I voted for the current mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot. I did so because her opponent, Toni Preckwinkle, would have represented and continued the “Old Guard” in Chicago politics. Had Preckwinkle won the mayoral office, being privy to where many of the political bodies are buried, she would have kept the current group of aldermen in line and docile.

Anybody following politics at City Hall knows that the current crop of aldermen don’t have a problem opposing the mayor. And that is a good thing because opposing vocalization of the mayor’s bad policies can be good for everybody in the community. This city needs a strong city council and a weak mayor in terms of organization and power. And, truthfully, that is what Mayor Lightfoot represents.

Personally, I’m not impressed with the job Mayor Lightfoot is doing. She has had numerous occasions where positive public relations situations were presented to her and, rather than be creative and benefit from them, she has shown no creativity. From the giant house party that the young people had back in 2020 when COVID-19 first hit, to the biggest positive press story to hit Chicago in decades (the alligator in the Humboldt Park Lagoon), a smart and savvy politician would have used both events to garner all sorts of positive interactions within the city. Not once have we seen Lightfoot take an approach that would have been uniting for the city. 

The huge house party represented Lightfoot’s first opportunity to get young people involved in the COVID-19 outbreak battle. Those young people could have been monitored for COVID transmission and become the best spokespersons for wearing masks, social distancing and not putting themselves in jeopardy. That story came and went with no ongoing outcome that the mayor could use to generate positive press or unite the city to fight the outbreak.

With the alligator, people of all different nationalities, and especially economic social groups and from all over the Chicagoland area were traveling to Humboldt Park and even speaking to one another. They were laughing about the alligator. They were proud that the Chi-gator was giving Chicago some positive press and that they were a part of it. They were networking with one another because finally the entire city had something in common. Local youth could have been encouraged to come up with ideas to generate money. They could be entrepreneurs of money-making enterprises like bicycle tours of the neighborhood, or working their own concession stands so the multitudes visiting the park could purchase souvenir items from them. I would have had the biggest GoFundMe to create a reptile house at the park so the Chi-gator could be a constant tourist attraction. But that didn’t happen. The alligator was quickly captured, sent far away from the city and the positive momentum that was brewing was snuffed out.

One of the biggest problems this city has, is that it is not asking anything of the young people living within it. What is their contribution to be and to do to continue to make Chicago a great place? We need the young people included in ideas and actions and, most of all, buying into events that make them Chicagoans because they are the future of this city. Changing the IDGAF (I don’t give a f***) mindset should be the number one goal the mayor should have for these young people.

Mayor Lightfoot has announced the upcoming NASCAR event. How will that help ethnic Chicago? How will it unite all of Chicago? What are the plans to get young black kids from the West Side, as well as from the entire city, interested in a NASCAR event? Our young people are into illegal drifting sessions on the street. How does the mayor take that scenario and turn it into a positive outcome, combining it with NASCAR, and get them doing things correctly?

That’s what should currently be on the mayor’s plate. And, sadly, if history is any indication, it’s going to remain a damn empty plate!