Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot presented transition team report

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Friday is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's last day at City Hall before Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot takes over as mayor on Monday.

Mayor-elect Lightfoot met with her transition team Friday. More than 400 Chicagoans from different backgrounds made up 10 transition committees, giving recommendations on how the new administration can be better and more effective.

As the more than 100-page transition report was presented to Lightfoot, she asked questions and engaged in a conversation about how the ideas could be executed.

"We have this special moment. Let's take advantage of it be true and worthy of the mandate that people have given us," Lightfoot said.

Transition teams included Good Governance, Arts and Culture, Business, Economic, and Neighborhood Development. Lightfoot said her main priority when she gets into office on Monday is to make changes and create a transparent city government.

"We're going to open up city government," Lightfoot said. "We're going to push for change, but I think the other thing that I want to say is no one mayor can do it alone. We're going to issue a challenge to people all across the city to step up and think about ways in which they can dig down and do more."

She wants to do away with aldermanic prerogative, which gives aldermen near carte blanche power in their wards.

"People voted for change, and I'm going to deliver change," Lightfoot said. "Part of that, and a big part of that, has to be making sure aldermen have a voice, but not a veto."

The committee members took to the community to get their feedback, taking surveys and talking to residents across Chicago. One major sticking point was to provide more affordable healthcare and housing.

Lightfoot said she is working on a plan to curb downtown congestion due to ride-share companies, which she said have turned rush hour into rush day. She also announced a new policy to protect those who fall behind on their water bill.

"You can't turn off water connection to houses. Water's a basic human right," Lightfoot said.

But what the report does not tackle is the financial crisis facing the mayor-elect.

"It's not a $700 million problem. I know that number has been put out by the current administration, it's not $700 million, it's worse than that," Lightfoot said.

Despite all the challenges ahead, Lightfoot is still trying to enjoy the moment.

"I'm looking forward to this moment, as folks have been reminding me. It's only going to happen once. I'm going to make sure that I soak it all in and have fun with it, and look forward to leading this great city," Lightfoot said.

To read the full report, visit bettertogetherchicago.com/transition-report.

She's also announced her leadership lineup for City Council. She's chosen 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack to take over as chair of the powerful Finance Committee - the position Alderman Ed Burke held for decades. Alderman Gilbert Villegas, who represents the 36th Ward, will serve as the first Latino floor leader in Chicago history.

Lightfoot will be sworn in as the 56th Mayor of Chicago on Monday. Live coverage of the historic inauguration begins at 10 a.m. on ABC7. You can also watch it live on ABC7Chicago.com or the ABC 7 Chicago News App.
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