Lightfoot following in footsteps of “Machine” she loathes
Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants you to believe that she is a champion of justice and will fight to make Chicagoans safe, and end the “corruption” that has plagued her predecessors. But alas, Lightfoot is no different from many of the mayors who came before her. And her promises to confront the rising street gangs and gun related killings and shootings has been replaced by excuses in which she blames the Police to empower her narrow-focused base. She’s no different than any of them
By Ray Hanania
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has done a good job of balancing herself on the edge of her lifestyle, so-called “progressive reform politics,” and a claim that she is different from the Machine politics she campaigned against.
But the truth is Lightfoot might as well start smoking cigars and holding meetings behind closed doors because she clearly is acting like a clout-heavy politician rather than a so-called “progressive” who wants to address Chicagoland’s problems.
Let’s face it, the suburbs are tied to the fate of Chicago. If Lightfoot fails to confront street gang violence, it isn’t just Chicagoans who suffer. It’s the suburbs that suffer too, not just in terms of spill over from the street gang gun violence but also in being forced to always bailout Chicago financially.
Back in the 1980s, Mike Royko set aside his liberal agenda and principles to join in the grotesque demand that money needed to bailout the failed Chicago Transit Authority be taken from the back pockets of suburban taxpayers.
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Anytime Chicago is in trouble, the focus veers away from the needs of the suburbs and the rest of the state and new tax monies are channeled in to salvage the city’s corrupt policies.
When Lightfoot asserted that Chicago faces “extraordinary financial challenges” is just a liberal’s way of saying Chicago wants to raise taxes to off-set its budget shortfalls. Her first six months in office is parroting the first six months of many of Chicago’s Machine mayors. Instead of following through by cracking down on corruption and government waste, Lightfoot is saying she wants to increase taxes and revenues to continue to fund that waste.
Every Machine Mayor has started out asserting that they are hundreds of millions in debt. It’s a cop-out. Then they claim to have answers and instead start to blame others, never themselves.
A smart mayor would look at the problem and say that while there are some problems with the Police, the majority are dedicated heroes who put their lives on the line everyday to protect everyone including the people who condemn everything they do. She blames the police but fails to blame the people who live in the neighborhoods.
The good families in the crime ridden neighborhoods believe the false promises hoping that something can be done while many who know the hoodlums and street gang members but say nothing are the first to scream racism, and point fingers at the police. And when a child of one of those families is killed, they are the first to hire lawyers to collect on the “tragedy lottery.” They file suit against the City and walk away with millions.
Mayor Lightfoot refuses to acknowledge that problem and wants you to believe that the violence is fueled by guns sold “outside” of Chicago – she says 60 percent comes from outside but that also means 40 percent comes from inside Chicago. She won’t acknowledge that a large percentage of the violence could be stopped in the people in these communities take responsibility for the street gang members who are their children, relatives and friends.
Until she does that, there will not be a solution.
Mayor Lightfoot also claims she is a different kind of mayor but all she has done is shifted the power balance from the traditional Democrats, the White Community and the conservatives, and has empowered her own, African American, liberal women and the LGBT community. She hides behind those labels like Teflon protecting her from criticism of her so far failure.
I’ve asked to interview her but then I am White, live in the Suburbs, defend the police and see her platform as questionable at best.
She lacks the courage to sit with me, fine. But worse, she lacks the courage to take on the real problem fueling the endless killings that make a Chicago weekend look like a Hollywood slasher movie.
Keep her politics out of the suburbs. And keep her hands out of our suburban pocket books.
(This column originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group Sept. 11, 2019 in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News Herald Newspaper, The Regional News and the Reporter Newspaper.)