Hundreds of protesters marched through Logan Square on May 20 for the midterm anniversary of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to bring attention to her failure to deliver on her progressive campaign promises.

According to organizations such as GoodKids MaadCity, SOUL, and Chicago Teachers Union, who helped develop the mayor’s public report card, Lightfoot is receiving a failing grade on her administration’s handling of policing, education, environment, housing and health.

GoodKids MaadCity, SOUL and Chicago Teachers Union, are among the organizations that helped develop the mayor’s public report card.

Tara Stamps, a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teacher and former 37th Ward aldermanic candidate, gave a rousing speech at the May 20 protest, which took place at the corner of Wrightwood and Kimball (the east end of Lightfoot’s home block). 

In her speech, Stamps gave a laundry list of reasons why Lightfoot is failing, including covering up the unlawful raid of the home of Anjanette Young, refusing to support the removal of qualified immunity and rushing kids back into unsafe school buildings during a pandemic. 

But among the plethora of reasons she gave, the one Stamps dug into most after her speech is Lightfoot’s lies.

“Be who you said you were,” Stamps told The TRiiBE, referring to Lightfoot’s campaign promises such as having a nurse and social worker in every school, having an elected school board, and opening up trauma centers, to name a few. 

“The reason we voted for you is because you said you supported the things we believe in. [Lightfoot] took away our ability to choose when she lied to us and presented herself as this progressive,” Stamps said.


In the 2019 mayoral race, The TRiiBE interviewed Lightfoot during a campaign that positioned her as a progressive candidate with goals that seemed to emphasize making life more equitable for Black and brown Chicagoans. One example from that interview is when she stated that she will “create an elected and representative school board.”

This year, Lightfoot instead proposed only a partially elected board, and in 2020, her unelected board stomped out the proposal to end the Chicago Police Department (CPD) contract with CPS which had support from teachers, students, and parents. 

In Lightfoot’s 2019 interview, when asked about her plan to retain and rebuild Black Chicago in light of rampant police brutality and a mass exodus of Black people, she answered without mentioning police once, instead directing her focus to curbing gun violence and supporting small businesses.

From covering organizers during the Black Summer 2020 uprisings, it seems they view progressive politicians as ones who generally hold far left-leaning views regarding social reform. Although Lightfoot’s record doesn’t hold up to organizers’ progressive ideals, posturing as such, along with her identity as an openly gay Black woman, has made her a national media darling. Since her time in office, she’s made numerous appearances on stations including MSNBC and CNN.

More than 40 community organizations and unions collaborated to grade Lightfoot’s first two years in office. Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE

Meanwhile, organizers like Miracle Boyd of Good Kids Mad City, who have levied demands like removing police from CPS schools, see Lightfoot’s administration as a barrier to progress. 

“Anyone who is enabling her to keep lying to people about what she supports should be thrown under the bus right along with her,” Boyd said. “She promised us she wanted equitable education, to invest in communities and stop gentrification in our neighborhoods, but instead she’s giving $1.8 billion to CPD. I don’t care what color you are or any of that. Just serve us and treat us right as people.”

Bella Bahhs’ May 19 interview with Lightfoot contextualizes her policy decisions in a revealing way that’s scarcely been seen in two years of coverage from a plethora of both local and national media outlets. Among the most revealing moments in the piece is Lightfoot’s response to Bahhs’ question about abolishing qualified immunity — a practice that shields officers accused of excessive force and other civil rights violations from personal liability. Lightfoot’s replied with the following:  

“If you unarm the city with valid defenses and officers, I think the consequences are going to be monumental. I think the amount of money that we are paying out in settlements and judgements is only going to go up exponentially,” she said. “I think, as an officer, if you believe that you’ve made an honest mistake, and you’re now going to risk your pension, your salary, your house, your future, I don’t know who would take that job.”

It’s an answer that doesn’t just leave something to be desired from an alleged progressive, it also signals to Chicagoans that protecting the image of law enforcement careers takes precedence over accountability for the Black and brown Chicagoans that they murder. 

Reina Torres is an organizer with GoodKids MadCity and was one of the people leading the rally. When she heard Lightfoot’s response to qualified immunity, she showed no hesitation with her read of it.

“I’m not surprised. She has a record of not supporting police accountability. She fought her ass off to make sure that the Anjanette Young video didn’t get released,” Torres said. “The fact that she can say something like this while giving our money to people who are killing us, says everything about who she is as a mayor.”

is a staff writer with The TRiiBE. Email him with news tips.