Sunday, July 10, 2011

Obama's first stimulus finally completed--10 years later

Obama garden,
June 15, 2009
During the last presidential campaign, the Chicago Sun-Times discovered that in 2001 then-State Senator Barack Obama procured a $100,000 grant to construct a botanical garden at 61st and Princeton in Chicago's crime-ridden Englewood neighborhood. Seven years later all that the paper could find on the otherwise vacant lot was a Home Depot-type gazebo. A year later--after Obama was sworn in as president--it didn't look any different.

Newly painted gazebo, Sherwood Peace
Assoc. Community Garden
The Englewood lot was outside of Obama's senate senate district but within the boundaries of Illinois 1st Congressional district--Obama challenged incumbent Bobby Rush in 2000. The grant went to Kenny B. Smith, an Obama campaign contributor. That fall the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan initiated an investigation of the grant--I don't know how it was resolved. But the Sun-Times reported that Smith's wife received $65,000 of the cash.

In my opinion it's well short of being a $100,000 garden, but the newly-christened Sherwood Peace Association Community Garden was dedicated yesterday--10 years after the Obama grant was handed out. I was there this afternoon--the flowers are pretty, the brick walkway is charming. As for how it was paid for, I have no idea. But this project wrap is good news for the American economy. Based on how long it took the Sherwood garden to be built, the stimulus will turn our economy around in 2019.
Queen Anne's Lace

Related post:

Flashback: Obama's 2001 pork garden--a waste of taxpayer money

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