Lightfoot scolds rivals at mayor’s forum for trying to ‘mansplain’, ‘treat me like I’m a kid’ – NBC Chicago
With three weeks to go before the Chicago mayoral elections, eight candidates vying for mayor’s office launched numerous personal attacks on each other Tuesday night during a combative televised forum covering their positions on public safety, education and Moreover.
The hour-long forum hosted by WTTW News saw a steady stream of tense sidebars, including when a question about whether to fire a Chicago police officer with documented ties to a white supremacist group turned into a unintelligible quarrels between several of the suitors.
“Of course we shouldn’t hire, we shouldn’t support, we shouldn’t retain any officer associated with a hate group,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said of the officer, who was suspended but not fired for his involvement with the extreme right. Proud Boys – a move that was lambasted by the city’s inspector general.
When Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson intervened, Lightfoot pushed him away for trying to “mansplain here”. Then millionaire entrepreneur Willie Wilson called the mayor “confused” and tried to silence his back and forth with former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.
“Don’t try to treat me like I’m a kid, trying to tell me to calm down,” Lightfoot said.
The crosstalk escalated from there to Ald. Sophia King (4th) tried to position herself as the voice of reason: “That’s exactly what the people of Chicago don’t want: the people here are bickering. They want to hear our solutions to problems. They want us to solve security problems, to have better schools. … We have to stop this nonsense.
Vallas, King and Ald. Sixth-placed Roderick Sawyer has each said he will fire the Proud Boys-affiliated officer.
“I would have fired him immediately,” Sawyer said. “I don’t care what the unions would do. I don’t care what collective bargaining would do.
Most of the direct attacks were aimed at Vallas and Lightfoot – often against each other.
“Why don’t you let the community decide whether or not they want to bring some of these public charter schools [into vacant CPS buildings] – of which 96% of their student body is black and Latino? Vallas asked the mayor. “Why don’t you allow them to occupy these buildings and enroll the neighborhood children?” »
In response, Lightfoot snapped a photo of the time since Vallas was the Schools Leader under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
“I know you’ve been out of the school system for a long time, but all you’ve said – why don’t you [this]why not do [that] — we do, Paul,” Lightfoot said, listing a series of alternative high school initiatives under his leadership.
State Representative Kam Buckner criticized Vallas for saying “he’s going to do what he did before” at the CPS.
“Please don’t do this. What Paul used to do was take pension payments and use them to run our schools. I was a kid who was in the neighborhood when he ran it. It’s not OK, let’s not go back to the future,” Buckner said.
Wilson stood by his controversial remark from last month that police should be able to hunt criminals “like a rabbit”.
“My child was lost to gun violence. Lots of people right now [have] children lost to gun violence. … If you commit a crime, you hurt someone, you kill someone – they should be hunted down like a rabbit. That’s what I said, that’s what I meant.”
Johnson got the biggest laugh of the night when he explained why he would abolish a municipal database of gang affiliations, which he voted to do at the county level.
“There was a 108-year-old man in the gang database. It’s the oldest G in America,” he joked. “And it is proven to fail. … I have released one of the most comprehensive public safety plans that not only addresses the root causes of violence, but we can actually promote 200 more police detectives into the ranks.
US Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia was not at the forum because he was in Washington for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, drawing wry praise from community activist Ja’Mal Green .
“He does his job in Congress. And I wish a lot of people here would,” Green said. “We want to see some urgency right now in the city of Chicago when it comes to public safety.”
WBEZ is hosting two more candidate forums on Wednesday and Thursday, each showcasing part of the nine-candidate field. They will be broadcast live on special editions of “Reset on the Road,” starting each day at 11 a.m. Postal voting is already underway for the February 28 elections.