CHICAGO - In a speech delivered to a group of business leaders on Tuesday, Mayor Brandon Johnson voiced his criticism towards the "media," although he did not explicitly mention any specific outlet.
The mayor's remarks come in the wake of two highly violent weekends in Chicago, including the bloodiest Memorial Day weekend in eight years. It remains unclear whether the mayor's frustration stems from the coverage of these incidents.
Mayor Johnson emphasized the importance of offering more youth jobs as the best solution for the people of Chicago, rejecting criticism and demonization.
"We're not gonna allow the press or the media to dictate who our young people are," Johnson said.
He further asserted that those who do not live in Chicago and fail to contribute viable solutions should refrain from discussing the city's issues.
Despite his strong sentiments, Johnson managed to curb his language, stating, "Now, you all know I'm sanctified. I really wanted to cuss there, but I was raised better."
The reality is that the recent weekend saw 10 killings, the highest in five years for the first weekend of June. Furthermore, the preceding Memorial Day weekend marked the bloodiest in eight years. Mayor Johnson assumed office on May 15th.
Alderman Gil Villegas, whom Mayor Johnson and the Chicago Teachers Union unsuccessfully tried to defeat, expressed optimism that the mayor's actual anti-crime policy would be more pragmatic than his previous rhetoric.
"We're not going to defund police. All that stuff is campaign rhetoric," Villegas said.
The alderman stressed the importance of public safety for the well-being of Chicago residents and its impact on economic development.
Leaders of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, representing businesses based in the suburbs, expressed their support for the mayor's call to hire more young people, aligning with his vision for the city's future.