

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Update from No Games Chicago - 10 Days - Crain's Chicago Business Do...

that of their spouses, including pension plan balances, as security for all Olympic expenses PRIOR to any insurance being used. Put them fully on the hook before any outside money is needed. Thomas S, Chicago Comment on Crain's Chicago web site

two-thirds more than London expects to collect for the 2012 games. Insurance against overruns on the construction of Olympics venues tops out at 10% over budgeted costs, in a city where major public works projects have come in at two or three times estimates. Another uninsured assumption in the budget is $246 million in contributions from private donors, a source already tapped for $72 million to finance the city's bid. "It's a leap of faith," acknowledges Alderman Joe Moore (49th), a skeptic who ultimately voted to give Mr. Daley authorization to sign the host-city contract with the International Olympic Committee. The contract puts the city on the hook for all costs of staging the 2016 games if the IOC chooses Chicago over Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo on Oct. 2. The primary protection for taxpayers is a projected $450-million operating profit built into the budget. That's a 12% margin for error. While it's enough to cover a few fiscal misses, shortcomings in multiple areas would overwhelm it. More important is sticking to the budget, something many Olympics cities have failed to do, though the track record is better in the U.S. "The taxpayers are adequately protected by insurance and the validity of our budget, which the IOC found to be reasonable," says Rick Ludwig, chief financial officer of Chicago 2016, the city's Olympic bid committee. While Mr. Ryan has arranged more than $1 billion in liability and event-cancellation insurance, those haven't proved to be the big risks for Olympics host cities. Experience shows that the primary hazard is cost overruns on venues for games and housing for athletes. RISKY VILLAGE The biggest risk is the Olympic Village. The city hopes to hand it off to private-sector developers, which would transform the former Michael Reese Hospital into athletes' quarters to be sold later as condominiums or rental housing. While Mr. Ryan expects to get surety bonds and other insurance to guarantee on-time completion of the project, he must first sell it to developers and their lenders. It's hardly a given that lenders will deem the project worthy of financing, as the IOC noted in its evaluation report on the finalist cities. If the private sector won't finance the village, taxpayers must shoulder the $1-billion cost, or the price of some scaled-down version of the project. Mr. Ryan has obtained a letter of commitment from German insurer Munich Re A.G. to provide $250 million in capitalreplacement insurance, an untested type of coverage that would provide money for the Olympic Village if an investor or lender promises financing but backs out after the project starts. That happened in Vancouver, host of next year's winter Olympics. "This doesn't protect you if nobody shows up to develop the project," says Laurence Msall, president of the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 10 Days - Crain's Chicago Business Do...

Civic Federation, which reviewed the city's Olympics plan and found it "reasonable" but pushed to have the insurance included. COSTLY OPTIMISM Then there's the cost of building athletic venues. Chicago 2016 budgeted for a 10% cost overrun, and it plans insurance for another 10%, unless builders agree to a fixed-price contract. That's far less than the cost overruns for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, which doubled the original projections, or the 23% overrun Vancouver now expects to incur on venues. Vancouver has needed a government cash infusion of $110 million and has almost drained a $100-million contingency fund, which is bigger than Chicago's $82-million reserve. "The long and sad history of cost overruns on venues is something that cannot be ignored," says Rob Baade, an economics professor at Lake Forest College who has studied Olympics financing. While recent U.S. games, such as Atlanta's and Salt Lake City's, largely were on target for construction, Chicago's history of cost overruns on big projects casts doubt on the bid committee's projections. "Millennium Park was three times budget; the Dan Ryan Expressway (reconstruction) was two times budget," says Allen Sanderson, a University of Chicago sports economist. Chicago is planning fewer permanent facilities than any previous games, keeping its venue-construction budget below $1 billion. But the timetable, unlike on Millennium Park, isn't flexible. The estimates are based on preliminary designs, meaning costs could be 20% to 60% higher, according to industry benchmarks. "Given all the risks we're talking about, 10% contingency seems low," says Neil Miltonberger, a Chicago-based vice-president at Kenrich Group, which mediates construction disputes. According to the Civic Federation, an additional 20% overrun in venue costs would put a $164-million dent in Chicago's $450-million budget cushion. ROSY REVENUE FORECASTS If Chicago 2016's revenue projections prove optimistic, no insurer will step in to make up the difference. Chicago expects to sell $1.76 billion in corporate sponsorships - 66% more than London predicts for the 2012 games and more than double Atlanta's take, adjusted for inflation. The IOC calls the target "ambitious but achievable." The U.S. Olympic Committee would cover the first $70 million of any shortfalls. Ticket sales, at $705 million, the second-biggest source of revenue, would have to be the highest since the 2000 Sydney games. The Civic Federation report says the prices for the most-popular events "may be aggressive." A 20% reduction in prices for premium tickets would cut $68 million from the

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Update from No Games Chicago - 10 Days - Crain's Chicago Business Do...

projected budget surplus, it says. BACK TO THE WEALTHY Chicago also aims to raise $246 million from private donors, 23% more than was raised for Millennium Park. Most of the donations, $177 million, would come from selling naming rights to sports venues. But under Olympics rules, sponsors' names can't go up until after the games are over. The committee hopes to raise $47 million of the total from selling naming rights to the Washington Park Olympic stadium after it's converted to a 3,500-seat track venue following the games. "Securing naming-rights donations may be difficult," the Civic Federation report says. If only 50% of the naming-rights donations come through, it would cut $88.5 million from the $450-million cushion. "It's a milestone event, and we think there will be a lot of interest," Mr. Ludwig, the Chicago 2016 CFO, says. In the final analysis, insurance doesn't cover all the potential budget miscalculations that could cost taxpayers money. "Athens was three times over budget; London is four times over budget," Mr. Sanderson says. "I don't see that happening here. But are they going to come in at $4.8 billion? No, I just don't see it."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 9 Days - Transit Authority Bleeds $ and...

No Games Chicago Update 9 Days To Decision Daily News
September 22, 2009 The People Speak
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Today the Chicago Transit Authority lost its two top leaders who are leaving our mass transit system system in a financial mess. "It's a huge loss" said one CTA official. The CTA, like all other agencies of the city, are experiencing major revenue short falls and service disruptions.

I am a huge fan of the Olympics, but there is just too much financial risk for Chicago taxpayers at this time. Let Rio have the games, and the expenses. Anyone that believes the $1 billion in insurance premiums will not filter back to friends and allies of city insiders is foolish. That is just the beginning of the huge cost overages that will be incurred. Taxpayers will foot the bill for

CTA Board loses top two; chairwoman, vice-chair quit
FRAN SPIELMAN AND MARY WISNIEWSKI - September 22, 2009 CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown and her co-hort, Vice Chair Susan Leonis, resigned today, creating a leadership vacuum at the chronically-troubled mass transit agency. The tandem resignations leave former Aviation Commissioner Richard Rodriguez - newly-appointed CTA president with no mass transit experience - to face the financial crisis without the CTA board's most savvy members. The CTA closed a $190 million budget gap without raising fares or reducing service, only after shifting capital funds to operations and ordering, yet another painful round of budget cuts. The outlook for next year is worse. Brown, 45, is a former senior vice-president for now-defunct

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Update from No Games Chicago - 9 Days - Transit Authority Bleeds $ and...

many many years. Baker98765 Comment on Chicago Tribune's web site article on the 2016 Committee's insurance plan.

Lehman Brothers who used the municipal finance expertise she gained at Harvard and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management to put together the bond deal that helped the CTA solve its pension crisis. She was appointed by Mayor Daley in September, 2003, and re-appointed to a term that expires in 2013. Leonis, a close friend of first lady Maggie Daley, was appointed to the CTA board by Gov. Edgar in 1996. "It's a huge loss," one CTA official said of Brown's departure. "She knows finance. She helped get the legislation through Springfield that shored up our finances and pensions. That's her strength and that's what we're losing." Sources said the demise of Lehman Brothers played a role in Brown's exit. After a brief stint at Mesirow Financial, Brown landed at Siebert Brandford Shank LLC, a municipal finance firm that demands more of her time. "Ever since she started, the CTA has had one crisis after another. There's no money. It took years to a get a bail-out through Springfield. She spends a lot of time at the CTA," said a source familiar with the explanation Brown gave to Daley Tuesday. "Lehman Brothers was a huge multi-national firm with tens of thousands of employees. This is a much smaller firm. She just doesn't have that kind of time anymore." Brown could not be reached for comment. In 2005, while dealing with a $55 million budget gap, she started her own blog to debunk what she called myths and misinformation about the agency. "I am not the angel of death," she said at the time. In early 2008, a "doomsday" of higher fares and drastically reduced service was averted by increases in the sales tax and real estate transfer tax. But both tax sources have suffered from the bad economy, leading to more losses this year. Brown has always been publicly outspoken in her role as chair. Often, she has more to say to the media after board hearings than the CTA president. Last month, Brown expressed her frustration with the frequent budget cutting in a complaint against an RTA proposal to take CTA and Metra capital money to help patch a hole in Pace's paratransit budget. She noted that the CTA was able to cover paratransit needs when it ran the van system for the disabled. Leonis said she was meeting Brown for champagne Tuesday afternoon. "We're really good friends," Leonis said. Leonis said she's leaving after 15 years because it's time for a change.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 9 Days - Transit Authority Bleeds $ and...

"It's time to do something different," Leonis said. "I'm just tired." Asked if the recent budget problems helped prompt her decision, Leonis laughed, saying there are frequently budget problems at the CTA. "I can't say these are any different than we've had for a long time," Leonis said. She said she was glad she had the opportunity to serve.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 8 Days - Nation Magazine Sports Write...

No Games Chicago Update 8 Days To Decision Daily News
September 23, 2009 The People Speak
The Olympics are 6 1/2 years away, do you really think Chicago will be in any better shape to host them? Does the Olympic committe in Copenhagen know to host the games in Chicago would be a disaster!? How about 1 million plus people using our outdated roadways, you think traffic is bad now, forget it. Or our transit system thats falling apart, what a way to showcase or city! Or how about the fact that were the murder capital of the world, i feel sorry for those tourists coming home late from all those events! Daley would love for all them sucker tourists to pump quarters in those meters, nobody else is.

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Dave Zirin is the sports writer for The Nation Magazine. His column today addressed the wisdom of President Obama going to Copenhagen to try to convince you to give Chicago the 2016 Olympics. OLYMPICS IN CHICAGO: 'OBAMA'S FOLLY"? Dave Zorin - September 22, 2009 "... In fact, the very idea that Chicago could be the setting for the Olympics could have been hatched by Jon Stewart for a four-year supply of comedic fodder. To greater or lesser degrees, the Olympics bring gentrification, graft and police violence wherever they nest. Even without the Olympic Games, Chicago has been ground zero in the past decade for the destruction of public housing (gentrification), political corruption (it ain't just Blagojevich; I can't remember the last Illinois governor who didn't end up behind bars) and police violence (the death row torture scandals). Bringing the Olympics to this town would be like

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Update from No Games Chicago - 8 Days - Nation Magazine Sports Write...

Copenhagen should realize were the most corrupt city in the nation, [SAYS FBI], the most dangerous and expensive and probably be the most embarrassing Olympics in history. But they did a good job in covering that up for I.O.C members. Lets hope there not the kind of people who dont see through all the deception, greed and downright evilness of our city.

sending a gift basket filled with bottles of Jim Beam to the Betty Ford Clinic: overconsumption followed by disaster. It's also difficult for Chicago residents to see how this will help their pocketbooks, given that Daley pledged to the International Olympic Committee that any cost overruns would be covered by taxpayers. This is why a staggering 84 percent of the city opposes bringing the Games to Chicago."
Read the full column.

Comment on line at Chicago Sun-Times coverage of Mayor Daley's comments that it would take "an earthquake or a tornado" for taxpayers to incur expenses for the 2016 Olympics.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 7 Days - FAA Sites O'Hare For Major ...

No Games Chicago Update 7 Days To Decision Daily News
September 24, 2009 The People Speak The Olympics coming to Chicago, on the surface, is a good idea. It will bring jobs, money, and tourism to the city. On the other hand, it will also bring more corruption, with politicians squandering millions of Olympic dollars on their personal trust funds and vanity projects, and money that was originally allocated for neighborhood improvements will, most likely, be wasted. Also, while the downtown has been vastly improved Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
Today we want to call to your attention this disturbing news item from the Chicago Tribune. It seems that the city has been routinely falsifying airport safety reports to the federal government. "The problems at O'Hare the FAA cited in its warning notice are considered major violations -- not just housekeeping issues -- because airfields are supposed to be sterile environments free of debris and other hazards that could interfere with flights." If the city is lying to the federal government about airport safety, one has to wonder - what else have they been dishonest about?

O'Hare Airport hit for safety violations in FAA report Tribune exclusive FAA's warning notice lists hazards that endanger takeoffs and landings
Jon Hilkevitch - Tribune reporter - September 24, 2009

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Update from No Games Chicago - 7 Days - FAA Sites O'Hare For Major ...

over the years, with such projects as Millennium Park and the museum campus, to name a few, a lot of the neighborhoods still suffer with lack of garbage pickup, filth on the streets, and a mass transit system that is substandard, with bus and train service which I would have to call haphazard, as there are times when you still have to wait up to twenty minutes for a bus or train, and you really have no idea when you are going to get your bus or train to come. All in all, the Olympics would only benefit the wealthy among us, and the rest of us would just watch it on TV, and face the consequences of more traffic and crowds, and less service. Mitchco, Letter to the Editor, The Chicago Reader, September 24, 2009

