Two weeks have passed since Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for reelection, and political junkies across the windy city are still reeling as many thought this contest would be an assured victory despite the tame results.
Lightfoot managed to just capture under 18 percent of the city’s vote making her officially ineligible for the upcoming April runoff.
But while commentators from both sides of the aisle were in shock, Chicago voters were as lucid as ever.
B1 Daily wanted to know what Black Chicago voters thought of Lightfoot’s recent electoral takedown by charting their responses to an email campaign. In total we interviewed 1768 participants, all of which identify as Black or African/Caribbean-American.
The responses were mixed to say the least. Commentary ranged from support of the Mayor to subtle apathy to outright outright hostility. Each interviewee was asked a series of questions to reflect upon that were centered around Lightfoot’s policies. The Daily also requested that each interviewee rate Mayor Lightfoot’s overall performance on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being the worst performance possible on the scale.
Here’s what the voters had to say.
Marlon Blake is a 37-year old business owner in the fashion industry. He specializes in manufacturing shoes and assorted clothing. He chose to not vote for anyone for the election.
“I just really feel like she hasn’t focused on the west or the southside much. Its like every time we try to get answers from her administration on messed up stuff, we get the runaround. So I decided that she should get the runaround on my family’s vote.”
Marlon gave Lightfoot a 2 out of 5 rating.
Tiffany Odinga is a 28-year old preschool teacher who works in the Highland Park area. She cast her ballot in favor of Lightfoot.
“I voted for her but I did it because I think Vallas is a racist and I knew that the other candidates got in to split the vote, so I held my nose. She hasn’t really stood up for the teacher’s union in my opinion, she’s kinda left us on our own to deal with Governor Pritzker so, i understand why there was a lack of enthusiasm.”
Tiffany gave Lightfoot a 3 out of 5 rating.
Jimmy Carter is a 21-year old musician who also regularly involves himself in community activism. He chose to cast a ballot against Lightfoot.
“She always talks down to us. It’s like man, we put you in there and you want to turn your back on us and do everything for everyone else but us, but then we’re supposed to vote for you? Plus she letting illegals sleep in a bunch of the buildings around here, its been going on for a few years now and there are little girls that get raped walking around those buildings. It’s all a mess and she (Lightfoot) ain’t helping.”
Jimmy gave Lightfoot a 1 out of 5 rating.
Ayanna Jones is a 26-year old bartender who works primarily on the West side. She chose to not cast a ballot.
“The whole thing with allowing illegals to just jump over us artificially is disturbing. My dad was hemmed up for marijuana but then a few years later they up and make it legal and then deny Black people licenses to sell but help out the Russian, Bosnian and Chinese immigrants get themselves established in the cannabis industry. It’s bogus and it happened under her so she is as much to blame as Mayor Emmanuel is.”
Ayanna gave Lightfoot a 1 out of 5 rating.
Alex Garvey is a 51-year old business owner who specializes in cargo shipments. He owns and manages a small fleet of cabs. He casted in favor of Lightfoot.
“It’s about giving her time. She tried to bring that casino project to the westside and the city alongside all of the aldermens got together to stop her. That would’ve helped Black youth. I think we’re too quick to turn on our own or not give someone a chance. She only had one term and there’s only so much she can do by herself.”
Alex gave Lightfoot a 4 out of 5 rating.
Overall, the poll reflects a growing sentiment of frustration amongst young Black voters and more importantly, a deep seeded yearning for concrete economic policies aimed exclusively towards the Black community.
A majority of participants rated Lightfoot lower than the median score (3), with nearly 40% giving her a rating of ⅕ while 28% gave her a rating of 2/5 . Meaning that half of the participants found Lightfoot’s performance dissatisfying or viewed it unfavorably.
Lightfoot may have been a casualty of a new wave of political thought echoed by young people nationwide, that is a much more engaged and concerned electorate that has stringent expectations.
Illinois Democrats should take note.
-Barrington Williams, Kerry Hill, B1Daily