A defensive Mayor Lightfoot held a stormy meeting with the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus this week, pushing back hard against their complaints about a shortage of Latinos in leadership positions and the caucus’ demands that she roll back part of her property tax increase.
Last year, Lightfoot famously warned members of the Black Caucus who dared to vote against her 2021 budget, “Don’t ask me for s—t for the next three years” when it comes to choosing projects for her $3.7 billion capital plan.
Monday’s hourlong meeting with the Hispanic Caucus was similarly contentious, with one Council member saying it proved again how defensive Lightfoot can be and how unwilling she is to entertain proposals that are not her own.
“It was unnecessarily combative. … It showed that she takes things very personally. I don’t think those are good attributes for a leader to have. … The mayor is approaching government the wrong way,” said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th).
“In that meeting, the mayor said over and over again that she didn’t need to change. That she was doing everything correct. That she was the best in Latino hiring. That she was the best in investing in the Black community. I don’t think the data supports that. And I just don’t think that’s the way anyone should approach leadership. You have to be open to hearing other peoples’ suggestions, open to compromise and open to criticism.”
Ramirez-Rosa said he was particularly “shocked and taken aback” when Lightfoot talked about the heat she is getting for her $31.5 million plan to launch a year-long test of guaranteed minimum income in Chicago.