Federal inspectors found numerous violations at O'Hare International Airport that endanger airplanes at the most critical phases of flight -- takeoffs and landings, officials said Wednesday. The safety breaches, uncovered by the Federal Aviation Administration during routine inspections last month at O'Hare, range from debris on runways to excessive amounts of tall grass and weeds that create hazards for planes by attracting birds and other wildlife. A warning notice from the FAA to Chicago said the inspections show that O'Hare is seriously out of compliance with federal aviation law. The notice, called a "letter of correction," also chastised the Chicago Department of Aviation for what the federal agency called a pattern of false statements in its self-inspection program. "The daily self-inspection records do not reflect actual conditions in the field, violations have not been noted on the self-inspection records that are evident in the field," said the FAA letter, which was obtained by the Tribune. Most of the violations have already been corrected, and the rest, involving the training of workers driving on the airfield and filing accurate self-inspection reports, will be resolved by the end of November, said Karen Pride, spokeswoman for the Aviation Department. An object as small as a stone on a runway can pose a danger to flight by being ingested into aircraft jet turbines or piercing a fuel tank and sparking an explosion and fire. Yet FAA inspectors found rocks, garbage and wood survey stakes used during construction on runways and taxiways at O'Hare. Collisions between aircraft and birds are a constant threat to safety at airports like O'Hare that are surrounded by woods and waterways. The FAA has told aviation officials nationwide to practice extreme vigilance in controlling bird populations in the wake of a US Airways jetliner crash-landing in New York's Hudson River in January after flying into geese as the plane climbed up from LaGuardia Airport. All on board survived. The problems at O'Hare the FAA cited in its warning notice are considered major violations -- not just housekeeping issues -because airfields are supposed to be sterile environments free of debris and other hazards that could interfere with flights. The FAA inspectors determined that the wildlife hazard management program at O'Hare "is not being complied with regarding 6" grass height and modification of vegetation on the airfield." "All paved surfaces should be free of any type of vegetation at

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Update from No Games Chicago - 7 Days - FAA Sites O'Hare For Major ...

all times," said the report written by Tricia Halpin, a FAA airport certification safety inspector. During an inspection of O'Hare's newest runway that opened last year, the FAA found rocks and construction debris in the safety areas at the ends of the runway, on the airport's northern sector. It is important that safety areas be maintained as pristinely as runways because they are used in emergencies when planes overrun the runway during landing or must abort a takeoff and need additional pavement to stop safely. Inspectors also identified "potentially hazardous ruts, humps (and) depressions" on the surface of the new pavement in the safety areas of the runway. The FAA inspectors uncovered similar problems on O'Hare's longest runway that serves the largest commercial planes carrying hundreds of passengers. Other violations the FAA cited include incomplete training of personnel working on the airfield and record-keeping problems. One violation reported included instances in which airport workers were allowed to drive vehicles on the airfield without receiving all of the required training, officials said. Recurrent driver training and testing were also being put off for "numerous employees" until the final weeks before the expiration of the drivers' badges allowing them to operate vehicles on the airfield, the FAA said. In some areas where the FAA spotted lapses in airport operations, including daily field inspections and garbage removal, the inspectors said the problems reflect "insufficient or unqualified personnel to comply with the regulation. Additional training is needed." Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino was out of town Wednesday and unavailable for comment, Pride said. But Andolino and other city aviation officials are taking the FAA warning very seriously, Pride said. "The highest priority we have at the airport is safety and the cleanliness of the runways and the taxiways," she said. All airport operations supervisors will be required to view instructional videos on how to properly conduct self inspections, Pride said. In addition, O'Hare recently added extra inspections of all taxiways and runways, she said. O'Hare air-traffic controller Craig Burzych said he noticed that in the last week the city has temporarily shut down runways for up to 45 minutes at a time during daylight hours to carry out major inspections for debris. "They said they were missing things at night," said Burzych, who is a runway safety representative at O'Hare for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Andolino took over responsibility for O'Hare and Midway

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Update from No Games Chicago - 7 Days - FAA Sites O'Hare For Major ...

Airport this year when Mayor Richard Daley promoted her to a dual city aviation post. Andolino, 42, already served as director since 2003 of the O'Hare Modernization Program, a $15 billion runway expansion project. Some airline officials who have worked closely with Andolino on O'Hare expansion questioned the move to have one individual in charge of two very complex and time-consuming programs. Daley said that when he expanded Andolino's responsibilities in February, it made sense to consolidate all aviation activities. But the findings in the new FAA inspections raise doubts about the ability of Andolino and her department heads to provide sufficient oversight on daily maintenance issues and operations at O'Hare, officials said. "It's hard to tell whether the airport management in Chicago has not been keeping up with the physical plant. But this is a shot across the bow of the airport to get its act together," said Frank Ayers, executive vice president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's campus in Prescott, Ariz.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 6 Days - 2016 Insider Conflict of Interes...

No Games Chicago Update 6 Days To Decision Daily News
September 25, 2009 The People Speak So in a year or two we can look forward to hearing a speech from Daley saying how he is losing faith in the company that won the construction bid or how shocked he was to find out somebody on the Olympic Committee has been arrested for bribery. He will have to come up with a new speech to explain cost overruns and how the insurance doesn%u2019t cover them. The Feds could do us a favor and just start overseeing the Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:
Today the Chicago Tribune continues to chronicle the conflict of interests of Michael Scott, the chairman of the 2016 Community Outreach Committee. Mr. Scott led the 2016 Committee's efforts to negotiate a community benefits agreement with dozens of neighborhood groups to get their support for the bid. Apparently the only benefits being distributed from the bid are to insiders, such as himself. Here is a link to an earlier story about Mr. Scott's sweetheart land deal involving a site across the street form a proposed Olympic venue.

Chicago 2016 Olympics: Bid team member has ties to prospective Olympic Village developer
Chicago 2016 member Michael Scott works out of developer Gerald Fogelson's office
David Heinzmann, Todd Lighty and Kathy Bergen Tribune reporters - September 25, 2009 A key member of Mayor Richard Daley's Olympic committee

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Update from No Games Chicago - 6 Days - 2016 Insider Conflict of Interes...

bid process now. Comment online reacting to this Chicago Tribune story.

has a long business relationship with a developer vying to build the billion-dollar Olympic Village, the grandest piece of Chicago's plans for the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago 2016 committee member Michael Scott also served as a consultant to the developer on a condominium project near the proposed athletes village, a development that would increase in value if the city wins the Olympics. Scott, who negotiated key components of the $1.2 billion Olympic Village plan, said his business relationship with the developer, Gerald Fogelson, does not interfere with his role with the bid team. Chicago 2016 officials declined to say whether Scott's relationship with Fogelson was a problem, with Daley's Olympic team poised to spend billions of dollars in coming years. But Scott's multiple roles as a private developer, mayoral confidant and member of the city's Olympic committee raises anew concerns about insider dealings in a city where Daley allies have long benefited from civic projects the mayor champions. City Hall insiders for years have profited under Daley's administration in myriad deals, from minority contracting to leasing trucks to scooping up prime city-owned land. Scott, who works out of Fogelson's office, acknowledged he did work on the ongoing Eastgate Village condominium project, but said he provided limited services -- free -- as a favor to the millionaire developer. "I had no financial interest. I didn't do any real work," Scott said. Fogelson also described Scott's work as a favor. "He's a longtime friend. He offices here. He's done us favors. We've done him favors," Fogelson said Thursday. "We have other business dealings with him that date back a long time." Earlier this summer, Scott moved to sever his ties to another development after the Tribune revealed his role in plans to build a housing and retail project near the proposed Olympic cycling venue on the West Side. Fogelson was not involved in that venture. Scott said he was working for free on that project also, advising a group of ministers. Chicago 2016 officials advised him to end his involvement. Scott said he did not disclose his ties to Fogelson to Chicago 2016 because he sees no conflict of interest. But a Chicago 2016 spokesman said officials knew of Scott's relationship with Fogelson. In an e-mail, Patrick Sandusky said no contracts have yet been awarded for development and if the city wins the games on Oct. 2, Chicago 2016 would be dissolved and a new organizing committee would "have a public and open bidding process for the village development."

