CHICAGO (CBS) — One day after Lori Lightfoot’s landslide victory, winning all of Chicago’s 50 wards, she’s wasting no time getting started.
CBS 2 political editor Derrick Blakley is taking a close look at what may be her five biggest challenges as mayor of Chicago.
In preparation to becoming the “Woman on Five”, the fifth floor of City Hall, Lori Lightfoot met for 45 minutes with the “Man on Five”, lame duck Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“You sit down with the existing mayor and his team and they run through issues of mutual concern and importance,” Lightfoot said.
And nothing’s more important than Lightfoot’s number one challenge: getting a handle on Chicago’s street violence. She met with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Wednesday afternoon.
“Obviously, I’m concerned about what the plans are for summer and other issues we would need to know walking into office,” Lightfoot said. “And I’m sure we’ll have a very detailed discussion.”
A second challenge: Fighting City Hall corruption, as shown in the federal shakedown charges that Ald. Ed Burke (14th) now faces. Lightfoot wants to end an alderman’s iron clad right to control zoning and building permits in their ward.
“Aldermanic prerogative is at the the heart of the corruption charges that have been brought against aldermen that have been convicted in this city 30 plus, which is a terrible track record,” Lightfoot added.
But convincing aldermen to give away their greatest power won’t be easy.
A third challenge: enforcing police reform, as called for in the consent decree overseen by a federal judge. It’s an agreement the police officers union opposes.
“I want to have a constructive relationship with the FOP, but I’m not going to support the things they’ve done which is to basically throw up roadblocks and obstruction toward progress,” Lightfoot said.
Other big challenges: improving Chicago’s failing neighborhood public schools and attacking Chicago’s huge pension crisis, which requires $1 billion in new revenue within four years.
It is a very long list of tough problems. Which is why Lightfoot’s honeymoon may not last long.
Tough decisions to come are sure to have some of the voters who are swooning for her now, shouting at her later.