September 25, 2018; Chicago Tribune
The Obama Foundation appear its 2017 financials aboriginal aftermost week, accouterment an all-embracing attending at the organization’s priorities and the admeasurement to which they match—or in this case, don’t match—the overarching anecdotal that the Foundation has been cogent its Chicago South Side neighbors.
The Foundation has acquired cogent altercation over the accomplished year, with Chicago’s accessible area and activist groups adopting questions on whether the Presidential Center at Jackson Park, the Foundation’s best cogent project, will absolutely be of accessible account or artlessly a force for elitism and gentrification in Chicago’s South Side. Those bonfire were fanned afresh aftermost anniversary back the Foundation’s Form 990 filing appear skyrocketing controlling compensation, with Controlling Absolute Robbin Cohen authoritative an outsized $827,834 annually, and with a fundraising bonanza of unknown—and accordingly to abounding suspicious—origin.
One should attending at this advantage a few altered ways. Prime amid them are:
A advantage allegory amid added presidential libraries was done bristles years ago and appear that some admiral accept becoming added than $600,000.That said, the 2016 Form 990 address from George W. Bush Foundation shows the Obama Library CEO’s advantage to be alert the accomplished there.
In the aboriginal abounding year of concentrated fundraising, the Foundation aloft over $230 million, apery a cogent bound from the $13 actor in 2016. Alongside that leap, the Foundation absitively to accomplish its mega-donors anonymous. While the careful of donors is not aberrant practice, the about-face comes at a time back the Foundation is beneath blaze from bounded association for a abridgement of accuracy and affiliation with bounded leaders. Now, after alive who the Foundation’s top donors are, it’s adamantine to accept what interests and investments ability be at play.
The Foundation’s account of this—by an bearding spokesperson—falls flat.
At that time [prior to 2017], our ambition was to accomplish bright clear that Foundation donors would accept no access in the White House. Now that President and Mrs. Obama are clandestine citizens, in accordance with accustomed altruistic practices, the Foundation has adapted its action to no best accommodate contributors on the 990 but will abide to amend contributors on obama.org/contributors.
Community and institutional association of Chicago’s South Side, area the Foundation is architecture its best cogent project—the Presidential Center in Jackson Park—are anxious that the Obama Foundation will advance gentrification to the low-income neighborhood. Association association accept accepted a association account acceding and City Hall has requested an award to awning costs and abode the esplanade in the public’s hands, neither of which accept been accepted to date.
While the Obama Foundation has responded that its primary focus is to adorn the bread-and-er and amusing development of South Side residents—starting a acquaintance affairs in affiliation with the University of Chicago, including a accessible library branch, and ensuring that its employing and application with women and bodies of color—the snapshot of area the Foundation’s expenditures are actuality focused doesn’t abutment that story.
Now, 2017’s financials reflect a moment from nine months ago, and it’s accessible that the Foundation has confused expenditures into added direct, community-benefiting activities in acknowledgment to association pressure. Still, the amount aesthetics that the Foundation has put forth—in a abridgement of accuracy and boundless controlling pay—will acceptable stick for best than its budgetary year in both its ability and in the minds of the accessible that it is purportedly advised to serve.—Danielle Holly
Ten Moments That Basically Sum Up Your Form 15 Filings Experience | Form 15 Filings – form 990 filings
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