CEO Mike Kelly’s announcement reverses the city’s longstanding argument that life rings along the waterfront would encourage people to enter the water and put themselves at risk of injury or death — and make the city liable.
“I know people are upset but you can’t tell me there’s not bad activity there after dark,” Mike Kelly, CEO of the Chicago Park District, said in defense of gates the agency installed that are now at the center of another controversy brewing at Jackson Park.
The Chicago Park District officially broke ground Thursday on the agency’s new $65 million, 58,000-square-foot headquarters in the Brighton Park neighborhood. “This is the wealth-building we talk about,” community leaders said.
Where some see the return of Riot Fest as a step in the right direction for Chicago’s reopening, others say closing their neighborhood green space for a “riot for rich people” is a “slap in the face” to communities traumatized by COVID-19.