Mayor Lightfoot touts Chicago's economic turnaround post-pandemic amid reelection campaign

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Friday, January 27, 2023
Mayor Lori Lightfoot touts economic accomplishments in speech to City Club amid reelection campaign
Mayor Lightfoot hopes to shore up support in the business community with a speech that focused on Chicago's financial progress during her first term

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking to shore up support in the business community with a speech Friday that focused on financial progress that Chicago has made during her first term.

Lightfoot is hoping voters will give her a second term to finish what she's started.

The City Club is giving all nine candidates in the race for Chicago's mayor a chance to share their vision for the city and Lightfoot took advantage of the opportunity to tout her accomplishments to an influential audience.

"I'm here to tell you about Chicago's financial turnaround over the last four years," the mayor said.

Mayor Lightfoot spoke to a packed house at City Club, using a PowerPoint presentation to show what she called Chicago's economic turnaround post-pandemic.

In a mayoral race where she faces eight opponents, she took a veiled swipe at her critics.

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"It's not about me, it's not about the silly season and Dave was right, maybe it's the stupid season at this point, but it's about betting on our city -- betting on our present but betting on our future," Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot cited her success in landing a Chicago Casino as a critical source of revenue for years to come.

She also pointed to closing a budget gap and improving the city's credit rating, as well as attracting many new businesses.

"We have all the things that businesses need to come, to invest, to support their employees and thrive in a city like Chicago," the mayor said.

Lightfoot said her office knew and planned for the fact that federal relief dollars would not be around forever.

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"The federal dollars will end whenever they end, but we're gonna continue on because of the dollars we are putting from our resources to make sure that our recovery is as robust as possible, and I feel pretty confident about that," Lightfoot said.

She said pension liabilities remain a big concern.

Lightfoot also scoffed at those who might see her speech as a reelection pitch for votes and financial support.

"I would say, it's always a good thing for us to remind people of all stripes that our city finances and our economy are rock solid," Lightfoot said.

And while the mayor touted economic successes, it's crime and public safety that are the number once concerns for voters. Lightfoot's rivals have and will very likely continue to hammer home that issue to voters, hoping to replace her in the upcoming election.