Bryan Zarou: Aldermanic Ethics Reform Package Could Be a Second Chance for Lightfoot To Fulfill Her Vow

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s track record on reform is a mixed bag. A wide-ranging ethics reform proposal could help her follow through on her promises.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during the 90th Winter Meeting of USCM on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Four years ago this month, Lori Lightfoot announced her intention to run for mayor of Chicago. The former federal prosecutor and Chicago Police Board president ran on promises such as pursuing ethics reform, reshaping the City Council, rooting out corruption and convening a panel of “journalists, attorneys, public watchdogs and other stakeholders … to make recommendations for increasing transparency.”

These vows helped Lightfoot trounce powerful Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a longtime Democratic operative. With her winning every ward and with 70% of the vote overall, the message was clear: People wanted reform.

Impressive, right?

That’s still to be determined. Although Lightfoot has made some key efforts and has had some success in her first go-round at ethics reform, she has not fulfilled all her promises. Now, as she looks at running for reelection in 2023, Lightfoot’s track record on reform is a mixed bag.

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