Did you hear the news?
The Olympic Committee frequently e-mails me--and apparently lots of other reporters in town--PR with the latest. Somehow, no matter what the news, it always involves the Olympics.
Did you know that the Olympic Committee is operating a booth at Taste of Chicago? Well, they are, according to their June 30 press release. Let's hope they're not serving up salmonella.
They're also asking "schools, churches and other community organizations to help increase minority participation" in swimming, according to a June 25 press release. That's nice. Let's hope that--having recently shelled out $22 million on a new Streeterville headquarters--the Park District has enough money to pay for instructors.
And the 2016 games will be "green-friendly" because the committee puts "great emphasis on environmental protection," according to another June 25 press release. Never mind the trees and plants that may be plowed over in Jackson, Douglas, Lincoln, and Washington parks to make way for Olympic arenas.
Oh yes, June 23 was officially "Olympic Day" in Chicago, according to yet another release. Silly me, I thought every day was Olympic Day in the great city of Chicago.
I expect that one morning I'll turn on my computer to discover an e-mail telling me the sun rose in the east, brought to you by Mayor Daley and Chicago 2016.
I have to give the committee credit. They've run an impressively relentless, upbeat, and sunny PR campaign, giving reporters and photographers an excuse to attend regularly scheduled photo ops featuring the happy smiles of local children. PR firm Hill & Knowlton works hard for its million-dollar contracts.
But what they don't tell you--what they'll probably never tell you--is that the games will costs hundreds of millions of property tax dollars that might otherwise go to schools and park programs for all those happy, smiling children. Mayor Daley still hasn't admitted that the Olympic Village will be built with TIF money--it took Fourth Ward alderman Toni Preckwinkle to let that cat out of the bag .
But no need to sweat the boring details of what the games will cost you, Chicago. Just don't forget to save the date: Chicago Believes, Chicago 2016's next fund-raiser, is coming up at Millennium Park July 14.