First round of Chicago mayoral election focuses and threat to leftwing politics posed by the spurious claim that the U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of crime.

by Peter Hudis, LA Progressive

The results of Chicago’s recent election for mayor and the city council reveal a great deal about where politics is headed not just in that city but nationwide—in both a positive and negative sense.

The positive take-away from the Feb. 28 mayoral election is that Lori Lightfoot, who in 2019 became the first Black women and first openly gay person to become Chicago’s mayor, was voted out of office—something that has not happened to an incumbent mayor in 40 years. Since none of the nine candidates garnered 50% of the vote, a run-off will be held on April 4 between Paul Vallas (who got 34%) and Brandon Johnson (who got 20%). Lightfoot came in third with 16% (only the top two vote getters make it to the run-off).

Protesters gather in Chicago to protest the stay at home order issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker in front of the James R. Thompson Center demanding their rights.

In 2019 Lightfoot carried every one of Chicago’s 50 wards while campaigning as an alternative to the bankrupt policies of then-Mayor Rahm Emmanuel (who closed over 50 schools in Black and Latinx neighborhoods while trying to cover up the crimes of Chicago’s Police Department).

Yet upon taking office she did exactly what many grassroots activists at the time predicted—she pivoted to the Right. She gave the police free rein to brutalize and arrest peaceful protesters during the 2020 demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd, clashed repeatedly with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and other unions over their demands to keep schools closed until proper resources were devoted to battling the pandemic, and rebuffed calls to significantly reallocate resources away from policing and toward trauma centers, mental health facilities, and community development projects.

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