The former president said he wanted to get to work on his presidential center right away to combat the perception Chicago is a dangerous place.
On Tuesday Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced they’ll be making a huge donation to create opportunities for the residence of their hometown of Chicago. The former first couple revealed that they would be opening a presidential library in their name to serve as both the library and the headquarters for the Obama Foundation.
“Michelle and I will personally donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community so that right away people can get to work and we can start providing opportunity for them,” Obama said, adding that the center will not be open for another four years.
“We can’t afford to wait four years to start working together, and so what Michelle and I want to do is start now,” he added, noting the violence in the city.
“We’ll be working with the city, we’ll be working with the county, we’ll be working with businesses because part of what we want to do is reach young people who might be at risk if they don’t have something to do during the summers,” Obama continued. “But part of what we also want to do is to reach older youth who may be prepared for apprenticeships because one of the things that this project is going to do is generate jobs.”
According the former Head of State, the center is estimated to create 200-300 jobs, while its construction alone will generate 1,400-1,500 jobs, in addition to “another 2,000 in the overall economic development of the area.”
The center will be built in the city’s Jackson Park and the museum portion will be shaped like a lantern.