With the election of Lori Lightfoot as mayor on April 2, Chicago witnessed a historic moment.
Whether the fact that Lightfoot is a woman, African-American, gay or not a part of the Chicago Machine was your deciding factor in voting for her, the 19th Ward overwhelmingly supported her for mayor.
I was encouraged by this, and I’m grateful that 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea openly supported her while many of his colleagues remained quiet.
Recently however, the outrage of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) over Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jusse Smollett case has also led to speculation that Jerry Joyce will run for state’s attorney, the impetus behind Lightfoot and O’Shea banding together.
Of course, Foxx’s handling of the Smollett case was not proper, but the presence of white supremacists at a recent FOP rally illustrates that not all of the outrage over Foxx is due to her handling of that case.
I hope our new mayor will be able to navigate the city and the remaining gears of the “machine” with the same authentic character she exhibited during the campaign, especially when it comes to police and community relations. I also hope that our alderman will support her in this effort.
As a community that has struggled with race and police relations in the past, we have a chance to be on the right side of history once again—just like we were on April 2.
Name withheld upon request