The Latest: New Chicago mayor delivers on reform pledge
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago mayor (all times local):
Newly installed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot moved to enact a reform pledge she made during her campaign.
Lightfoot signed an executive order Monday afternoon limiting aldermanic prerogative. That’s the custom that allows each alderman to direct zoning and period decisions in the ward the politician represents.
During the signing ceremony following her swearing in, Lightfoot said signing the order ensures equitable services are delivered to all of the city’s communities. The order streamlines administrative decisions made by eliminating the aldermanic veto while preserving aldermanic voice in departmental decisions.
Lightfoot’s stance has drawn criticism from some longtime aldermen, with one, Anthony Beale, accusing her of painting the City Council with a broad brush.
Lightfoot joked during her inaugural address that “putting Chicago government and integrity in the same sentence may seem a little strange.” But she said she was elected on the promise of change and she planned to deliver.
Lori Lightfoot says one of her first actions as Chicago mayor will be to sign an executive order limiting the powers aldermen have in their wards.
Lightfoot joked Monday during her inaugural address that “putting Chicago government and integrity in the same sentence may seem a little strange.” But she says she was elected on the promise of change and she plans to deliver.
Lightfoot told those at the ceremony to “Get ready because reform is here.”
Lightfoot says the new executive order will end aldermen’s “unilateral unchecked control” over their wards. She says, “aldermen will have a voice, but not a veto” and that the “requirement that people must give more to access basic city services must end.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the city’s violence problems in her inaugural speech, announcing the creation of a Mayor’s Office of Public Safety as part of her strategy.
Lightfoot said Monday morning after she took the oath of office that she has “no higher calling” than restoring safety and peace in Chicago’s neighborhoods. She punctuated this by saying “Enough of the shooting. Enough of the guns. Enough of the violence.”
Lightfoot says public safety “must not be a commodity that is only available to the wealthy.”
She says her plan includes mobilizing the entire city to fight violence.
Chicago police report 561 homicides in the city last year. That’s 100 fewer than in 2017 but more than the number of homicides in New York and Los Angeles combined.
Lori Lightfoot has taken the oath of office, becoming Chicago’s first black female and openly gay mayor.
Lightfoot was inaugurated Monday morning at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena with her wife and daughter at her side. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
Lightfoot waved to the crowd after taking the oath and started her remarks calling Chicago “a proud city with a proud history” that she considers a “city of hope.”
Lightfoot was elected in an April runoff against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Lori Lightfoot is coming into the Chicago mayor’s office pledging to overhaul the city’s police force.
She isn’t the first incoming mayor to make such a promise, but she may be the one with the best chance of actually getting it done.
One reason is that she’ll have a federal judge as an ally after she’s sworn in Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert Dow recently approved a court-monitored police reform plan. He has the power to hold reform slackers in contempt.
Even with court backing, Lightfoot faces obstacles to enacting meaningful changes. The police union has been hostile to key provisions of the plan, arguing that many will make it impossible for officers to do their jobs right.