CHICAGO (CBS) — Days after her historic win, Chicago mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said the unifying theme of her campaign was change, and she wants to talk to everyone from aldermen at City Hall to city residents about her plans for Chicago.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli sat down with Lightfoot in a one-on-one interview, where she talked about her landslide victory, the Jussie Smollett case, the Lincoln Yards development and the Fraternal Order of Police calling for the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Beginning with City Hall, Lightfoot said she wants to meet with all 50 aldermen in City Council, especially the newly elected officials, if it can be worked out.
“We’ll see what the schedule permits. Ideally I’d like to do that. Particularly the new people who I don’t know,” Lightfoot said. “It’s going to be important to sit down with them face-to-face and really understand who they are and what they want to accomplish in their first term and let them know who I am and what my vision is.”
Chicago’s mayor-elect also talked about her late father who she said is a daily inspiration.
“I talk to my dad every day. He’s been gone now for 10 years and it’s hard. I miss him a lot. He was a great man who really cared deeply about his faith and his family so I hope he’s there and proud of me. I’m here because of his sacrifices,” Lightfoot said.
As to local issues, the ongoing saga of actor Jussie Smollett and the decision last month by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to drop the 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to police about a hate crime, Lightfoot said it’s just not a priority for her.
“We’ve got big issues that we have to tackle and Jussie Smollett just doesn’t make my list,” Lightfoot said.
But the controversial Lincoln Yards development on Chicago’s North Side is something she is still examining because of questions brought up by the area’s residents.
Lightfoot also addressed the recent criticisms by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and other suburban law enforcement officials against Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, which the mayor-elect said looked bad.
But Lightfoot said despite her full agenda, she wants to give people an opportunity to contact her and her administration with any questions they have about her vision.
“We’re going to set up a mechanism by which people can get access to me as the mayor but also the operations of city government. We’re going to put a lot more information out. And there’s going to be an opportunity for them to engage with me. I’m going to be very visible in the community. And we’re working on a process by which we are having regular sessions with the media as well.”
“I truly love this city. I see the greatness of it in every neighorhood, every corner of it. But we need to make sure that we are providing real opportunity. I love being a public servant. I just think there are things that a big city mayor can do to really transform and improve people’s lives that no other elected official can do. And I really look forward to the opportunity.