As Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot marks the halfway mark of her term in office, approximately 200 protesters gathered in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood to press their case that she has failed on multiple issues that she promised results on when she took office.
Protesters marched from the Logan Square monument to the mayor’s block on Wednesday night, with many carrying signs and chanting as they moved through the area.
“She ran for office as a reformer,” Jasmine Salazar of the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Oppression said. “What a joke. She promised police reform in the first 100 days, and has she? No!”
The group put together placards with a “People’s Report Card,” which gave Lightfoot a failing grade on a variety of issues, including policing, housing, environmental justice and education.
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The Chicago Teachers Union, with whom Lightfoot has frequently tangled over the last two years, argue that Lightfoot’s first two years in office have fallen well short of expectations, and reiterated their calls for a fully elected school board and a spirit of collaboration between CTU and Chicago Public Schools.
“You ran on an elective representative school board, and wanting nurses and social workers,” Tara Stamps said.
The mayor responded to criticisms during a press availability Thursday, saying that in spite of a global pandemic and other challenges, she still remains determined that she can deliver on her promises.
“Obviously, we haven’t done everything that we want to do, what we’re planning to do,” she said. “But we stay determined.”
Lightfoot acknowledges that she ran on the idea of an elected school board, but she emphasized that the hybrid model she has pushed for would still represent a step in the right direction.
“I support a hybrid, and that hybrid, obviously, would have an elected component to it,” she said.
Even as Lightfoot seeks to defend her record, the residents who marched Wednesday pointed to myriad areas where they felt she has fallen short.
Cassandra Grier Lee says her husband Nick died in jail during the pandemic, and says that Lightfoot and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart failed her, and the city.
“I’m sickened by how heartless this woman (is),” she said. “Lori and Tom Dart have the blood of many on their hands.”
Lightfoot responded to critics in her remarks, saying that she is “working her tail off” for the residents of the city.
“There’s always going to be critics. That goes with the territory,” she said. “What I’m focused on is making sure that every day I’m working my tail off for the residents of the city.”