The Neighborhood that met Obama First – 2008

This is the first of what turned out to be 5 stories through the years (2008 – 2016) on the intersection between the Obama presidency and Altgeld Gardens, the Chicago public housing development where he did some of his early community organizing work.

Author/photographer Richard Cahan & I arrived at ‘The Gardens’ shortly before dawn on the morning he was elected.

Listen here for what we saw & heard when we got there.


Laundry attendant Liquita Salulter celebrates Obama’s victory
Photo: Richard Cahan

Altgeld Gardens is the most remote of Chicago’s public housing devolpments. So far south, it’s almost in Indiana. The collection of two-story brick row houses was built for returning World War II veterans. It’s ringed by a polluted Calumet River, aging landfills and a sewage treatment plant. People worry about pollution, crime and finding a job. But these days, what everyone there is talking about is Barack Obama and what’s to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s