No Games Chicago
No Games Chicago
IOC Newsletter

May 23, 2009
 Dear member of the International Olympic Committee:

We are the No Games Coalition. We met with a number of your Evaluation Commission members on April 7 and laid out our reasons why we feel Chicago is not an appropriate place to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

We are pleased to send you the second No Games Chicago Newsletter highlighting the four major reasons why you might decide that Chicago would not be a good choice for the 2016 Olympic Games. 
 
They are:
 
1) Financial - Our federal, state, county and city governments are in dire financial circumstances, and there is every possibility that there would not be available funds to pay the many costs associated with an event of the quality we are sure you would want.
 
2) Infrastructure.  Our mass transit facilities, roads, and other publicly supported structures are in need of expensive upgrading that can barely handle our daily needs, let alone the pressure that would surely be placed upon it by the crowds that these games might attract.  Furthermore, we have no plans and apparently no funds to undertake much-needed work in time for use in 2016.
 
3) Corruption and Incompetence.  Our newspapers regularly bring news of executed or expected indictments of public officials as well as corruption in many quarters of the city and state.  We also have seen documentation of public incompetence in handling matters that affect millions of citizens here. This may add much expense and delay as you carry out the complex series of arrangements that would be needed for your project. 
 
4) Lack of Public Support.  This is reflected in polls showing support for Olympic Games falling as the financial realities, sink in, as well as the difficulties to be encountered such as may be exemplified by the problems around the use or elimination of historic structures, each with their supporters who in true Chicago fashion may well seek lengthy and expensive delays through court action.

We believe you will find the articles below of interest in considering these matters.  They are just a small sample of similar articles that have appeared in our local papers nearly every day over the past few weeks.  Wherever possible we have provided, for your convenience,  links or actual files of entire articles. We have stored these stories for you as PDF files on our web site.

 
Financial News
 
Insurance is city's Olympics hurdle
April 06, 2009 Crain's Chicago Business, By John Pletz
 
This article documents how Pat Ryan and Mayor Richard M. Daley performed a high-wire act for the International Olympic Committee during their April visit, convincing its evaluation team that Chicago's unorthodox combination of limited city and state financial guarantees - plus an undefined insurance policy - will be as good as the unconditional government commitments being offered by Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo  But it will be much harder to complete this deal now that insurers have been hammered by the financial crisis than when the idea was first proposed two years ago.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?id=31582
 
 
Challenges rise in developing Olympic Village
May 13, 2009, Crain's Chicago Business, By John Pletz

Crain's Chicago Business reports that real estate developers project difficulties in securing financing for the proposed site of the Olympic Village. "Financing is the biggest obstacle," said Jerry Karlik, a principal at Kargil Development, which has done projects in the South Loop and responded to a bid committee request for expressions of interest in the Olympic Village earlier this year. "There's going to have to be some sort of assistance: guarantees, tax credits or something.
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.

 
 
Illinois Governor: Hike tax or slash spending 37%
May 18, 2009, Crain's Chicago Business, Greg Hinz

As we stated above, the state of IL is broke­­-$11 billion deficit for this fiscal year-and cannot afford the games. Governor Quinn of Illinois stated that if taxes are not raised in IL, there would be dire outcomes and effects on public programs, including:
-14,300 public school teachers would be laid off, a $1.5-billion cut
-400,000 college students would lose scholarship aid in a $554-million reduction
-650,000 people would lose health care benefits in cuts totaling $1.2 billion
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
 
Transportation and Infrastructure News
 
 
50B price tag to fix aging rail transit in Chicago, 6 other cities.
April 30, 2009, Crain's Chicago Business.

Will the City of the Big Shoulders be able to shoulder it's share of this burden? 
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.

 
Lakefront path's holes finally getting patched.
May 12, 2009, Chicago Tribune.

And what about our streets?  Despite the jokes, potholes are no joking matter.  Some waited months to be fixed.  (See Chicago Tribune Consumer Watch article May 12, 2009, attached)  When the IOC advance team visited Washington Park prior to the IOC April meeting, all of the potholes were fixed in the places they visited in true Potemkin Village style.  But throughout the remainder of the city cars were breaking axles and sinking into deep holes that were left unattended for substantial periods of time.
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.   

 
Ten pieces of U.S. infrastructure we must fix now. 
May 2008, Popular Mechanics

Chicago was the ONLY city that appeared on this list TWICE!  See PDF file attached.  Chicago is the ONLY city to appear TWICE on this list, citing the Circle Interchange, a traffic configuration in the center of the city where three major highways meet, and O'Hare Airport.  Both of these will be extensively used by visitors and either could create serious disruptions. 
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
Mayor Daley sees intensifying storm despite positive trends in economy.
May 19, 2009, Chicago Tribune

When even the Mayor is not optimistic about meeting the many unmet needs in Chicago, how can we realistically consider assuming the additional expenses Olympic Games will entail?
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
 
Corruption and Incompetence News
 
State of corruption: A history of insatiable greed
February 15, 2009, Chicago Tribune, By Bob Secter
 
As citizens write enormous property tax checks or file state income taxes, corruption costs them daily in bloated government and inefficient services.  No-bid contracts get inflated to cover the costs of the campaign cash needed to grease them. Public jobs too often go to the connected and lazy instead of the best, brightest and most eager.
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
Chicago a longtime host to Outfit puppet show.
April 24, 2009, Chicago Tribune. 

