South Siders lobby for promises in writing as Obama library takes shape

WBEZ quotes Rachel Weber, GCI fellow and associate professor of urban planning and policy, on community benefit agreements such as the one South Siders seek for the Obama library. Weber defines a CBA as a binding agreement by a developer to implement specific community benefits as part of a large project. She says they are rare in Chicago, where the city government relies on tax increment financing for such benefits.

University of Illinois at Chicago professor Rachel Weber studies CBAs, which started in California.

“These were attempts to have community organizations often in a coalition negotiate a separate and legally binding agreement with the developer over some large-scale redevelopment project,” Weber said.

In exchange for certain provisions, community groups agree to get behind the project.

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