Monday, February 22, 2021

Mayor needs less hope, more responsibility

Chicago, May 30, 2020 (photo for the Sun-Times by Ashlee Rezin Garcia)

     Reviewing my actions over the weekend of May 29, 2020, the journalistic decisions made and strategic approaches taken to covering the Chicago riots, I have come to the conclusion that I was 1000 percent right in everything I did and would not do anything differently. That said, I’ve learned from the mistakes that weren’t made and won’t let them happen again, not that they ever did.
     That doesn’t quite scan, does it?
     Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s take on the inspector general’s report on the city’s botched handling of the George Floyd riots ... where to begin? Search for the positive, I suppose: We should take comfort the mayor didn’t throw police Supt. David Brown under the bus.
     But then, she couldn’t, could she? The man just took the job April 15, six weeks before the city erupted. Her support comes not so much from her cutting the new guy slack as understanding, if the Chicago Police Department leadership were as inept as the report suggests, it would also reflect badly on Lightfoot, who hired him. The buck stops somewhere else.
     On Friday, Lightfoot said she conferred with her fellow mayors around the country, and they were also caught flatfooted by the unrest.
     “No mayor expected what we all got,” she said, spreading the blame around. I might have to use that spin: Most reporters cowered in their safe suburban homes and didn’t rush downtown. It wasn’t just me.
      The scariest thing Lightfoot said is she hopes the riots are a once-in-a-lifetime event. Wrong! Hope is not a success strategy. Hope caused the problem in the first place. Lightfoot hoped this wasn’t going to happen in her city. The report underlines the kind of magical thinking that worsens disasters like this. Expecting the worst is her job. That’s what the police are for. “Sorry! We were caught off guard by all this crime. We vigorously hoped it wouldn’t occur.”

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  1. Lightfoot is simply out of her depth as mayor.
    She's not a manager & has no idea what's she's doing.
    There are still police cars on or near Michigan Ave. with their lights flashing, as if that will do any good. They were even there during the worst of the cold & snow the last couple of weeks, when it was obvious no major crimes or rioting was going to happen there.
    Ant there was major looting that never even made the news. When I went to Microcenter on Elston, last August, just after the second wave of looting, the manager said his store was hit for $250,000 in damages. They've had massive 24/7 private security since then.

    And now for the really bad news:
    I have to agree with John Kass, what on Earth is her insane obsession with statues?
    Lincoln, Washington & Leif Erikson?
    Is she going to get rid of the Washington Statue on the Fifth Floor of City Hall?
    She's a one termer, but even worse, one of those loons from the teachers union wants to replace her!

    1. Re: the 1:33 comment. If you're aware of some strategy through which the mayor could have prevented the Microcenter on Elston from being looted -- when much of the city was up for grabs at the same time -- I hope that you will be sharing it with us, and her.

      Daley was evidently not out of his depth, and was far from a one-termer, but "shoot to kill" is kinda frowned-on these days. Though his "management" bequeathed us the fractured city that subsequent mayors have struggled to deal with.

    2. Good grief, you're using whataboutism to defend the indefensible!
      Brown is a failure as superintendent!
      And Lightfoot picked him!

  2. I really like Lori Lightfoot, her poise when she can maintain it, her courage, her willingness to expose her real self, but I like Mike Madigan and Eddie Burke too, for completely superficial reasons. I hope (what else can I do?) that she figures the job out without selling out as did Jane Byrne.


    1. I'm inclined to agree about Lightfoot. Not so much the other guys. Don't really believe much of what happened was foreseeable. And preventable. But Monday morning quarterbacking is always fun.


  3. Great column. Her honeymoon is long over. I think most people were pulling for her from the beginning. She's very thin skinned and doesn't take criticism very well. And the hardass act has grown old. Learn how to communicate with the aldermen. Hopefully she turns it around a little, otherwise I think she'll be a one term mayor.

  4. And Ashley's picture is an all time classic.


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