During her campaign, Mayor Lori Lightfoot portrayed herself as an anti-corruption crusader committed to shutting down Chicago’s political machine. Her first day in office, she signed an executive order stripping aldermen of much of their power.
Almost four months later, she is still pushing that reform agenda. But some aldermen are challenging the mayor. One of her staunchest critics is Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward, of Chicago’s Far South Side.
In a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed published Friday, Beale outlined his frustrations with Lightfoot:
“Call it what you want – aldermanic prerogative. I call it aldermanic initiative and community representation. Mayor Lightfoot map imply that there is some nefarious motive to the opposition to her ideas. But that’s her fantasy.”
Beale also described what he sees as his priority as an alderman:
“It’s a plus if we get along with the person who occupies the mayor’s office. But having worked (and at times disagreed) with three mayors, I can tell you that only those aldermen whose north star is their community’s welfare deserve and win re-election.”
Beale sees the role of aldermen as an important one:
“Whether the president is Donald Trump of Barack Obama, I’ve always believed in and supported the importance of Congress as an independent legislative body. In the same vein, I believe in the separation of powers in Chicago – and an independent legislative body.”
Beale joins “Chicago Tonight” in conversation.