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Update from No Games Chicago - 6 Days - 2016 Insider Conflict of Interes...

Fogelson is among a dozen developers who have formally notified Chicago 2016 of their interest in the Olympic Village project. The village would boost property values for Eastgate and other developments, Fogelson said. Scott, currently the president of the Chicago Board of Education, has served Daley and three previous mayors in a series of appointed positions. Along the way he has become a real estate developer, involved in various projects. Public records show that in 2002 Fogelson and Scott formed a partnership -- FS Associates LLC -- to develop city-owned land in the West Side Austin neighborhood into condominiums. Fogelson withdrew from the deal before the project was built, and Scott formed a new partnership with David Doig, former superintendent of the Chicago Park District. Scott currently has an office in Fogelson's building and his business e-mail has a Fogelson Properties address. Fogelson acknowledged a longtime business relationship with Scott but declined to discuss their dealings. "I don't feel that it's anybody's business to know all the various real estate and other activities we're engaged in," Fogelson said. "I don't think there's anything improper about that. We try to stay under the radar." Scott, too, declined to discuss his relationship with Fogelson beyond their sharing of office space. Scott, who is black, said he advised Fogelson on building the development in a predominantly African-American neighborhood just south of the McCormick Place convention center, including arranging for radio personality Herb Kent to act as master of ceremonies for a promotional event. "I helped them get an emcee and gave them ideas for marketing to the African-American community," Scott said. "I am not the developer." Others recall Scott's role as more active. "I know Mike Scott. I know he was part of it. He was involved," said Madeline Haithcock, the former alderman for the area. A Web site marketing Eastgate Village identified Scott as a development partner in a July 2008 account about a streetnaming ceremony. Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, said he didn't learn of Scott's involvement in Eastgate until he saw him at the street-naming ceremony in late 2007. But Fioretti said he first became aware of their business relationship earlier that year when he visited Fogelson's office soon after becoming alderman. Fioretti recalled looking over plans in the office when Scott walked into the room. "I was like, 'Wow, OK. This explains a lot about who's who and what's what in this city,' " Fioretti said.

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Update from No Games Chicago -5 Days - African-American Journalists ...

No Games Chicago Update 5 Days To Decision Daily News
September 26, 2009 The People Speak Olympics or Human Life? Corey McClaurin and Corey Harris have been gunned down, but the Olympics still gets the top story. Human life is just a sidebar and 2016 is more important than the senior classes of Simeon Career Academy and Dyett High School. No Games Chicago may be upset that taxpayers may be on the hook for huge costs, but I'm more concerned with Chicagoans staying
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We expect you've been hearing about how diverse our city is and what a boon the games would be for the various neighborhoods who have suffered from lack of investment and few opportunities. Several prominent African-American journalists are troubled by the zeal and immense concentration of public and private resources marshaled on behalf of the bid. Mary Mitchell, a member of the Editorial Board at the Chicago Sun-Times, writes "To those of us who live in the real world, the push for the Olympics has been a bit hard to swallow. Just about every day, another child gets wounded or is murdered in our city."

City's troubles take back seat to Games bid
If only our have-nots drew same level of attention . . .
Mary Mitchell - Sun-Times Columnist- September 24, 2009 Only eight days left, and Mayor Daley will know whether or not he will get his way. Forget Rio.

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Update from No Games Chicago -5 Days - African-American Journalists ...

alive. The mayor wants this more than your first kiss from your high school crush. He salivates for the 5 rings that would blanket the city. He lusts after Olympic villages and Stadiums while not giving a hoot about a safe city. Is it because the ones getting shot aren't well-to-do? Wrong side of town? Does Daley think that this is natural selection? I'm for the Olympics - in a safe city with jobs, and thriving south and west sides. But why should we put all of the energy into the Olympics? Where are the additional officers on the streets? Where are the high quality teachers throughout CPS? When was the last time Mayor Daley focused on the worse parts of the city? City Hall has placed more importance on games than lives. Jane Byrne spent a day in Cabrini Green. I can't roll with an Olympics if Daley won't spend a day in the "Wild Hunnids."

My money is on Daley. When Daley decides to do something, it gets done: Millennium Park, Meigs Field, O'Hare expansion, the takeover of the Chicago Public Schools, and the dismantling of the CHA. Daley's quest for the 2016 Olympics has been a demonstration of his great ability. At a time when the lines stretch around the block at places that take care of the out-of-work and indigent, aldermen voted 49-0 to give Daley a blank check putting taxpayers on the hook for any uninsured losses. At a time when a lot of Chicagoans are facing homelessness because of foreclosures, Daley is assuring taxpayers that only an "earthquake or a tornado" would put them on the hook for any losses. And at a time when the cries of frustrated community activists are falling on deaf ears at the White House, Daley and his Olympic team have the star-power of first lady Michelle Obama, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Oprah Winfrey. Indeed, the "We Back the Bid" campaign is a reminder of why we need muckety-mucks. Only the well-heeled business owners who live in a different Chicago could pull something like this off. They are the only folks who still can afford to hop a flight and pay thousands of dollars for Chicago 2016 land packages just so they can witness the yea or nay. As they say, money attracts money. Bid backers are going to Copenhagen waving that big ol' blank check and parading some of the city's most prominent citizens before an international committee of snobs with the hope of scoring a world-class party. I'm not hating. I am just saying. Olympic bid vs. dying kids To those of us who live in the real world, the push for the Olympics has been a bit hard to swallow. Just about every day, another child gets wounded or is murdered in our city. Last Saturday, it was Corey McClaurin, a 17-year-old senior who was shot as he sat in his car parked around the corner from his home. Usually, you hear about something like this happening well after the witching hour.

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Update from No Games Chicago -5 Days - African-American Journalists ...

