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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot shuts down ‘homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumours’ she’ll quit

Emma Powys Maurice April 19, 2021
Lori Lightfoot

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot addressing crowds in April 2019 (Kamil Krzacyzynski/AFP/ Getty)

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has firmly dismissed the “homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumours” that she is planning on resigning.

The first Black, lesbian mayor of Chicago took to Twitter on Sunday (18 April) to shut down claims she is quitting amid a series of uncorroborated allegations about her personal life.

“Our city doesn’t have any time for homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumours, today or any day,” she wrote in a thread of tweets. “It’s shocking and disappointing to see some media members and verified Twitter handles are peddling this trash as truth.

“If people hadn’t noticed, we have major challenges in Chicago we need to address TOGETHER. This nonsense that some apparently have the luxury of indulging in has not fed one person, stopped the pandemic, housed anyone living on the street or saved one young person.

“Anyone who wants to work with me to make progress, I’m ready,” she continued. “Even if we don’t always see eye to eye, if you actually love this city and want to be part of making it better, let’s do the work. The rest of you, get out of the way.

“I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people’s work. The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.”

Lightfoot’s leadership has been called into question as the city reels from the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Her comment to the press that there are “too many damn guns on our streets” was read by some as blaming the victim rather than the police, prompting many Chicagoans to call for her resignation.

Rumours that she was on the verge of quitting were fuelled by a now-deleted tweet from Ja’Mal Green, an activist and former mayoral candidate, who wrote on Saturday: “Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship”.

Green later apologised for his tweet, claiming on Sunday that his words had been “taken out of context”.

“I should have kept quiet,” he said in a statement, acknowledging that he ultimately “helped to amplify rumours”.

“I made clear to the public and to the mayor that my intention was never to fuel rumours about her family. I have major concerns with how the mayor is leading right now, but I will never get personal,” he said.

Green added that the rumours about Lightfoot were “circulated” by members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union that represents Chicago’s police officers.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the FOP urged its members to “temper their public comments” about the mayor while attempting to distance union president John Catanzara from the conversation.

“There are many rumours flying around about the mayor,” the FOP said. “Several posts and comments have mentioned president Catanzara being in possession of proof and that he is pushing the issue. BOTH ARE FALSE!!!”

More: Chicago, Homophobia, Lori Lightfoot, racism

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