Lori Lightfoot has a lot on her plate as mayor-elect, but it might take just a few hours — during her first City Council meeting — to glimpse her chances for early success.
In that time, the council’s first vote tallies will tell a lot about whether Lightfoot has the wherewithal to drive the council’s agenda.
During that first meeting after Lightfoot’s May 20 swearing-in, the mayor’s backers would like to see her bring votes on efforts to kill aldermanic privilege, open access to government records and renew restrictions on patronage hiring.
How and whether such initiatives move forward will say a lot about whether Lightfoot will be able to advance the progressive agenda that helped her win nearly 75 percent of the vote in the mayoral runoff election.
David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.
Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.
Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.