Columnist John Kass describes the connections between local law enforcement and organized crime drawing on federal investigations and trials. Writes columnist Kass:  The International Olympic Committee might not know this, so don't tell them, but Chicago has a history of law enforcement conduits to the mob. The job has been held by many -- a patrol officer in the evidence section, hit men in the Cook County Sheriff's office, even the chief of detectives of the Chicago Police Department." 
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
Illinois reform: Mayor Daley says he's "leading by example."
May 15, 2009, Chicago Tribune.

Tribune documents convictions of top Daley aides for running an illegal hiring schemes, and how the Daley administration routinely cites exemptions in the state's public records law to avoid releasing information and frequently drags out for weeks or even months efforts to get records. Despite his requests to legislators for more money for schools and property tax relief, no improved ethics laws are in sight.
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
 
Lack of Public Support
 
Hurdles and hassles: How about a book of promises for Chicago and Illinois residents?
May 12, 2009 The Chicago Tribune, By Allen R. Sanderson
 
A University of Chicago Economics Professor pleads, in a Chicago Tribune OpEd, for unofficial bid book that lays out for local citizens what their potential financial exposures and "congestion exposures" truly are.  More and more citizens are beginning to understand and object to spending this money in the current economic crisis. Public officials will, at some point, need to attend these concerns if they wish to retain their positions.
For complete article please see PDF file on our website.
 
 
State historic preservation officials have entered the battle over Site of proposed Olympic Village
May 7, 2009, By Blair Kamin and Kathy Bergen
 
The move marks the first time a government agency has raised a potential hurdle for Mayor Richard Daley and organizers who want to bring the 2016 Summer Games to Chicago. It also could slow the city's plans to buy the property and quickly resell it to private developers.... The agency cited an Illinois law that requires it to assess the Site map impact on historic properties before state agencies grant funding or permission for projects.  For complete article please see PDF attached.
 
Neighborhood Interests can lead to long and costly delays.  That disputes over public lands and buildings may wind up in court are found in three articles from just one issue of a local neighborhood weekly newspaper.  These are about disputes involving construction that would destroy the Prentice Women's Hospital, the use of Grant Park land for a Children's Museum, and the placement of a Broadcast History Museum.  In each of these, the proposed projects could be tied up indefinitely in protracted and costly legal wrangling. 
For complete articles, please see PDF file on our website.

 
And support continues to fall:

Tribne poll
 
Chicagoans' support lower, Olympic poll show
May 7, 2009, Chicago Breaking News from Chicago Tribune, by Philip Hersh
 
A public opinion poll commissioned by the International Olympic Committee showed Chicagoans' support for the 2016 Olympics to be 10 percentage points lower than the figure Chicago officials used in their bid book based on their own polling, the Tribune has learned. The IOC poll showed 67 percent of Chicagoans supported having the Summer Games, according to sources familiar with the results. Chicago's bid book listed 77 percent support from polling done by Zogby International late last year.

Chicago 2016 spokesman Patrick Sandusky declined to comment on the poll numbers. "That is for the IOC to report,'' Sandusky said, referring to the evaluation commission report that's to be released a month before the Oct. 2 IOC vote choosing the host city. A poll of registered voters in Chicago and the suburbs commissioned by the Tribune in late January showed 64 percent support for an Olympics in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Madrid bid committee understandably was ready to do something none of its three rivals for the 2016 Summer Games have done:Release the results of the IOC's polling about public support for the Olympics in their city. Manuel Cobo, vice-mayor of Madrid, told a press conference Thursday the IOC polling showed an impressive 85 percent support.  That was very close to the 89 percent support from the city of Madrid in polling commissioned by the bid committee and included in the bid book submitted in Feb. 12.
 
A wire service story two weeks ago said Tokyo received just 56 percent in the IOC polling, done in each city on the same day in late February. The Tokyo bid committee declined to confirm or deny that number, citing ``respect [for] the IOC decision to release the data in their report.''The Tokyo bid book had reported the lowest support of the four, 69 percent in the city. In its bid book, Rio reported support from the state, not the city.  It was given at 82 percent. That Madrid would make the numbers public during the penultimate day of the IOC evaluation commission visit reflects a level of confidence evident in all their press conferences and press releases during the visit.While the other cities were more circumspect about self-congratulations, Madrid 2016 chairman Mercedes Coghen called the Wednesday venue tour "spectacular'' and added, "We noted impressed faces at every venue.'' It is unclear whether Madrid violated any protocol by releasing the poll numbers. Public support is a factor in the eventual decision because the IOC does not want to have the Games where they are not wanted, especially since organizing the event requires the host city to handle often unforeseen problems.

Thank you for your kind attention!

No Games Chicago