Stakes are high as city waits for mayor to show her hand
I’ve been around Chicago: inside the scoreboard at Wrigley Field and through the skybridge between the towers of the Wrigley Building. Up a communications mast atop the Hancock — now dubbed “875 N. Michigan Avenue” — and down into the 39 miles of freight tunnels under the Loop.
So I believe I know a bit about the city. But I can’t recall a mayor ever giving a speech of any significance, at least not to match the potential impact of Lori Lightfoot’s “State of the City” address set for later this week. Oh, Rahm Emanuel once took out his top hat and cane and tried to tap dance around responsibility for covering up the murder of Laquan McDonald. Richard J. Daley gravely intoned his litany of lies during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. And don’t forget Harold Washington’s delighted cry of, “You want Harold? You got him!” Memorable? Certainly. But important? In the way that Lightfoot’s speech will reveal her strategy for dragging Chicago out of the deep debt hole her predecessors dug? Never. She’s calling her talk the “State of the City,” though I instantly dubbed it her “Sorry Kids, Christmas is Canceled” speech. Because we don’t need a lecture to know the news is bad. You want it plain and simple? OK, close your eyes, take three deep cleansing breaths and brace yourself. Here it comes, the unvarnished truth in seven words: