Mayor Lightfoot just lost re-election and now stands as the first mayor in forty years to fail to lose re-election after their first term in office. Her is our quick reaction to her loss.
There is little doubt that the reaction to to Mayor Lightfoot from the beginning was based partially on her race, gender, and sexuality. There is also little doubt that her style of governance and lack of relationship building skills contributed significantly to her downfall. Mayor Lightfoot has a propensity to always think she is the smartest person in the room and make important decisions without taking time to think things through.
Her reaction to the protests to George Floyd’s murder and their demands to defund the police are a prime example. Instead of coming up with a strategy to show compassion and engage the protestors she immediately came out and denounced the protests and dismissed their calls. She should have engaged protestors in discussions around what it would look like to create a new public safety agency and build alternative responses to 911 calls that don’t involve the police. This was the easy and smart move. But the Mayor chose to be dismissive in her patented style which only through gas on the flames instead of working to douse them.
For some reason the Mayor picked David Brown to be her Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department despite his track record of lying during internal investigations and police policies from the strong age. This hurt her politically as Brown’s tenure basically turned in to one big disgrace as he is as good at building and maintaining relationships as she is.
We are now left with a run off election for the mayor’s office between Paul Vallas, who is alt right when it comes to policing, and Brandon Johnson, who sounds progressive on police reform but has little real record to show voters. These candidates are starkly different on police reform like Chicago probably never really has had before. Time will tell who wins.
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