Lori Lightfoot
Lori Lightfoot / FACEBOOK

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Tackles Racism, Corruption, Ends Aldermen’s Privileges on Her First Day

Lori Lightfoot made national headlines as becoming the first Black and openly gay mayor of Chicago. After she took office, Lightfoot wasted no time in tackling one of the city’s biggest issues and sources of corruption – the aldermen.

The 50 aldermen who make up the Chicago City Council enjoyed unwritten “aldermanic privilege,” which Lightfoot said led to “the worst abuses.”

Their privileges gave them veto power over zoning and permits in their own wards. Their presence came under more intense scrutiny after Alderman Edward Burke, the city’s longest-serving council member ever, was charged with attempted extortion earlier this year for allegedly threatening to slow the approval of remodeling plans for a Burger King in his ward unless his law firm was hired for the tax work.

While aldermen will still keep some of their privileges, they will no longer have their veto power.

Aldermen have also used their considerable power to reject affordable housing development, confining the city’s low-income residents, who are mostly Black, to a few areas of the city, according to a 2018 report.

According to the report by the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, aldermen in majority-white, wealthier parts of the city have been rejecting the development of dense and affordable housing for 80 years. Aldermen of more than half of Chicago’s wards did not accept a single multifamily home funded through a city loan program meant for such housing from 1992 to 2017. These abuses of power have made a huge impact on the city’s minority population, as 36 of Chicago’s 50 words are majority Hispanic or Black.

Historically, the 50 aldermen have been majority white and male – combined with their power in a city with a large Black and Hispanic population, this obviously has created problems. But Lightfoot being elected is only the beginning of the tides of change for Chicago.

The new City Council for 2019 has the greatest number of Hispanic aldermen ever and the fewest white aldermen since the ward system was adopted – it’s the most diverse and progressive in history. However, neither African Americans nor women appeared likely to break any records for their numbers on the City Council.

Latest News

Kaiser Permanente Mental Health App Now Available to Members at No Cost

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org.  myStrength app is part of Kaiser Permanente’s effort to provide valuable tools to support mental and emotional health, particularly during stressful times. As part of its commitment to offer members innovative ways to promote personal health and wellness, particularly during increasing levels of stress and anxiety,…

March 2020 ADP National Employment Report®, ADP Small Business Report® and ADP National Franchise Report® to be Released on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Originally posted on ADP.com : ADP Research Institute® will release the March findings of the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report and ADP National Franchise Report on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. ET. Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, ADP Research Institute issues the ADP Small Business Report independently of the ADP National Employment Report. …

Dow Commits $3 million to Aid COVID-19 Relief Efforts and Adjusts Manufacturing Processes to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Originally posted on Dow.com Dow announced a commitment of $3 million to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts with donations going towards global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates. In addition, the Company announced it has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing site in Stade, Germany, and…

EY COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan: Five Ways to Reshape

Originally posted on EY LinkedIn and  EY.com  EY Responding to COVID-19 COVID-19 is an unfolding event bringing uncertainty to every business. To help you navigate through these unprecedented times, here you’ll find the most relevant EY insights on responding to volatility and building enterprise resilience. Global companies have to be predictive…

Wells Fargo Announces Aid for Customers and Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Comprehensive response includes suspending residential foreclosure sales, fee waivers and acceleration of $175 million in donations to help the most vulnerable Originally published on newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced additional comprehensive steps to help customers, communities and employees grappling with the impact of COVID-19. The company…

Cox Commits up to $5M for COVID-19 Testing

Originally posted on Cox.com The James M. Cox Foundation announced its commitment to provide up to $5 million to Emory Healthcare for purchasing COVID-19 testing equipment. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Emory and Cox are taking the lead with significant action to support the community. The equipment is currently…