Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to Give Farewell Address Monday – NBC Chicago

NOTE: Breaking News Of World will offer a live stream of the farewell address starting at 3 p.m. in the player above.

At the start of her final week as mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot will deliver a farewell speech to the city she served for the last four years.

Her address, which is slated to begin at 3 p.m., will take place at BUILD on West Harrison Street.

Lightfoot will remain mayor of the city until Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is inaugurated on May 15.

Lightfoot made history when she became the first Black, openly gay female mayor of Chicago in 2019. She also made another kind of history as she became the first incumbent candidate in city history not to advance to an April runoff to determine the city’s leader during the city’s election earlier this year. She is also the first elected incumbent to lose a reelection bid in the city since Jane Byrne was defeated by Harold Washington in the 1983 race.

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to be mayor,” Lightfoot said in a concession speech.

Despite the loss, Lightfoot said she will leave with her “head held high and a heart full of gratitude.”

Lightfoot guided the city through one of its most tumultuous eras in recent memory, not only navigating through the chaos of the COVID pandemic but also during a summer of tumult that followed the death of George Floyd.

She largely ran on her performance during that pandemic, insisting that her administration’s policies helped to keep residents safe, as well as on her record of new investments in organizations dedicated to improving life in underserved communities on the city’s South and West sides.

She also pushed through a plan to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

She has faced criticism for increases in violent crime in the city, with most candidates running on public safety platforms during the 2023 election.

Lightfoot has argued that most crime in the city has continued to decrease, pointing to statistics that show homicides have decreased by 14% and shootings have fallen by 20% year-over-year.

Lightfoot also pointed to hiring more officers amid staffing challenges.

In other parts of her tenure, Lightfoot faced off with the Chicago Teachers Union on several occasions, with a strike lasting for several days in October 2019.

Lightfoot also spearheaded the planning of a casino that would be located in the city, with Bally’s Corporation landing the rights to build a new resort on the west bank of the Chicago River on the former site of the Chicago Tribune publishing plant.

Johnson, who beat Lightfoot and went on to win a runoff election to become the city’s next mayor, will be sworn in as mayor on May 15 as he vows to operate a more transparent administration than his predecessors. His team released tickets Monday to his inauguration ceremony.

“The people of Chicago have always been at the heart of this campaign and this transition — and we’re excited to see that reflected in next week’s festivities,” Jessica Angus, Johnson’s transition director, said in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity for the public to experience the inauguration ceremony and we want to make sure everyone knows that this administration will always be open and accessible to the people, from day one until its very last day.”

According to Johnson’s inaugural committee, the swearing-in ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Credit Union 1 Arena, formerly known as the UIC Pavilion.

Johnson will take his oath of office during the event, along with members of the Chicago City Council and citywide elected officials, including Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and City Clerk Anna Valencia.

Tickets are free, but only available on a “first come, first served” basis and can be reserved using this link.

After that ceremony, an open house will be held at City Hall at 2 p.m. This event will also be open to the public, with details expected to be released this week.

“I want every single Chicagoan to feel that together, we’re writing a new chapter for our city, because we are,” Johnson said in a statement. “The goal of this inauguration is to be as collaborative and inclusive as possible, because that will be the goal of our government in City Hall.”

Johnson said he was appreciative of Lightfoot’s service and dedication to Chicago, and has shared a piece of advice the outgoing mayor left him with.

“What I thought was very inspirational by the mayor, her recognition of just seizing the moment and being able to digest that and appreciate it. Because truthfully, you know, this is not necessarily the place that I originally sought. As a teacher, as an organizer, then eventually going into government,” Johnson said. “But she was very intentional about making sure that the city of Chicago and this wondrous position, to digest that and to take it in and appreciate it. It’s going to be good advice.”

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