To the untrained eye, Lori Lightfoot is the epitome of a progressive candidate.
She’s open about being a lesbian and is in an interracial marriage. Before she made her acceptance speech, she gave her wife a big kiss in front of numerous cameras. While she was on the campaign trail, Lightfoot presented herself as an outsider trying to infiltrate the corrupt Chicago political machine. A City Hall corruption scandal helped the former prosecutor’s outsider persona: She won the election by a whopping 73 percent.
The optics of her campaign and victory are ideal, but there’s a growing movement seeking to challenge the mayor-elect. There’s even a whole website dedicated to pointing out Lightfoot’s negative qualities.
Her connection to the Chicago Police Department is a huge point of contention.
Eddie Johnson, appointed CPD superintendent by Rahm after #LaquanMcDonald cover-up scandal, repeatedly said there is no code of silence within CPD, that he’s never witnessed a case of CPD police misconduct. Lightfoot has promised he will stay in charge if she wins. #StopLightfoot pic.twitter.com/3kba5MovNI— For the People (@ForThePeopleChi) March 25, 2019
“Lori Lightfoot is a law-and-order candidate trying to run as a progressive but should be recognized as a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” reads Stoplightfoot.com. “She has deep ties to police, a track record of blatantly disrespecting families lost to police violence and Black Lives Matter activists. She has made it clear her vision for Chicago is more investment in police and prisons and that she absolutely can not be trusted as a the reformer of CPD she’s pretending to be.”
A 2016 statement from Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) accused Lightfoot, then the head of Chicago’s Police Task Force, of not being accountable to the family of Rekia Boyd, who was shot and killed by an off-duty CPD cop.
Here is the video link, try to watch the whole thing and spread the word: https://t.co/frgkWpROXW— 48th ward for nocopacademy (@48th_for) March 22, 2019
She has also been criticized for suggesting shuttered schools be converted into police training facilities.
“We have 38 schools that are vacant from school closings, some of which can be repurposed to help us with our training needs,” she said in March, according to Chalkbeat.
#stoplightfoot she’s not queer fam, wants to use 38 of our closed schools as mini police academies/ a direct threat to the lives of black and brown youth in those communities— Melissa Castro Almandina (@AlmandinaM) April 2, 2019
Lightfoot’s supposed opposition to rent control is another strike against her. Instead, she wants to focus on “affordable housing,” according to Chicago Magazine.
“For renters, this city is not working,” she said. “I don’t think rent control is the issue we need to be focused on right now. We have a huge affordable housing crisis in the city. In two-thirds of the city [in the past several years], not a single affordable unit has been built.”
That isn’t good enough for the #stoplightfoot movement.
If you don’t support lifting the ban on rent control, then you shouldn’t say jack about affordable housing @LightfootForChi. Over 10,000 Latinx were displaced from Pilsen alone in the last decade. #StopLightfoot #LatinxAgainstLori— Corina Pedraza (@pedrazac74) March 22, 2019
Lightfoot critics have cited this, in addition to her chumminess with the police and her voter base as proof her lesbian identity has little to do with her actual connection to the LGBTQ community.
“One of the most notable things about this election is that even though Lori Lightfoot is a Black queer woman, it’s been overwhelming how much of her [support] is from wealthy white folks,” activist Benji Hart told Out. “I think people are clearly excited about a Black queer woman being in a position of power, but are not asking questions about her history or how she wants to fight for, advocate for, and protect Black queer people in the city. People need to have their ear to the ground and listen to what Black queer and trans organizers are demanding.”
Blavity contacted Lori Lightfoot, but didn’t receive a response as of press time.
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