CHICAGO — Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will head a community economic development organization created to ensure neighborhoods will benefit from the planned Obama Presidential Center.
The creation of the still unnamed, 25-member organization comes after more than a dozen meetings and focus groups were held examining the needs and challenges of the communities closest to the Obama Center’s proposed South Side site.
Duncan said the communities near the Obama Center have long been hurting, adding the institution could have a positive impact that could last for decades.
Duncan is a former Chicago Public Schools chief and lives in a neighborhood near the proposed center. He is currently a managing partner at the Emerson Collective, working on projects to reduce gun violence.
Groundbreaking for the Obama Center is set for spring.