(UnitedVoice.com) – Chicago, Illinois, is the home of former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. It has a thriving financial industry, with dozens of banks and brokerage firms. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) make it a popular place for trading. The city is the backdrop of many popular movies and television shows, including “ER.”
The Windy City is also the home of some of the worst gang violence in the country. Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has been accused of not taking the crime problem seriously. She has also been shrouded in other controversies during her time in office. Now, she has suffered a resounding reelection defeat.
On Tuesday, February 28, Lightfoot became the first mayor in four decades to lose her reelection bid. She came in third place in the election, behind Cook County Board member Brandon Johnson and former head of public schools Paul Vallas. The two men will face off against one another on April 4 in a runoff.
Lightfoot won all 50 wards in the city just four years ago. The former federal prosecutor was the first openly gay and first black woman to become the leader of the city. This time around, she was up against powerful forces.
Three of the four deadliest years in Chicago happened with Lightfoot at the helm. In 2020, 776 people were murdered in the city, 804 were killed in 2021, and 695 lost their lives due to violence. The mayor also fought with first responders in the city because of her health crisis policy and overtime scheduling. Vallas won the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Lightfoot struggled to hold onto the support that propelled her into office four years ago. She’s been at war with the Chicago Teachers Union since the very start. The mayor fought with them over a contract that led to a strike soon after taking office. At the beginning of 2021, the mayor threatened to lock some of the teachers out of the virtual teaching software if they didn’t return to school. That led to the union agreeing to reopen elementary schools, but it wasn’t happy about it. Two years later, it got revenge. The powerful organization backed Johnson during the election.
The mayor responded to her election loss by deflecting blame. Fox News reported she said she lost because she is “a black woman in America.” That was a similar remark to one she made before the election when she again said she was a black woman and “certain folks, frankly, don’t support us in leadership roles.” She went on to claim that she has “put [the] city on a better path.” It seems the voters disagreed.
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