Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Honolulu Mayor May Seek Joint Obama Library Bid

Chicago and Honolulu have been working on their own proposals for years




    With the competition for the Obama presidential library and museum moving forward, there has been some speculation that Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell may be looking at a collaboration with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    While neither mayor is speaking on the matter, a recent report from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser indicated the two officials discussed collaboration on the bid last week, however, both mayors' offices denied that claim.

    The two men had a meeting in Septemeber in Emanuel's office, according to a report from Crain's Chicago Business, where a spokesman for Caldwell said they discussed "a wide range of subjects, including a presidential library." Mayor Emanuel's office, however, said that was not the case.

    Several previous reports have hinted at potential collaboration, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting that officials from the University of Chicago met with Cladwell and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii in January, and the Hawaiian delegation toured the South Side.

    Illinois, New York and Hawaii are all expected to compete for Obama's library, which is anticipated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, attract a flurry of visitors and drive economic development in the surrounding community. Chicago and Honolulu have been working on their own proposals for years.