New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for President Obama’s Presidential Library and Museum to be located in the Big Apple, challenging Chicago, the presumed front-runner.
“I think Columbia University is a perfect place for President Obama’s museum,” de Blasio told reporters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I’m not sure if they’re going to have one facility or multiple facilities, but I hope that we get at least one piece if they do break it up into pieces,” he added.
The mayor said he told the Obama team that New York wants to host the library and is “excited about the idea.”
Obama has told friends he would like to live in New York City after his presidency, according to reports. Chicago, however, is seen as the favorite, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff, lobbying hard for the Windy City.
The first round of bids must be submitted to the Barack Obama Foundation, responsible for the library, on June 16. The foundation is based in Chicago and is expected to name the final site early next year.
The University of Chicago has already been gathering letters of support, according to the Sun-Times, and has launched a website to collect testimonials.
The University of Hawaii is also campaigning to host the Obama library.
Obama has ties to all three locations. He was born and grew up in Hawaii and lived in New York City when he studied at Columbia University. Chicago is also his long-time home and the city where he launched his political career.