Juanita Irizarry and the public service organization she heads, Friends of the Parks, threw a monkey wrench into the plans of George Lucas, Mellody Hobson and the Mayor. The Mayor wanted to hand over, at no charge, our public lakefront so that Lucas and Hobson could build their Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
It should have been called the Ariel Investments Museum of pictures from Star Wars and the Saturday Evening Post.
Listen. Hobson and Lucas can collect any stuff they want. I have a friend who collects matchbook covers. But I don’t think we should hand over prime lakefront real estate at no charge to him so that he can build some ugly-ass building and get a tax break as part of the deal.
Hobson is President of Ariel Investments which manages billions of dollars of the city’s pension funds and was a major contributor to Rahm’s campaigns.
Hobson also sits on the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund.
Sarah Karp wrote about the relationship of the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Barbara Byrd-Bennett SUPES scandal.
The federal investigation into SUPES Academy is shining a light on a quiet though influential player in the city’s education arena: The Chicago Public Education Fund.
SUPES, of course, is the for-profit leadership training firm at the center of an FBI probe that has targeted CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett (who is now on leave). Before SUPES got its now-infamous $20.5 million no-bid contract from CPS, The Public Education Fund had given SUPES a $380,000 contract to train area network chiefs and their deputies.
The arrogance of Hobson to the courageous decision of Friends of the Parks to refuse to go along with the lakefront theft was breathtaking.
The Chicago businesswoman who chairs After School Matters said she and Lucas had worked for two years with “every relevant city agency, community leader, and policy maker” to finalize “what would be the largest philanthropic gift to an American city in the 21st century.”
How dare the people of Chicago not appreciate their philanthropy.
God save our city from any more philanthropic gifts.
I have an alternate plan.
Perhaps Rahm wouldn’t mind giving me free land across the street from his house on north Hermitage for my Fred Klonsky Museum of Narrative Art.
I have copies of some important work: