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ELECTIONS 2019 Queer Black activists confront Lightfoot (UPDATE)
2019-03-23

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An organization called #StopLightfoot confronted/protested Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot at a March 23 event at the iconic Black LGBT nightspot Jeffery Pub, 7041 S. Jeffery Ave.

Attendee and Equality Illinois Director of Civic Engagement Anthony Charles Galloway posted on Facebook that a disruptor was at the Lightfoot event. Galloway stated, "The protester had something to say but we didn't hear it. He yelled a slogan and quickly moved towards her before he was stopped. I am still left with the question as to who his audience was. He never spoke to anyone prior to the candidate arriving and aggravated people who came to this historic place on the south side to hear from a potential mayor."

#StopLightfoot confirmed to Windy City Times that the protester was connected to its organization.

The disruption was the second in three days that Lightfoot experienced. On March 21 in downtown Chicago, Lightfoot was interrupted by young Black people on the anniversary of Rekia Boyd's death. (Boyd, a 22-year-old African-American woman, was fatally shot in 2012 by Dante Servin, an off-duty Chicago police detective. A January 2019 article in the Chicago Reader stated, "As [Chicago Police Board] president, [Lightfoot] was sometimes the target of vociferous protests, particularly calls for the firing of Detective Dante Servin, who shot and killed Rekia Boyd, though at the time his case wasn't before the board.")

#StopLightfoot has claimed that, at the March 21 event, Lightfoot used language like "you people" to describe the young Black people speaking and had them ejected from the room.

In addition, the group stated, "Over the past year, Lori Lightfoot has successfully built an image of herself as a reformer who will bring sweeping change to City Hall. But those of us who have had to experience the impacts of her decisions and deal with her leadership for years know better."

#StopLightfoot has a website at www.stoplightfoot.com/, in which there is a section called "Queers against Lightfoot." In part, the section says, "Lori Lightfoot has run extensively on her lesbian identity, but her stances on policing and rent control fall into a legacy of decades-old anti-gay and anti-trans political suppression."

Windy City Times contacted Lightfoot's camp. A statement was sent that quoted what Lightfoot after rapper Chance the Rapper announced he is backing opponent Toni Preckwinkle. The statement said, "I have great respect for Chance and the community activists and organizers across the city who are fighting for social justice. I share their passion and commitment to pursuing true police accountability because we have not had nearly enough progress to date. That's why I've fought for police reform throughout my career.

"As mayor, I will take my efforts to the next level by working with stakeholders who've been engaging in this fight from the get-go. My campaign is about delivering change, which means working together to enact new paradigms and new policies. I would create a robust youth committee to incorporate the perspectives and policy ideas of these activists into our city government. Young people have a voice, we just need to listen."

In response to #StopLightfoot's claims, Lightfoot's camp also sent WCT a link to the candidate's "Facts versus Fiction" webpage, at lightfootforchicago.com/facts/, in which issues such as police accountability and elitism are discussed.


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