Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop nuclear policy appointee removed from Pentagon post: report Prosecutors face legal challenges over obstruction charge in Capitol riot cases Biden makes early gains eroding Trump's environmental legacy MORE made a surprise visit to the South Side of Chicago on Tuesday for a community meeting with neighborhood residents about the Obama Foundation's proposed plans to build the Obama Presidential Library in the area.
Obama, who worked as a city organizer in Chicago before being elected as an Illinois senator, listened to concerns from the community about the foundation's plans to build the 235-foot tall museum and sprawling campus in the urban community.
"I got my start holding community meetings in Chicago, so it was fun to be home for one tonight. Michelle and I want the world to come together on the South Side at a place built with local ideas, values, and hopes," Obama said in a tweet.
I got my start holding community meetings in Chicago, so it was fun to be home for one tonight. Michelle and I want the world to come together on the South Side at a place built with local ideas, values, and hopes. That’s the @ObamaFoundation and Presidential Center. https://t.co/ccwkqAY7P5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 27, 2018
The visit was the foundation's second community meeting aimed at gathering public support for the project before the foundation brings the blueprints before city planners.
Obama emphasized that the project, while aimed at developing parts of the impoverished area, would not force out longtime residents by gentrifying the area.
"A lot of times, people get nervous about gentrification and understandably so," he said. "It is not my experience ... that the big problem on the South Side has been too much development, too much economic activity," Obama said at the meeting, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"We have such a long way to go before you will start seeing the prospect of gentrification,” he added.
The foundation is aiming to begin construction on the historic site in 2018 and complete the project by 2021.