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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Chicago is…

I moved to Chicago in May 2002 and it remains my favorite city in the world. Yes, it’s true, Tel Aviv competes for my heart and I have a soft spot for La Plata in Argentina, but Chicago is the love of my life… even if we break up and I move away.

Shocking then, to some friends, that I did not support the Olympic bid. I signed up on Chicagoans For Rio, sent words of support to the Latin American bid city and was very relieved when Chicago was elimated from the running. I kinda wish that Chicago hadn’t been eliminated in the first round, some of my friends were excited about the possibility and it would have been nice for them to have another hour to dream.

I saw a few tweets saying that Obama lost face by going to pitch the IOC. I don’t think that’s true either. If he hadn’t gone, he would have been blamed for our losing. Every other head of state from a bid country went to the IOC. It is now the done thing. I love that he went to support his city, even if I didn’t want to win.

My feelings towards Chicago are so complicated, it’s like we’re in the same family. I support you, I love you, but I don’t support everything that you do. Chicago, sometimes you need some tough love and I hope this is what you got. I hope this means that Daley’s reign will come to an end. That the City Council and the Aldermen will start representing their wards and not just doing what Daley says.

I hope people take their civic energy and put it into something. Into schools. Into volunteer programs. Into local advocacy. I don’t know what I’ll do for the city or for my community. I need to do more here, but I always have one foot out the door. I’m always looking at other cities, while I keep my residence here. The taxes are so high – both property and sales – that I’ve considered leaving the city to protect my business and my wallet. But it is simple, I can’t imagine living in America and not living in Chicago.

Oh Chicago… Congratulations on losing. Let’s get back to real business.

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