We're just a few days from a decision. I'm praying fo Chicago, but I want high school students to live. Television commentator Garrard McClendonCommentary for September 22, 2009

But it was 7 p.m. -- still daylight -- when McClaurin was killed. The shooter pulled up in a "dark blue or black minivan," fired a round of shots, and hopped back in the van. Family and friends of the victim can think of no motive for the shooting. "It's not gang-related. It's not drug-related. This was a great kid," a neighbor said. During the 2008-2009 school year, 34 Chicago Public Schools students were killed, and 290 were shot. Another 108 students were wounded over the summer. So far this school year, seven students have been shot, and two have been fatally wounded. Corey Harris, a 17-year-old junior at Dyett High School, was killed by a Chicago Police officer who claimed the teen aimed a gun at the officer. Help for youth better late than never I'm cynical enough to think that an anti-violence plan recently launched by schools chief Ron Huberman was done, in part, to mute criticism the mayor has faced for not putting the same effort into saving the city's children as he has put into securing the Olympics. Even so, I'm still grateful. Huberman has identified 38 schools that have the most youth who could be exposed to gang violence. About 200 students are targeted for intervention that includes intensive counseling and a job. The Youth Advocacy Program will cost about $5 million. "We are trying to find out why this violence is happening," said Monique Bond, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Public Schools. "We can't prevent every student from becoming a victim, but we can certainly try to start somewhere. We can't ignore it" she said. There is no question that the root of the violence that takes place routinely in Chicago's neighborhoods is complex. But we know a great deal of the violence is gang- and drug-related or associated with the breakdown of family structures. I wish the Olympics 2016 Committee a victory in Copenhagen. I only wish the mayor and his team had the same level of commitment to stop the city's bloodshed as they do for bringing home the Games.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 4 Days - African-American Journalists...

No Games Chicago Update 4 Days To Decision Daily News
September 27, 2009 THE PEOPLE SPEAK As a native Chicagoan, I strongly oppose the 2016 Summer Olympic games. As a citizen I oppose them because of Mayor Daley's record of spending taxpayer money he doesn't have. He is misleading the citizens, saying no taxpayer money will be spent. BULL**s!!! Due to his past record he can't be trusted. To the IOC, PLEASE don't pick Chicago for 2016 games.We can't afford them and don't want them.
Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: We expect you've been hearing about how diverse our city is and what a boon the games would be for the various neighborhoods who have suffered from lack of investment and few opportunities. Several prominent African-American journalists are troubled by the zeal and immense concentration of public and private resources marshaled on behalf of the bid. Today, Dawn Turner Trice of the Chicago Tribune writes that the children of Chicago deserve at least as much attention as the 2016 bid.

Chicago 2016 Olympics: Chicago's children deserve Olympian effort, too
On election night last November, Chicago was stage-set as the world watched. Grant Park teemed with people of different races who stood side by side, hugging, cheering and crying. One of the city's favorite sons, a black man, had achieved the seemingly impossible feat of winning the White House. That night showed a Chicago in her ideal. But the city -- whose mayor is hoping once again to cast it in the best light for the 2016 Olympics -- has a dark side. Despite its dazzling profile and the self-congratulation attendant to an Olympic bid, Chicago can never truly be a world-class city until it figures out how to save its children.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 4 Days - African-American Journalists...

Greg Pantazi, Chicago Signer of No Games Chicago online petition

Consider this: The Black Star Project, an advocacy group that mentors and tutors black and Latino students, has counted 53 children and teens under 18 who have been killed in Chicago from Sept. 2, 2008, to Sept. 2, 2009. "Since the Iraq war started in 2003, we've lost 10 soldiers who resided in this city, and that's awful," said Phillip Jackson, executive director of Black Star. "But during that same time, we've lost about 300 of our children. So you tell me: Is this not a war?" It is indeed. And the proof from some of the city's most embattled communities breaks your heart. You remember 9-year-old Chastity Turner, who was fatally shot in the neck in June as she gave her dogs a bath outside her father's home in the Englewood neighborhood. A few months before her, Gregory Robinson, 14, was gunned down in the back seat of a car in the 1100 block of West 110th Place. He died slumped over two younger relatives, whom family members believe he was trying to protect. Despite the city's recent launch of an anti-violence campaign designed to offer intensive counseling and a job to the Chicago Public Schools students most in danger of becoming victims, two teenagers in the city's schools already have been killed in gun violence this school year. Corey McClaurin, 17, was a senior at Simeon Career Academy High School. Corey Harris, 17, was a basketball player at Dyett High School. Seven other students have been shot this month. Chicago 2016's stewardship report touts the benefits to children of hosting the games. The report says: "The surplus produced by the 1984 Los Angeles Games provided the funding for the LA84 Foundation, which has committed more than $185 million to youth sport programs in Southern California. Similar opportunity will be provided to Chicago youth as a result of the 2016 Games." That sounds good, but a recent report from a RAND Corp. study reminds us that too many of Los Angeles' youth continue to struggle. The report found that those growing up in South Central's gang-infested communities amid violence have higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder than children growing up in Baghdad. "All of these kids are casualties," said Jackson. "Who can study in a school in LA or Chicago when they're worried about whether they're going to be alive tomorrow?" The International Olympics Committee on Friday will pick a host city in the four-way race among Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 4 Days - African-American Journalists...

Regardless of which city is chosen, it's no small endeavor that Mayor Richard Daley was able to marshal so many resources to get Chicago this close. He found a chief executive who persuaded a lot of people to volunteer their time and donate millions to an effort in which they believed. Indeed, there's no one event or thing that will immediately solve the complex stew of problems affecting youth who are at risk. Finding a solution will take a tremendous team approach that requires families and communities to pull their weight. But Chicago 2016 provides a template for mobilizing the dollars and the will to make something really big happen. We know that if Chicago wins the bid, the city's beautiful skyline will glow in the spotlight. But maybe getting something so grand would help us work to realize a city whose true beauty lies within.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 3 Days - Burning Cash

No Games Chicago Update 3 Days To Decision Daily News
September 28, 2009 THE PEOPLE SPEAK
Olympics would cost Chicagoans big-time The decision of the International Olympic Committee is close at hand. Every Chicagoan should cross fingers, say prayers and hope that the International Olympic Committee picks . . . any other city. First and foremost, all those businesslike economic projections flowing out of City Hall and the Chicago boosters are fabrications, theories. Without the benefit of high-priced accounting firms, I will make a prediction. Should we get the Olympics, the costs will be higher than projected and the income lower. The promised ancillary benefits

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: Here are two images that sum up what 84% of the people of Chicago associate with the Olympics and the 2016 bid.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 3 Days - Burning Cash

will never materialize. The impact on the working-class taxpayer will be significant. If you don't believe me, you should know that virtually every independent accounting authority says the city's projections are nothing but hype. Even the promised insurance policy that is supposed to protect the taxpayers is full of holes -- billions of dollars in costs will come out of Chicago workers' paychecks. Our hard-earned money will be redistributed to the rich and powerful friends of City Hall. In the twisted irony of Chicago politics, those who will scoop up millions of dollars in windfall profits will have the best accommodations, the best seats, the best parties. The working-stiff footing the bill will watch the hometown Olympics on television, find it impossible to get into a restaurant, stand in long lines for entertainment venues and have to make their way to work in super congestion. I say: Go! Go! Rio! Larry Horist, President, Public Policy Caucuses, Chicago Chicago Sun-Times letter to the editor, September 26, 2009

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Update from No Games Chicago - 2 Days - Will you meet with us?

No Games Chicago Update 2 Days To Decision Daily News
September 29 2009

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

NO GAMES IOC NEWSLETTER ONLINE ARCHIVE Click here to view any of the email newsletters No Games Chicago has sent you.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 2 Days - Will you meet with us?

