Clinton event raises six figures at Marina City
(Above) Former president Bill Clinton speaks to a crowd at Marina Citys House of Blues late Wednesday evening.
12-Nov-09 About 450 people paid to see former president Bill Clinton speak at Marina Citys House of Blues Wednesday night. Many in the crowd waited two hours for Clinton to speak for 33 minutes, starting just before 10 p.m. Another 60 people, mostly guests and volunteers, attended the event.
Early estimates were that between $150,000 and $300,000 was raised. Tickets to the event cost $150. The price of admission to a VIP reception started at $1,500.
Clinton was in Chicago to promote his new Millennium Network that invites people age 45 and under to get involved in the work of the Clinton Foundation.
You can change the world, said Clinton. There is always going to be a gap between what the government can provide and the private sector can produce. You got to step into it.
Clinton says he is trying to build the Millennium Network from a current membership level of 5,000 to several thousand. Younger people all across the world who may not be able to give $100,000 or $10,000 or even $1,000, but can be a part of the work were doing.
(Above) Closer view. Click on image to view larger version.
In describing the work of his foundation, Clinton noted a proliferation of foundations in the past two decades. The biggest unwritten-about change in the life of American citizens and citizens throughout the world in the last 20 years is the rise of non-governmental activism.
Not including religious organizations, he says there are one million foundations in America, such as Chicago House, an organization providing housing and other services to people with HIV and AIDS. He says half of those foundations were set up after he took office as president in 1993.
This is exploding all across the world. People know that private citizens can do public good. And because of the Internet, if we bound together, people with one dollar to spend, if there are enough people who think like they do, can move the world.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Clinton says his foundation has been retrofitting buildings in 40 cities, including Merchandise Mart in Chicago. He says that could also reduce unemployment. If we decided to fix every building in America in the next five years we could put a million people to work.
He says money raised on Wednesday will pay to bring business and world leaders to New York for the opening session of the United Nations. We will sit down and listen to each other and talk about the challenges that we face and then make personal commitments to do something about it.
The event included a performance by the Chicago-born rapper, Common.
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 12-Nov-09 3:25 AM