Few American cities have seen a greater fall from grace than Chicago.
Indeed, the Second City has long been a gleaming beacon of American exceptionalism since being rebuilt after the great fire of 1871 — but you wouldn’t be able to tell based on the way the city has looked in recent years.
Chicago has become characterized more like an Afghan war zone than an American city in those recent years.
“Zip codes with the most violence in Chicago and Philadelphia had a notably higher risk of firearm-related death than US military personnel who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” a December 2022 study found.
Now, such a harrowing statement may seem like an indictment on the city of Chicago itself — and it is — but really, Chicago’s dilapidated state is an indictment on its leadership.
Lori Lightfoot, the outgoing mayor of Chicago, was the nadir of that leadership, and paid the price for her lack of leadership via a stunning loss in a February election that saw the incumbent Chicago mayor fail to secure re-election. Instead, Paul Vallas, a former schools CEO, and Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner, will advance to a special April 4 runoff since neither candidate was able to secure over 50 percent of the vote.
Lightfoot, meanwhile, garnered a meager 16.8 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times.
Vallas secured 32.9 percent of the votes, nearly doubling Lightfoot’s total, and Johnson got 21.6 percent of the votes.
Given those vote totals, and the significant fact that Johnson is a virtual unknown in Illinois politics, a clearer message could not have been sent by the voters of Chicago to Lightfoot.
Well. Actually, scratch that.
Apparently, a much clearer message was sent at a Wednesday city council meeting.
“On a weekly basis, I was going viral asking you obvious questions,” reporter William Kelly said at the meeting. “And instead of answering them, you told me that crime was down.”
To be clear, crime is not down in Chicago, by virtually any metric.
Kelly, who ran for mayor against Lightfoot in 2018, then claimed that Lightfoot felt that his viral content was hurting her re-election campaign, so she revoked his media credentials.
“That should never happen in a free country.”
And yet, Kelly’s biggest pain point was not about his own revoked credentials. No, Kelly’s biggest pain point was the irreparable damage that the hypocritical Lightfoot has inflicted on Chicago.
“The people of Chicago elected you,” Kelly began. “You shut down our schools. You shut down the churches. You shut down the businesses.”
Kelly did offer the most backhanded of compliments to Lightfoot.
“You did the one thing I thought could never happen,” Kelly said. “As somebody who was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, I never thought in my life that I would ever see the city of Chicago brought down so low, as you have managed to bring it down. Shame on you.”
But Kelly saved his most searing indictment for last.
“I hope that you realize what damage you have done to the city,” Kelly said in his closing remarks. “I hope, that after today’s city council meeting, you will pack your suitcase and get the hell out of my city.”
Ouch. “Get the hell out of my city”? Hard to think of seven more damning words to hurl at an elected official.
And yet, it’s the kind of verbal fury that Lightfoot has unequivocally earned with the way that she has run Chicago into the ground.
Regardless of whether Vallas or Johnson ultimately supplants her, the mayor of Chicago will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Video: Lori Lightfoot Ripped Apart by Citizen as He Tells Her to ‘Get the Hell Out of My City’
Bryan Chai, Ole Braatelien, Western Journal
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