The same team of No Games Chicago volunteer delegates that came to Lausanne in June is now in Copenhagen. Many people from Chicago will be meeting with you. Our President will be meeting with you. Unfortunately, NONE of them speaks for the vast majority of the citizens of Chicago who feel as we do that the 2016 Olympics is the wrong project for the wrong city at the wrong time. Will you allow us to come before you at a time of your choosing BEFORE you vote on Friday? Many of you have been following our daily email updates, which we have been sending you since late July. W e hope you have found them informative and useful in your deliberations.

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Update from No Games Chicago - 2 Days - Will you meet with us?

 

Our local phone number is 011-45416-89740. We look forward to giving you information you will want to have before you cast your vote on Friday. Thank you, as always, for your kind attention to our concerns. Martin Macias, Jr. Thomas Tresser Rhoda W hitehorse No Games Chicago Copehhagen Delegation nogameschicago@gmail.com
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Update from No Games Chicago - Chicago Scandals Continue

No Games Chicago Update Daily News
September 30 2009 Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The same team of No Games Chicago volunteer delegates that came to Lausanne in June is now in Copenhagen. Many people from Chicago will be meeting with you. Our President will be meeting with you. Unfortunately, NONE of them speaks for the vast majority of the citizens of Chicago who feel as we do that the 2016 Olympics is the wrong project for the wrong city at the wrong time.
NO GAMES IOC NEWSLETTER ONLINE ARCHIVE Click here to view any of the email newsletters No Games Chicago has sent you.

Will you allow us to come before you at a time of your choosing BEFORE you vote on Friday? Many of you have been following our daily email updates, which we have been sending you since late July. We hope you have found them informative and useful in your deliberations. Our local phone number is 011-45- 416-89740. No Games Chicago Copehhagen Delegation nogameschicago@gmail.com.
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Update from No Games Chicago - Chicago Scandals Continue

We have told you that the government of Chicago is plagued with corruption and incompetence. We have told you that this results in terrible management, cost overruns and risk. In this case, there is also the real danger of security lapses resulting from unqualified people making key decisions based on personal gain and not on the public's welfare. Here is a report from yesterday revealing that a top official tasked with security and readiness has been accused of fraudulent practices. These are the kind of people that will building and managing the Olympics if they come to Chicago.

Report: Fire city public safety exec
- FRAN SPIELMAN Chicago Sun-Times September 29, 2009 The inspector general's office is recommending the firing of the No. 2 man at Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications for alleged contract irregularities that cost taxpayers $2.25 million. Jim Argiropoulos, the $149,832-a-year first deputy who once served as OEMC's acting director, is accused of engineering a scheme that culminated in the falsification of documents to expedite the purchase of a new 911 dispatch console system from Schaumburg-based Motorola. The inspector general's office is recommending the firing of Jim Agripoulos for alleged contract irregularities that cost taxpayers $2.25 million. Chicago taxpayers have yet to receive anything for their money. The alleged irregularities took place in 2004 and 2005 while Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman was running OEMC. Without a contract to justify the console purchase -- and apparently unwilling to wade through the normal bidding process -- Argiropoulos allegedly ordered underlings to find a way to get it done. As a result, a phony voucher was issued for 18,000

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Update from No Games Chicago - Chicago Scandals Continue

handheld radios under an existing Motorola contract. No sooner had the company started ordering software than Argiropoulos allegedly demanded an upgrade, with the $2.25 million payment applied to the new system. When Motorola balked at the demand, Argiropoulos allegedly played hardball: If Motorola didn't give him what he wanted, its future city contracts would be in jeopardy, according to sources familiar with the inspector general's report. Argiropoulos could not be reached for comment. Motorola spokesman Steve Gorecki referred questions to the city. The company was not accused of wrongdoing. The Motorola investigation was first disclosed by the Chicago Sun-Times in May 2008. The following day, the newspaper reported that Argiropoulos had stripped a $104,804-a-year underling of his respon- sibilities after the subordinate provided key information to investigators probing the $2.25 million in payments to Motorola beyond the scope of the company's contracts.

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No Games Chicago Press Announcement - We're in Copenhagen

PRESS RELEASE September 30, 2009

For Immediate Release Contact: For more information: In Copenhagen: Tom Tresser, 011-45-41-689740, tom@tresser.com In Chicago:Francesca Rodriguez, 773-xxx­xxxx, xxx@gmail.com Bob Quellos, 773-xxx­xxxx, xxx@gmail.com http://www.nogameschicago.com

No Games Chicago Sends Delegation to Copenhagen
Copenhagen - No Games Chicago has sent three volunteers to Copenhagen, Denmark in order to persuade the members of the International Olympic Committee to pick another city for the 2016 Olympics. The members of the delegation are Martin Macias, Jr., Thomas Tresser and Rhoda Whitehorse. The same team went to Lausanne Switzerland on June 15 to bring the message of "no games for Chicago" to the IOC, They delivered 100 copies of the "Book of Evidence" - 160 pages of reprints from local papers over the past four years documenting the poor finances and management of the city and showing that the people here do not support the bid. Tom Tresser is an educator and activist and former actor and producer. He is a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, which fights the privatization of public space and an member of the Executive Committee of the 43rd Ward Independent Democratic Ward organization in Chicago. He can be reached in Copenhagen at tom@tresser.com or (45) 416-89740. Rhoda Whitehorse has lived in Chicago for 40 years and is a former public school teacher. She is a mother and grandmother and minister who cares deeply about the world they will inherit. She can be reached in Copenhagen at xxxx@gmail.com or 312-xxx­xxxx. Martin Macias Jr. is a youth organizer for the Chicago Environmental Justice Coalition. He is also a media reform activist with the community radio station Radio Arte. He can be reached at xxx@gmail.com or  (45) 539-26003. "Our goal is, and always has been, to communicate information to the members of the International Olympic Committee that they need to make a wise decision on awarding the 2016 games. We belive that hosting the Olympics is the wrong project for the wrong city at the wrong time," said delegate member Tom Tresser, "Eight-four percent of the people of Chicago agree with us. We're here to speak up for them." #### No Games Chicago is an all-volunteer group of social justice activists, concerned citizens and grassroots organizations opposed to bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. The group was launched on January 31, 2009 with a public forum at the University of Illinois Chicago.

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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

No Games Chicago Update Daily News
October 1, 2009 Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee: The same team of No Games Chicago volunteer delegates that came to Lausanne in June is now in Copenhagen. Many people from Chicago will be meeting with you. Our President will be meeting with you. Unfortunately, NONE of them speaks for the vast majority of the citizens of Chicago who feel as we do that the 2016 Olympics is the wrong project for the wrong city at the wrong time.
NO GAMES IOC NEWSLETTER ONLINE ARCHIVE Click here to view any of the email newsletters No Games Chicago has sent you.

Will you allow us to come before you at a time of your choosing BEFORE you vote on Friday? Many of you have been following our daily email updates, which we have been sending you since late July. We hope you have found them informative and useful in your deliberations. Our local phone number is 011-45- 416-89740. No Games Chicago Copehhagen Delegation nogameschicago@gmail.com.
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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

With one day left before you decide who will host the 2016 Olympics, we'd like to share with you an excellent summing up of the reasons why picking Chicago would be a grave error. Chicago political reporter Ben Joravsky wrote an open letter to you in April citing the main reasons why awarding the games to Chicago would be a terrible mistake. Today he repeats and adds to these arguments. We hope you will take a few moments to carefully consider his point of view.

