Chicago lost its Olympic bid for the 2016 Summer Games. I, for one, am relieved. Excerpt from an excellent piece at the East Coast Bias:
To prepare Chicago, Mayor Daley would have needed to remove a number of poor communities from the south side, relocating them outside of the county, or far west within the city. There would have been cost overruns, as previously stated, cutbacks on services for current residents, the creation of structures at a high cost (in a time of fluctuating value) that will NOT be used after the Olympic event. It’s the kind of production that loves a blowhard that promises big things and scrambles to deliver. It’s the kind of production that would be better served by a more lax news media, easily-manipulated fiscal policy, and disenfranchised/ easy to move residents.
I would also add that although Mayor Daley guaranteed that no city tax money would fund the infrastructure changes or any other Olympic expense, in an effort to step to the plate, the Chicago City Council voted unanimously to cover any financial shortfalls were it to win the Olympic bid.
The City Council had already promised $500 million to the cause, not to mention the other $50 million used just to prepare for the bid.
I realize that most Chicago residents don’t know where the “poor people near UIC, the United Center or McCormick Place” went. They just know that it’s nice and clean now and they go on their merry way. It doesn’t really cross their minds that there are people hurting in this city.
I would love to see this zeal for an Olympic Games diverted to fixing the problems of this city. Put it towards Chicago Public Schools, perhaps?