CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago mayor (all times local):
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the city’s violence problems in her inaugural speech, announcing the creation of a Mayor’s Office of Public Safety as part of her strategy.
Lightfoot said Monday morning after she took the oath of office that she has “no higher calling” than restoring safety and peace in Chicago’s neighborhoods. She punctuated this by saying “Enough of the shooting. Enough of the guns. Enough of the violence.”
Lightfoot says public safety “must not be a commodity that is only available to the wealthy.”
She says her plan includes mobilizing the entire city to fight violence.
Chicago police report 561 homicides in the city last year. That’s 100 fewer than in 2017 but more than the number of homicides in New York and Los Angeles combined.
Lori Lightfoot has taken the oath of office, becoming Chicago’s first black female and openly gay mayor.
Lightfoot was inaugurated Monday morning at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena with her wife and daughter at her side. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
Lightfoot waved to the crowd after taking the oath and started her remarks calling Chicago “a proud city with a proud history” that she considers a “city of hope.”
Lightfoot was elected in an April runoff against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Lori Lightfoot is coming into the Chicago mayor’s office pledging to overhaul the city’s police force.
She isn’t the first incoming mayor to make such a promise, but she may be the one with the best chance of actually getting it done.
One reason is that she’ll have a federal judge as an ally after she’s sworn in Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert Dow recently approved a court-monitored police reform plan. He has the power to hold reform slackers in contempt.
Even with court backing, Lightfoot faces obstacles to enacting meaningful changes. The police union has been hostile to key provisions of the plan, arguing that many will make it impossible for officers to do their jobs right.