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Lori Lightfoot Recommends Going Cashless to Avoid Being Robbed in Chicago

Chicago Lori Ligh

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Lori Lightfoot faces an uphill battle for re-election as mayor of Chicago. According to the latest polls, the incumbent is standing at 9.8% of voting intentions, which would not be enough to enter a second round. Despite this discouraging scenario, she starred in a controversial moment during a debate and it did not take long for it to go viral on social media.

The election will take place on February 28th and will pit Lori Lightfoot against eight other candidates vying to take her place. All of them had their chance to address the citizens of Chicago in a debate on January 19. Crime was a central topic during the event, of course.

Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. In 2022, it had a crime rate of 3,926 per 100,000 residents, 67% higher than the national average. While official data shows homicides down 14 % in 2022, assaults, violent assaults and motor vehicle assaults increased by 56 %, 14 % and 102 %, respectively. This partly explains Lightfoot’s drop in the polls.  

In this context, the current mayor slipped an inauspicious phrase in the debate. While addressing crime and, specifically, how to improve worker safety, she said: “I heard a lot of rhetoric here, a lot of soundbites, but not a lot of concrete solutions on how we get the job done and make our residents and our workers safe. We’re doing it every single day,” the Democrat began.

“We have been in Little Village working with those street vendors, understanding what the nature of the crime is, making sure that we’re doing things in concert with them to help them, to make sure that their money is secure. Not use money, if at all possible, using other forms of transactions to carry themselves,” Lightfoot stated to then go viral on social media.

Little Village’s crime numbers are not favorable. For example, in the 10th Police District, where the Little Village neighborhood is located, robberies increased 13% in 2022.

Lori Lightfoot’s challengers in Chicago

What appeared to be textbook re-election is getting complicated for Lightfoot, perhaps too complicated. Her numbers have only gone down since the polls began. According to the latest polls, the incumbent is standing at 9.8 percent of the vote, which would not be enough to get her into a runoff, necessary in Chicago if no candidate exceeds 50 percent.  

Currently leading in the polls is Paul Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Vallas, 69, stands out for his criticism of Lightfoot’s handling of crime. After two unsuccessful candidacies for the same position, he leads with 26% of voting intentions.

In second place comes Congressman Chuy García with 19% in the polls. García represents the fourth district of Illinois in the House of Representatives since 2019 and is one of the progressive candidates of the election; he even had the support of Bernie Sanders when he sought this same seat in 2015.

Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.