Just one day after officially announcing that she was joining the crowded field of candidates who will be challenging incumbent Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 Chicago mayoral election, attorney and former Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot met with members of the LGBT community at a May 11 presentation at the downtown offices of the Locke Lord.
After an introduction by her campaign's finance chairman, Michael Bauer, Lightfoot explained that she wanted to be a mayor that both fully engaged with Chicagoans and leveraged city resources to effectively confront Chicago's pressing issues, noting that she believes that the city is going in "the wrong direction."
She said that Chicago Loop residents had an average life expectancy of about 85 years, but that, just blocks away in poorer neighborhoods, average life expectancy plummets to 69 years.
"That's a figure we haven't seen since the 1960s," Lightfoot added.
She further spoke about the city's schools, explaining that Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) officials do not regard parents, students and teachers as "valued" partners in the educational system. Schools, she said, must be "places of value, because, of course, they are more than just places of learning."
Lightfoot also touched upon police reform, the pension crisis, city contracts, unemployment and homelessness, maintaining that officials need to be more thoughtful and deliberate in how they deploy resources to confront these challenges.
She further noted, "Managing the city better will save money," since the city government would consequently not be beset so frequently with lawsuits and interest payments. Lightfoot also said that the pursuit of commercial growth has to be evident from investment in small businesses and neighborhood resources, and that, "It can't just be [construction] cranes downtown."
She added, "A city [government] can't solve all our problems, but we can certainly take the lead."
Read about Lightfoot's mayoral announcement at WindyCityMediaGroup.com .