Dear International Olympic Committee: One last argument for why Chicago doesn't need, want, or deserve the games.
Ben Joravsky -The Chicago Reader Dear Members of the International Olympic Committee: It's been almost six months since I last wrote to encourage you not to award Chicago the 2016 games. Back then, as you recall, I was welcoming some of you to town for your official visit. Now, of course, you're in Copenhagen, preparing to announce on October 2 which city they'll be held in-Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo, or Rio. I don't want Chicago to "win" for the reasons I mentioned last time: we can't afford the games, and they'll tear up our parks. But let's talk about your needs. I urge you, for your own sake: spare yourself the cost overruns, backroom deals, political wrangling, embarrassing scandals, and ugly headlines a Chicago Olympics would almost certainly bring you. Let me explain. For starters, no one around here really wants them. OK, that's not completely true. Obviously, Mayor Daley wants them, and his opinion counts far more than most. But on this issue, at least, he doesn't represent the city well. According to the most recent poll, conducted in late August for the Chicago Tribune, 45 percent of Chicagoans are explicitly against bringing the games here, and 84 percent are effectively against them because they're opposed to using any taxpayer money to fund them. As you probably know, having scrutinized the books, taxpayers will almost certainly have to cover at least some of the costs. Mayor Daley says it will cost $3.3 billion to stage the games and he'll raise $3.8 billion from private donors, leaving a $500 million pot from which to build parks and field houses in low-income neighborhoods. But what you might not know is that the city hasn't completed a major construction project on time or on budget in recent memory. Pick a project, any project: the reconstruction of Soldier Field, the creation of Millennium Park, the

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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

redevelopment of the prime downtown land at Block 37, the expansion of O'Hare airport-they were all finished way over budget if they were finished at all. In Chicago, people know that the question isn't whether city projects will go over budget, but by how much. Faith in the predictions that the games would be an economic boon for Chicago is exactly that: faith. Science doesn't support them. As my colleague Deanna Isaacs wrote a couple of weeks ago, studies have found that the games have a marginal impact on the local economy-one study, produced by the European Tour Operators Association, even concluded that "there appears to be little evidence of any benefit to tourism of hosting an Olympic Games, and considerable evidence of damage." Just last week the Anderson Economic Group, an independent research and consulting firm, released a report designed to let area businesses know more about the probable impact of hosting the 2016 Olympics. They concluded that the games could yield $4.4 billion in economic benefits-a not insubstantial sum, but less than a quarter of the $22 billion the mayor's office and the Chicago 2016 bid committee have been trumpeting. You may recall that the mayor initially vowed that the games wouldn't cost Chicagoans one dime in public money. Yet we've already committed half a billion bucks (and that doesn't include $250 million put up by the state, which is also strapped for cash). It's not the same deal with Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio, whose national governments have promised to pay their Olympic bills. The residents of Chicago are being asked to pretty much shoulder this sucker on their own. Why should you care about any of this? Because we're broke, and with all our other pressing needs there's bound to be political blowback if we spend money on a three-week-long international party. I know, I told you about our financial troubles last time. But guess what: they've gotten worse. Back then the city was estimating it was about $200 million in the red. In the ensuing months, Mayor Daley laid off workers, forced employees to take unpaid furloughs, and even closed City Hall for a day in August. Yet the deficit still grew-it's now expected to be more than $500 million for the coming year. In addition, the Chicago Public Schools is facing its own deficit of $475 million as school officials talk about raising property taxes and cutting staff and programs. The mayor's in a bit of a bind. He can close the budget gap with another tax hike and another round of service cuts, or he can do what he's done the past few years: make unrealistically rosy projections of how much revenue the city expects to collect in the coming months. Of course, if he chooses plan B-the politically safe option-the city will make plans to spend more than it can really afford and we'll end up with an even a greater budget deficit just a few months from now. In either case, the decision won't come until after you make

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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

your October 2 announcement. Think of it this way: If you were to give Chicago the Olympics, the city would have to spend money to build athletic facilities, housing, and other infrastructure for the games even as Mayor Daley raises taxes, lays off teachers, and cuts the services that supposedly make this city "work." What would be the consequences for your games? That's the multi-billion-dollar question you have to ponder. On the one hand, Chicagoans have been very tolerant of Mayor Daley, despite years of scandal and corruption. He's been reelected five times since 1989 with no less than 60 percent of the vote. On the other hand, these are unusually volatile times. Recent public opinion polls in the Trib found that the percentage of Chicagoans who view Daley favorably has slipped to 35, an all-time low. The public is still grumbling about the parking meter debacle, in which City Hall, with virtually no oversight or expert analysis, leased the city's meter system to a consortium of investors for 75 years, apparently for far less than it was worth. The process was engineered by a battery of well-connected law firms and investment bankers who've donated thousands of dollars to the mayor's political-and Olympic-coffers. Daley swore that the new operators would run the meters far more efficiently than the city had, but they've had all kinds of problems in the months since they took over. Even as the rates quadrupled, meters broke down, motorists got tickets, angry consumers sabotaged the meters, and aldermen and the state attorney general launched investigations. If you want to know why the public is having a hard time buying anything the mayor's selling these days-and why you too should be wary of his promises-you ought to read the Reader's coverage of how the meter deal went down. Give us the games and you run the risk of replacing the parking meter operators as everybody's favorite whipping boys-the most convenient scapegoat for all the service cuts and tax hikes people will be facing. And don't forget: this isn't China, where the central government controls the press. There are still reporters around town who delight in exposing the murky details of inside deals, cost overruns, project delays, investigations, and-when they happen, and they do happen-federal indictments and convictions. Already the city's Olympic bid has begun to give off the scent of scandal. Just last week the Trib broke the news that Michael Scott-a powerful Daley ally and member of the Chicago 2016 bid committee-has worked as a consultant for one of the firms hoping to develop Chicago's $1.2 billion Olympic Village. Earlier stories reported that Scott, who's also head of the Chicago school board, was part of a group of west-siders hatching plans to develop city-owned land near Douglas Park, the planned site of the planned Olympic velodrome.If the Olympics come to Chicago, these properties would soar in

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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

