To Help Chicago, Lightfoot Looks To Springfield — But Not On Violence

Apr 11, 2019

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has finished her two-day visit to the state capital.

Lightfoot spent her time in Springfield meeting with the governor, legislative leaders, and members of the General Assembly.

“What I have heard from both the leadership and individual members of both the House and the Senate is that they appreciate me being here,“ Lightfoot said. “Seems like they haven’t seen a lot from a mayor of Chicago.”

Lightfoot says in her conversations with lawmakers, she’s been “direct" about the magnitude of the financial challenge Chicago is facing.

Lightfoot speaks with reporters in the Illinois Statehouse on Thursday, April 11, 2019.
Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

She says much of her agenda depends on approval in Springfield. That includes a graduated income tax, which would generate more money for both the state and city governments.

But Lightfoot says that not the case with at least one big issue in Chicago: violence.

“The violence is something that we’ve got to take on and own as a city,” Lightfoot said. “I don’t think we need to — in the short term — look to Springfield to solve that problem. We’ve just got to do better in the City of Chicago.”

Lightfoot says that will take the form of greater investment in communities and better practices by police.

In the past, Chicago has been a driving force behind gun control legislation in the General Assembly.

On her way to a news conference, Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot stopped to talk to a group of girls visiting the Statehouse. They told her they were from East St. Louis.
Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois