submitted by:Marcus Robinson, 2/19/2015
President Obama delivered remarks in a small gym that was filled to capacity at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced the president. Emanuel, who sounded a bit hoarse, spoke for about five minutes, saying this day designating the Pullman National Monument had been “decades in the making.”
“Today we take another giant step forward in Pullman’s promise,” he said, adding that this neighborhood now will belong not just to Chicago but to all of America.
Emanuel introduced Obama as “my friend, Chicago’s favorite son.”
Obama took the stage, sounding happy to be back in his adopted home and greeting the crowd in what he called “Chiberia.” He spoke about the history of the Pullman District, his personal connection to the neighborhood and the White House’s efforts to encourage Americans to “find their park.” His remarks were open press.
After he wrapped up his speech, the president sat at a small desk on the stage to sign the paperwork to make the national monument designations official. He was flanked by Emanuel and several other people. Obama then worked the rope line, spending several minutes shaking hands before departing.
The President delivered remarks at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, which was the original site of The Pullman Free School of Manual Training, one of the finest technical secondary schools in the country – envisioned by George Pullman and funded through his will – when it was created.
The setting for the event was near the site of the historic Pullman town in Chicago, a location iconic for its history of labor unrest and civil rights advances, which will be the City’s first National Park Service (NPS) unit.
Stage participants included:
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Mark Kirk, U.S. Senator
Robin Kelly, U.S. Representative
Mike Quigley, U.S. Representative
Bobby Rush, U.S. Representative
Bob Dold, U.S. Representative
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior
Jon Jarvis, Director, National Park Service Marie Robinson, President, Pullman Wheelworks Tenant Association Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor David Doig, President, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Mike Shymanski, President, Historic Pullman Foundation, Inc Anthony Beale, Alderman, 9th Ward