Lori Lightfoot was elected Mayor of Chicago on Tuesday — and while bankruptcy and violence plague her city, her agenda appears to be focused on stamping out “hate” with regard to the immigrant community.
Lightfoot, the city’s first black female openly-gay mayor, spoke to CNN on Wednesday about her landslide win and her plans for the city.
“I think that the most historic thing was beating the old entrenched Chicago machine and getting such a resounding mandate for change,” said Lightfoot after winning nearly 75 percent of the vote. “That gives me incredible joy and makes me feel very humble.” (RELATED: Lori Lightfoot Wins Chicago Mayoral Race, Will Fill Rahm Emanuel’s Spot)
The new mayor said that she intended to lead in a different direction than outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who famously eschewed federal funding over DACA and declared Chicago to be a “Trump-free zone.”
Well, look, we’ve got to do everything we can to speak to and protect our immigrant communities, I spoke at length about that last night, but I also want to make sure that as the city of Chicago gets its fair share of federal tax dollars. So we’re going to stand strong and speak our values and we’re going to keep pushing back against hate, but I’m also going to make sure that we are treated fairly by the federal government.
But Lightfoot’s plan to stamp out “hate” might seem a bit underwhelming in a city where one of the main problems is the existence of a “summer violence season.”
“We have a lot of challenges to face and he is well aware of it. We will be heading soon into the summer violence season,” Lightfoot explained. “After that’s over we will evaluate at that point. I will be working closely with the [police] superintendent and his executive team to make sure we keep our neighborhoods safe.”
In spite of the obvious challenges Lightfoot will face as mayor of a city plagued by violence, CNN’s John Berman turned back to the “historical nature” of her election.
“Can you imagine being a kid growing up and seeing someone like you on stage, like you were last night, declaring victory in the mayor’s race in Chicago,” he said. “What would it have meant to a 12-year-old Lori Lightfoot?”