  

value. Scott, though, said he wasn't in it for himself-he was just providing pro bono advice to a group of ministers working on the project. Just in case Mayor Daley didn't include any of these articles in your press packet, let me quote a choice sample of the Trib's latest: "Scott's multiple roles as a private developer, mayoral confidant and member of the city's Olympic committee raises anew concerns about insider dealings in a city where Daley allies have long benefited from civic projects the mayor champions. City Hall insiders for years have profited under Daley's administration in myriad deals, from minority contracting to leasing trucks to scooping up prime city-owned land." Ouch. And you haven't even awarded us the games yet. Of course, you will undoubtedly hear a different story from the dignitaries Mayor Daley brings to Copenhagen. Everyone from Oprah to President Obama will be telling you it's all hunky-dory in Chicago. Don't believe them. I doubt they believe it themselves. I guess our corporate and civic bigwigs have decided it's in their best interest to go along to get along. This is very much a one-man town-Mayor Daley calls the shots. Most players here know that if they want anything they have to go through him. As several told me on the condition that I not use their names (they're not eager to face the mayor's wrath for talking), they see their Olympic support as either payback for things they got in the past or a down payment on things they hope to get in the future. Many of the most generous contributors to the Olympic cause are either city contractors or leaders of institutions who count on city funding to operate. As for President Obama, he doesn't live here anymore, so he won't be around to take the hit when the locals get fed up. Plus, the largely African-American south- and west-siders who are likely to pay the most for the games-through the loss of parks or rising property taxes-are likely to remain loyal to him regardless. I guess he figures he's got nothing to lose. You've probably heard that our City Council voted unanimously to back Chicago's Olympics bid. That's not as it seems either. I've talked to quite a few of them over the last few weeks, and they've told me they felt they had no choice. Aldermen Robert Fioretti, Scott Waguespack, and Joe Moore, for starters, have all told me the mayor made it clear he would never forgive or forget anyone who came out against the games. He wanted an unblemished vote, and he got it. Still, many of the aldermen realize that the Olympics will be a hot political issue in this town for years to come-particularly if they have to continue to hike taxes and cut services at the same time we're all reading articles about Olympic overruns and inside deals. "There's no point in voting no-it only pisses off the mayor and I

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Update from No Games Chicago - Tomorrow you decide

don't need that," I was told by one alderman who didn't want his name used in print. Besides, he added, "We're not getting the games-Rio's getting them. You heard it here first." And if you're wrong? I asked him. "We're screwed."
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No Games Chicago Newsletter - 2016 Committee Accused of Discrimination

PRESS RELEASE October 2, 2009

For Immediate Release Contact: For more information: Valencia Rias 773-236-7252, x 241 Don Moore 312-236-7252, x 236

Chicago Residents File Complaint with U.S. Department of Justice to Challenge Discriminatory Practices of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee
Chicago, IL - October 1, 2009 The Chicago Park District, The Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, and Chicago Mayor Daley have demonstrated a pattern of racial discrimination in the development and design of their Olympic Bid," said Valencia Rias, who is a South Side community activist. As a result, Rias and eight other Chicagoans filed a civil rights Racial Discrimination complaint today with the U.S. Department of Justice, charging that: Chicago's strategy for carrying out the Olympics (as stated in Chicago's Olympic bid) relies heavily on the "donation" of major Chicago parks for the clear majority of Olympic ceremonies and competitions, even though the Chicago version of the Games has been advertised as "privately funded"). Most important, three major public parks with the heaviest burden for the Games (especially Washington Park, but also including Douglas Park and Jackson Park) serve communities that are nearly 100% African-American and among the poorest in the city. These communities will be substantially deprived of the use of a significant poart of their parks for periods of two years or more, while major venues (such as the temporary 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium at Jackson Park) are constructed and then torn down after the Olympics. These three parks are almost the only resource that many young people and adults have available in their communities for recreation (especially organized and informal sports that keep young people out of trouble, but also including jogging, and picnicking). For example, Washington Park is a 98% African American 65% low-income community on Chicago's South Side. Washington Park will become the site not only of an 80,000-seat stadium, but also five swimming pools. After being denied access to Washington Park for two years, residents will watch Olympic spectators arrive on shuttle buses, enter the stadium and pool sites through fences surrounding them, and then return to their hotels-once again by shuttle bus.

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No Games Chicago Newsletter - 2016 Committee Accused of Discrimination

Washington Park has virtually no full-service stores. They have no major restaurants or other businesses that are to attract people who come to watch the Olympics. The Chicago Olympic bid itself does not include concrete and substantial funds to help Washington Park and other venues with their the major economic development commitment needed to turn them around. The Rio bid makes the long-term development of the communities where the Olympics will be held central to their bid. With no similar funds as part of Chicago's bid several Chicago foundations are establishing a fund to aid the communities where the Games would be held in Chicago. The three African American communities in which these parks are located had no say in whether or how their parks would be used for Olympic events. The decision to "donate" their use to the Chicago Olympic Committee was made by the Chicago Park Board, which is appointed and totally controlled by Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley. (The Mayor's former Chief of Staff, Gery Chico) is now the Park Board's President.) Of the more than 50 public parks larger than 100 acres in Chicago, only one park in a predominantly white community is being required by the Park District and the Mayor to bear a somewhat similar burden, by serving as the site for tennis, with some new courts to be built. "I think the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee has stolen parks in low-income African-American neighborhoods because they think we will just be quiet and take it- while white and more affluent neighborhoods wouldn't tolerate it," says Michael Johnson, an active parent who coaches a youth football team in Washington Park. A map of where the city's parks are located clearly indicates the Committee could have had set these different competitions up in a wide variety of communities that are still close to the Olympic Village," said Rias. "The Olympic Committee has talked about using parks that have breath-taking lakefront views, but only one of the three parks in the African American community is actually on the Lake Michigan. Chicago has a real lakefront park that extends along nearly the entire lakefront on Chicago's North Side, but this park is in the wealthiest part of the city and would never tolerate extensive shutdowns and construction," said Toni Stith, another signer of the Department of Justice complaint. Parents also question why a city that faces a record $500 million deficit for the coming fiscal year can shell out millions for the Olympics. Due to both city and state budget deficits this year, many social service and health care workers were laid off. "I would rather have a good teacher in my son's classroom than watch the Olympics through a fence," said Crystal Crokett, another parent who signed the federal complaint. Michael Scott, Mayor Daley's appointed head of the Chicago Board of Education and a member of the committee seeking to bring the Olympics to Chicago, bet that real estate prices would go up around the Douglas Park Olympic venue on the West Side, when he bought run-down real estate near the park, where the Olympic bicycle-racing track will be built. When a journalist exposed Scott's activities, Scott dropped his ties to this land purchase. Chicago's precarious financial position and the sense that insiders will be the primary beneficiaries, if the Olympics come to the Windy City, have helped contribute to a sharp drop in public support for the Chicago 2016 bid. Last February, 67% of Chicagoans supported holding the Games here, according to the Chicago Tribune. This percentage dropped to 47% in September, with 84% Chicagoans saying that no public money should be used to support the Games. The level of public support for the Olympics is one stated standard that the International Olympic Committee uses to judge competitors' bids. "This percentage could sink even lower after lengthy Olympic construction forces families to curtail the use of parks in low-income African American communities, after these communities have been required to "donate" their parks for Olympic competitions in 2016." said Rias.

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No Games Chicago Newsletter - 2016 Committee Accused of Discrimination

#### Designs for Change 814 South Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60612 www.designsforchange.org

No Games Chicago is an all-volunteer group of social justice activists, concerned citizens and grassroots organizations opposed to bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. The group was launched on January 31, 2009 with a public forum at the University of Illinois Chicago. We have transmitted this press release from a member of the No Games Coalition, Designs for Change.
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