Letts: Lori Lightfoot's Exit Can't Come Soon Enough - Chicago Can Finally Move Forward


“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

That’s my final statement to Lori Lightfoot, who served as Chicago mayor for the past few years and practically ran the city into the ground when it came to both a massive increase in crime and the diminishing of its once noble police force.

In case you missed the news, Lightfoot missed out on the chance at a second term in a recent election, not only losing, but finishing third.

That means the people of Chicago thought there were two candidates, not one, who could do the job better than she could. If that’s not a sign that the city has lost confidence in her, I’m not sure what is.

Lightfoot has just been a mess. There’s no getting around it.

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Ever since the rise of COVID-19 (which the city took its sweet time recovering from) and the “defund the police” protests of 2020, the former mayor has taken it upon herself to leave Chicago’s noble police force in tatters. She fought against giving them any sort of funding while ironically spending a good deal of money on her own private security force. I’m not kidding.

And what happened as a result? Officers left their posts, tired of the pressure that came from not only the increase in homicides in the city, but also Lightfoot’s absolutely ridiculous restrictions.

It became so unbearable that a few officers even took their lives, something that should never, ever happen. Our officers deserve more than that, and the fact Lightfoot took away precious resources is despicable.

It gets worse.

With the diminishing of available officers, Lightfoot actually bumped up the hours of those still on the force. That meant taking away previously granted vacation requests and mandatory overtime. It eventually got to the point where officers were worn out and losing faith in their job. No one — and I mean absolutely no one — deserves that.

Did Lightfoot destroy the Chicago police force?

Lightfoot tried to make a sympathetic exit, noting that she was rooting for the next mayor of Chicago. But the critics — myself included — knew. It was time for her to go.

Critics sounded off in droves following Lightfoot’s ouster from office. But my personal favorite came from Jonathan Turley, a criminal defense attorney who regularly contributes to Fox News. He wrote, “There is hope for my home city yet. Lori Lightfoot is out. The greatest potential improvement for the city since 1900 when the direction of the Chicago river was reversed.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also had a bit to add. “Crime doesn’t pay.” Exactly right.

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Now it’s just a matter of seeing who will take over the mayor’s seat and undo the significant damage that Lightfoot has done.

CEO and city budget director Paul Vallas will face off against Cook County Board of Commissioners member Brandon Johnson in a runoff that will take place on April 4. Hopefully, we’ll see Chicago given the leadership it deserves, and the police given back their respect.

Chicago has a long road ahead of it, I admit. Crime isn’t going to turn itself around, and there’s still the matter of making sure police officers are properly cared for.

But I have much more confidence in Vallas or Johnson compared to Lightfoot, who made it all about herself and her agenda. When one person believes she’s bigger than a city, it will certainly pay the price. And Chicago citizens are tired of footing the bill.

I wish both men the best of luck in the runoff. As for Lightfoot, well, I would repeat my statement above, but I kind of like Turley’s statement about the Chicago River reversing its flow. At last, things can finally move forward.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Michael Letts is the founder and CEO of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship and fundraising programs.