Skip to contents

Lori Lightfoot Says City Summer Violence Plans On The Right Path, But Calls Treatment Of Black Teens Downtown ‘A Missed Opportunity’

The mayor-elect said the city should have done more before CPS' spring break to advertise activities for teens to do.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot.
Heather Cherone/The Daily Line
  • Credibility:

Get more in-depth, daily coverage of Chicago politics at The Daily Line.

CITY HALL — Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said city officials were “on the right path” in developing “a real plan for the summer” as officials prep for the Memorial Day weekend, which is typically among the most violent of the year.

Not only did Lightfoot meet with the Chicago Police Department’s top brass and the leaders of the Office of Emergency Management Communications, the mayor-elect gathered representatives of other city agencies that do not directly deal with violence, including the Department of Streets and Sanitation and the Department of Transportation.

Lightfoot said her aim was to ensure there was “thoughtfulness and intentionality” behind the way and where “scarce” city resources will be used based on data gathered in previous years.

“I want to make sure every city resource that we have is focused on keeping our community safe this summer,” Lightfoot said, adding that she believed that all city departments had not been brought together “en masse” previously to coordinate an anti-violence plan.

“All these things are part of the same ecosystem and we need to make sure that our departments are not operating in an island and in a vacuum but that there is a coordinated effort and they are communicating in real time with each other,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot also said she would take a different approach during the summer months if large groups of teens gather Downtown as they did during Chicago Public Schools’ spring break.

“It was a missed opportunity for us,” Lightfoot said, adding that activities for teens should be advertised through the schools. “We’re not going to do that again.”

Teens have “an absolute right to come Downtown” but have to be respectful of others in the area, Lightfoot said.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham vowed in a speech Tuesday at the City Club to oppose most of the reforms set out by the consent decree.

But Lightfoot said she would not waver from her push for a new contract that includes more “accountability” and that is consistent with the consent decree.

“This is going to be a different kind of contract,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot also declined to rule out meeting with President Donald Trump during her upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

“He is the president of the United States,” Lightfoot said, adding that she will ensure Chicago residents get their “fair share” of federal resources.