Lightfoot reflects on tenure, takes aim at critics in emotional farewell speech

In an emotional farewell address, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot choked up at times.

The mayor asserted her four years have changed Chicago for the better.

"My administration has been victorious in our efforts to plant seeds of equity and serve the city we all love so much," said Lightfoot.

Before she spoke, earlier speakers and a video shown listed the things Lightfoot considers her signal achievements, including raising the city's minimum wage, focusing federal COVID-19 relief funds on the south and west sides and winning approval for a large casino along the Chicago River.

The mayor also mocked the many critics of her personal style, including a number of former allies who broke with her after enduring what they called "foul-mouthed abuse." She called it a ridiculous obsession.


"Obsessing about what four-letter word the 'mean, can't get along with anyone mayor' allegedly said. And let me tell you, my friends, the four-letter word that propelled me forward every single day of this incredible journey, one that I intone every time that I needed to rise above the noise and despair. That four-letter word was spelled h-o-p-e," said Lightfoot.

In an interview earlier Monday, Lightfoot attributed her defeat to the political fallout from the pandemic and the civil disturbances and looting in the wake of the death of George Floyd.