In bid for second term, Lightfoot willing to put her record up against any mayor before her

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s running for a second term because she wants to finish the work she’s started, but her first four years have been filled with challenges, criticism and controversy.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov talked with the mayor about that criticism what more she wants to accomplish.

"You may not like my delivery, but no question that I’ve delivered," Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot said she’d put her record up against any other mayor before her, and she dismissed critics who accuse her of being obstinate to a fault.

Kozlov: "They say that it’s your way or the highway, and there’s a lack of collaboration."

Lightfoot: "If that were true, Dana, you couldn’t get it done. You absolutely couldn’t get it done."

Lightfoot pointed to the Chicago casino deal and CTA Red Line extension as examples of collaborative accomplishments during her term, and said her work isn’t finished. 

Another example of what finishing the work means to Lightfoot?

"There’s a lot of things about finishing the work. I want to make sure we continue to infuse neighborhoods on the South and the West Side with real economic development that will last a lifetime," she said.

But that initiative has been overshadowed by COVID-19 and now, crime. While homicides, shootings, and carjackings are down year-to-year, overall violent crime is up on her watch. 

Is she concerned there may be a lot of Chicagoans who don’t feel safe, or feel less safe than they ever have, and equate that with her administration?

"Of course, I recognize that. When you’re the mayor of Chicago, you wear the jacket. Now, you don’t get the credit for things that are going right, but you absolutely wear the jacket for things that are tough," Lightfoot said. "I’d love to be able to control, frankly, the courts and the jails; because, believe me, if I did, violent, dangerous, habitual offenders would not be out on the streets pre-trial."

And what about Chicago Police Supt. David Brown?

Kozlov: "Why keep him with so much opposition, considering morale in the police department is so low right now?"

Lightfoot: "Well look, here’s what I will say: David Brown walked into a very difficult circumstance."

Brown took office at the start of the pandemic shutdown, and a month before George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis sparked looting across Chicago. Lightfoot said Brown has helped professionalize the department in his three years on the job.

"It’s real easy to say, ‘Off with the leader’s head,’ but it’s not about David Brown. It’s about what is our police department doing every day to work hard to keep our communities safe?" Lightfoot said.

Kozlov: "But so many are burnt out. I’ve talked with them. Their morale is low. Overtime is killing them. Cancelled days off are killing them."

Lightfoot: "But we’ve changed a lot of those in response to the concerns that have been raised."

What’s her message for people who might be concerned about information coming from her or her administration being inaccurate, or campaign promises they feel were broken? Can they trust her to keep her word?

"Of course," Lightfoot said. "We are being as transparent as we possibly can be. Have we made mistakes? Of course we have, but when we make mistakes, we make it right."

Lightfoot said she’s most proud of how she led the city during the COVID pandemic, and she touts Chicago’s economic recovery post-pandemic. 

The one thing people might not know about the mayor? She really loves to garden.

News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via Local News – CBS Chicago

February 21, 2023 at 06:17PM

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