Updated 4:47 P.M.
The president of a union that represents hospitality workers at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center says that building’s namesake is a racist, and area around the convention center should not be named after him.
Speaking to an audience of union members at the Hyatt McCormick Place Tuesday, UNITE HERE Local 1 President Karen Kent started off lambasting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but soon pivoted to Robert McCormick, the conservative publisher of the Chicago Tribune who died in 1955.
The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which runs McCormick Place, announced in April an effort to re-brand the surrounding neighborhood “McCormick Square.”
“As a Chicagoan I will be damned to hell if I allow any neighborhood in Chicago where our union members work in 2016 to be named after Trump’s forefather—Robert McCormick,” Kent said in her speech.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority said in part, “The name McCormick Square was developed to provide a unifying identity for our campus, one of the major economic hubs of the city….The McCormick Place brand is known world-wide today for hospitality and excellence for meetings and conventions of all sizes. For Chicagoans and visitors throughout the world, the brand has grown far beyond the name of one individual.”