There’s going to be a runoff election between Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
If you’ve forgotten, Preckwinkle became president of the Cook County board because she promised us she could do a better job than Todd Stroger. Stroger’s proposal of a one penny sales tax increase was the reason. Then just like a lot of lying politicians, once in office, she promptly implemented the very penny tax she had ostracized him about.
To make matters even worse, she was the deciding vote in the sugar tax. You all remember just over a year ago when a 64 liter pop would cost you $0.99 plus the $0.64 in tax. The hypocrisy of that tax was that Link cardholders who didn’t pay taxes anyway, could still buy sugar sweetened drinks, while those who didn’t have that card were penalized by paying an additional amount in taxes. That tax caused enough voter ire that it eventually had to be repealed. And Richard Boykin who was one of the loudest voices against that tax, played the political game of speaking out, then chickening out in running to take over the president position. Voters turned their ire on him and he lost his re-election bid to even be a Cook County commissioner.
I don’t know much about Lori Lightfoot. If she wins the mayoral runoff, she will be a new mayor and a weak mayor. And maybe that is what Chicago needs: a strong city council and a weak mayor. No more kowtowing to whatever the mayor wants (like using TIF funds to build a new neighborhood in Lincoln Park) but a city council that works for the people and not at the mayor’s beck and call.
But no matter who becomes mayor, I want the overpass at Pulaski and I-55 to be renamed the Laquan McDonald Memorial Overpass. We need a fitting reminder to everyone about what happened the evening Laquan was murdered.
Jason Van Dyke’s decision to not wait several minutes for the officer with the taser to show up shows the mindset that black lives don’t matter to certain CPD officers. I will always contend that the cop whose car’s camera captured the event tried to turn her vehicle so what she knew was about to happen wouldn’t be caught on tape. But Laquan turned as well.
Now I know my idea may be considered controversial. But at the same time, facing the truth can be a healing moment for this city — an acknowledgement of a tragedy while at the same time being the gesture of reconciliation we need to move forward.
It will be a historic visual reminder that justice prevailed when a civilian was murdered in cold-blood by a cop.