Chicago Gets Olympic Makeover

Critics ponder price as plans for bid move forward
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 4:17 PM CST
Skaters are seen shot through the glass surrounding the ice rink at Chicago's Millennium Park on Friday, Jan. 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Chicago is serious about hosting the 2016 Olympics, and the city is doing everything possible to land the event, the Washington Post reports. The buzzword is "global": Chicago is entertaining foreign dignities, teaching new languages in its schools, and erecting public sculptures and buildings. But for the Windy City’s poor, the campaign carries a steep price.

To pay for the projects, the city has raised taxes and fees by nearly $300 million, and many fear a successful Olympics bid would displace South Side residents. “If the city put half the energy it has put into getting the Olympics into solving the housing crisis, we'd be a lot further along,” said one advocate for the homeless.