Mayor Lightfoot confronts limits of power during violent Memorial Day weekend

A week after taking the oath of office, Lori Lightfoot is confronting the limits of a mayor's power.

In a bid to stem the bloodshed this past weekend, she deployed more than 1,000 extra police and hundreds of other city workers. However, it did not all go to plan.

“This weekend, despite our coordinated efforts and despite all the agencies showing up and delivering programming and resources, and just the presence to be out there, 43 people were shot. And five died,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

In her first appearance at the century-old City Club since taking office, the Mayor vowed to keep working to reduce the bloodshed. Lightfoot contrasted what she saw in the most violent neighborhoods this weekend with what she saw in thriving communities.

“I toured North Avenue Beach with Supt. Johnson and it, too, was jam-packed,” Lightfoot said. “And then I traveled to Rainbow Beach. It was a warm and sunny day. But Rainbow Beach was virtually empty. Now there are probably many reasons for this. But one is surely that people don't feel safe enjoying what our city has to offer.”

Lightfoot linked the disparities to Chicago’s long history of segregation and occasional incidents of racial terrorism, sounding a bit like ex-mayor Emanuel, who spent his second term lamenting how long true change would likely take.