The Chicago way.
The Obama Foundation is trying to generate as much public support as possible ahead of the city of Chicago’s first municipal vote to approve construction permits that would allow the Obama Presidential Center to be built on historic parkland.
The foundation’s chief engagement officer, Michael Strautmanis, emailed “friends” of the project late last week asking them to show up at City Hall at 5 a.m. Thursday to demonstrate to city officials that local residents are behind it.
Attendees were told to pick up Obama swag — T-shirts and buttons — from the organization’s local headquarters ahead of Thursday.
Although the Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, the foundation will hold a rally at Randolph Street and LaSalle Street before dawn. The foundation is offering attendees “breakfast and music” if they come and said they may even appear on local TV morning news shows.
“We expect to get interest from the early morning news crews. We know that 5 am is early, but we’re happy for you to join us at 6, 7, or 8 am, too. So put on your Obama gear and join us for some early morning fun,” Strautmanis wrote.
Attendees will then be moved into the city building.
“The Department of Planning and Development will present the Obama Foundation’s application alongside those from the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Park District. The Chairman of the Plan Commission will then open the floor to testimony and questions,” Strautmanis wrote.
“We hope to have the galleries full of our supporters who can clap and cheer for positive speakers. While we expect the meeting could go until 5:00 PM or later, you’ll be able to enter and leave the chamber as needed. We’ll have snacks on hand to keep energy levels up,” he added.