HYDE PARK — A new poll commissioned by the University of Chicago shows a majority of residents around two proposed sites for the Barack Obama Presidential Library approve of using parkland, but only a precious few believe Chicago really has anything to worry about from other library bids.
The poll released Wednesday surveyed 500 voters in the four wards that surround the two sites in Washington and Jackson parks offered by the University of Chicago as options for the presidential library.
Of those polled between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, 84 percent wanted the library on the South Side and 79 percent were OK with the president using some parkland, according to polling data from Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.
Only 10 percent seemed to think Chicago should worry about losing the library to alternative proposals from Columbia University in New York or the University of Hawaii.
The library is expected to draw in as many as 40 new businesses and create upward of 2,000 new jobs. Those potential economic gains repeatedly garnered top support for those surveyed, at times out-ranking honoring the first African-American president.
The poll also found that neither the university’s arguments for using parkland nor park’s advocates against doing so strongly swayed respondents, possibly because the vast majority said they were already familiar with the proposal.
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