Just over a week after a trip to the suburbs was canceled, President Joe Biden’s planned visit to Elk Grove Village on Thursday is back when he’s expected to push his corporate COVID-19 vaccination regulations, seek assistance with two expense bills, and Collect some campaign money on the side.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, including Reps Brad Schneider and Sean Casten, confirmed the news of Biden’s postponed performance on Wednesday. The three local politicians will be among the invited guests at Biden’s visit to Elk Grove Technology Park, where a US $ 123 million Microsoft data center campus is under construction.
Officials say Biden is expected to speak at a local restaurant sometime after noon before a Democratic National Committee lunch and fundraiser. His motorcade is expected to make the short drive back to O’Hare International Airport to board Air Force One.
Major thoroughfares near the technology park, including Higgins Road and Oakton Street, are expected to be closed from approximately 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and signs will be put up directing drivers to alternative routes such as Algonquin Road and Landmeier Road.
Johnson said village workers are working with White House officials to ensure Biden’s visit is “as easy, safe and friendly as possible.”
Biden canceled his September 29 visit to remain in Washington to lead negotiations with Congress on its infrastructure legislation.
Now that the trip has been postponed, Johnson reiterated earlier views on what the President’s visit means to Elk Grove.
“I hear from both sides,” said the seven-year-old mayor about the national political divisions. “I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. It is an honor for Elk Grove and Elk Grove to be in the spotlight.
Johnson watched Biden’s speech Tuesday when the president was at a union training center in Howell, Michigan promoting the federal infrastructure bill. The mayor said Elk Grove’s $ 1 billion, 85-acre technology park fits into the message of Biden’s agenda of building manufacturing, clean energy and jobs.
“I intend to say to him, ‘Mr President, this shows how local government and business can work together to create the latest technology, jobs and developments today,'” said Johnson. “It’s the figurehead of what the president preaches.”
In the president’s official travel warning, White House officials said Biden is coming to the Chicago area “to highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements.”
The Elk Grove site is believed to have been selected because the Microsoft buildings are being built by Clayco, a commercial real estate development, engineering, architecture and construction company that sponsored Biden’s vaccine mandate plan for employers with more than 100 employees. Under Biden’s proposed mandate, the company requires its employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly.
The Chicago-based company is headed by Bob Clark, a major Democratic funder who helped raise funds for Biden and former President Barack Obama.
Biden named Clark on September 16 as the chief representative of the US government at Expo 2020 Dubai, a six-month world exposition that opened last Friday.
The president’s visit marks his second trip to Illinois since inauguration, following a July 7 tour and speech at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, where he presented his infrastructure plan.
On the way back from that gig, the owners of Mount Prospect’s Capannari Ice Cream delivered some of their famous balls to Air Force One.
Biden visited the store when he was vice president in 2009 – and it will be only miles away on Thursday – but co-owner Meg Capannari said no plans for a visit or delivery were in the works this time around.
“I wish he came to our shop,” said Capannari. “Usually we are notified. We would like to open our doors for him.”