Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot must go
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has failed to achieve any of her campaign promises from four years. In fact, under her leadership, she has made Chicago worse, failing to crackdown on rampaging crime or speaking out against those who enable the criminals like Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx or to demand reforms in the Cook County Court System. In fact, Mayor Lightfoot is worse than former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was absolutely the worst mayor to ever lead Chicago and that is not something to be taken lightly. Voters in Chicago need to vote Lightfoot out of office. They have many good alternative choices in the Feb. 28, 2023 elections
By Ray Hanania
Whomever succeeds Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will have their hands full trying to repair the damage of her failed leadership.
Crime is the number one issue in Chicago. More importantly, crime impacts the region. Career criminals with long violent rap sheets are being let out of jail while awaiting court proceedings, allowed to spread their violence into the Chicagoland suburbs.
Many will try to excuse Lightfoot and say she’s not in control of the court system, which is run by politicians Judge Tim Evans and Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx, but that’s absolutely not true at all.
The Mayor of Chicago has a powerful voice and can easily push both Evans and Foxx to do the right thing.
With Evans, the system needs to crackdown on suspects charged with crimes who have extensively long criminal rap sheets. Instead, many of the suspects who have warrants out for them are allowed to go free because the system is overcrowded, social activists assert the poor can’t afford bail, and many convicted criminals are given early release.
I don’t hear his voice on any of that.
Foxx is a different problem. She has intentionally sided with the criminals to make it all about them, not the victims they rob, physically injure or kill. She has pushed for laws and policies that make it easy for criminals in Cook County to not only avoid harsh punishments but to prevent them from being free to commit other crimes while awaiting trials in the court system that is so slow.
In the 45 years that I covered Chicagoland politics and the 17 years at Chicago City Hall where I covered 7 mayors from Daley to Daley, the policy on criminals always was set by City hall and the Chicago Police.
Instead, Lightfoot has played politics, ordering police not to intervene during the violent Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 that tore apart Chicago and destroyed many businesses as police were ordered to stand down and watch.
I spoke to many store owners who said they were shocked that police stood by. Although many police wanted to arrest the looters who were slowly carrying out boxes of store products, they told the store owners they were given orders to “stand down” and not confront the looters to avoid more violence.
Who controls the police? The Chicago Police Superintendent? Or the Chicago Mayor, in this case Lori Lightfoot?
In Sept. 2021 and May 2022, Arab American gas station owners were being targeted by a Special Task Force of the Building Department and Chicago Police on orders from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The Task Force singled out the owners based on race — which on its face is racism. And they shut the stores down whenever an act of violence occurred near their stores? Till this day, the Mayor’s Office has stonewalled my requests for an explanation, so I have to go with what the store owners told me that they were told from inspectors — many they knew well — and police. Lightfoot wanted to use the closing of the stores to show that she was doing something about increasing violence.
Even though the stores had nothing to do with the violence, the theory is that because they were open 24 hours, gangbangers and killers who committed their crimes would go to those stores and buy gasoline, food or other products to disguise their prior murderous actions.
That’s idiotic. Gangbangers flee killing scenes, like the teenager wielding an AK-47 who killed a man last May at a bus stop on Chicago Avenue in front of an Arab gas station. The killer fled. All Mayor Lightfoot could do was close the Arab store for several weeks until the owner protested at a press conference organized by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Hassan Nijem..
Lightfoot hates bad press. She has a foul mouth, one of the filthiest I have ever heard from a Chicago Mayor. And I have heard some doosies.
Lightfoot is racist. When someone is killed near a non-Arab store or gas station, the Mayor wouldn’t dare shut those businesses down. Just look at the recent incidents. No stores are closed when they are Black, White, Hispanic or Asian. (The only exception is some Asians who look Arab are closed.)
Chicago voters and campaign supporters in the suburbs have alternative choices to Lightfoot. There is Dr. Willie Wilson, Paul Vallas, Congressman Jesus Garcia, Kam Buckner and Roderick Sawyer. They have spoken out against the rising crime and the racism.
But it is all up to you.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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