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Friday, June 3, 2022

WTTW: Lightfoot Takes Aim at Rivals: ‘Another Man Who Thinks He Can Do This Job Better Than Me’

 Upon news that Ward 6 Ald. Roderick Sawyer is throwing his hat in the ring to challenge Mayor Lightfoot in 2023.

But shortly after kicking off the city’s celebration of Pride month by dedicating Chicago’s AIDS Garden along the Lakefront near Belmont Harbor, Lightfoot brushed off the criticism leveled by Sawyer, former CPS CEO Paul Vallas, state Rep. Kam Buckner, businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward).

“Another day, another man who thinks he can do his job better than me,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot tapped Sawyer to serve as the chair of the City Council’s Health and Human Relations Committee, and his candidacy is a stunning rebuke of Lightfoot and her leadership. Sawyer was first elected to the City Council in 2011.

Sawyer served as the chair of the Black Caucus under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and charted a moderate path during his administration. In 2019, Sawyer was forced into a runoff, but retained his seat, winning nearly 54% of the vote.
Sawyer and Lightfoot clashed over a number of issues during the past three years, including efforts to create an oversight board of Chicagoans to oversee the beleaguered Chicago Police Department as well as a push to study whether and how the city should pay reparations to Chicagoans who are the descendants of enslaved African Americans.

In the face of opposition from the mayor, Sawyer dropped his push to create a commission, and agreed to form a subcommittee of the Health Committee. That body met only once, and Sawyer regretted bowing to the mayor’s wishes, telling WTTW News she had “stonewalled” his efforts.

And what seems to be a typical Lightfoot tactic:

Nearly a year ago, Lightfoot told “Chicago Tonight” that 99% of the criticism she faces is spurred by racism and sexism.

Lightfoot told WTTW News on Thursday that nothing has changed during the past year.

“Women are always going to be judged by a different lens, and people of color are always judged by a different lens,” Lightfoot said. “That’s just the reality of our lives.”

Lightfoot, Chicago’s first gay mayor, said members of the LGBTQ-plus community also face unwarranted criticism because of who they are.

“I’m a big believer in playing the cards that were dealt,” Lightfoot said. “I’m going to keep doing what I think is right on behalf of the residents of the city.”

Unwarranted criticism or just plain the direction of this city needs a change? 

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