Lori out — but will anything change?
Back in our early days in the U.S., circa 1964–66, we lived in Wisconsin and traveled to Chicago to visit a Cuban store there. It was a quick drive on I-94, and the sights of Lake Shore Drive and O'Hare Airport were spectacular. My parents always complimented how clean and orderly everything was. I guess there was something good about Mayor Richard Daley after all.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Lightfoot was rejected by the voters. She came in third place and will start packing her bags for a post-political life. My guess is that she'll end up at MSNBC, but maybe I'm just cynical today.
What happened to Mayor Lightfoot? According to the Chicago Sun Times, she did not do a good job:
Bad timing is too simple an explanation for Lightfoot's stunning political downfall.
It does not explain why violent crime is up 40% since Lightfoot promised during her inaugural address to stop the "epidemic of gun violence that devastates families, shatters communities, holds children hostage to fear in their own homes" and leaves parents wondering "if Chicago is a place where they can continue to live and raise their children."
It does not explain why Lightfoot has been such a disappointment to the lakefront voters who formed the base of her support in 2019. Lightfoot opposed the elected school board after saying she'd support it; failed to deliver the transparency she had promised; and broke her pledge to raise the real estate transfer tax on high-end home sales to create a dedicated funding source to reduce homelessness.
Bad timing also can't explain Lightfoot's inability to get along with people and a relationship with the City Council so contentious at least seven members of her own leadership team abandoned ship, endorsing other mayoral candidates.
In the end, Lori Lightfoot was an identity politics choice and did not really understand her job. She could have risen to the occasion and let the police do their job. She could have listened to those business owners screaming that crime was killing jobs and making a trip to a restaurant a risky idea. I don't know whom she eventually listened to, but her tenure as mayor was a disaster.
So what happens now? I don't know, but I hope that the next mayor understands that people are leaving the city and public schools because nothing works in Chicago.
In the meantime, I'd bet that some people in Chicago are missing Old Man Daley and those days when riding around the Windy City with your parents was a sightseeing charm.
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