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📝 Lightfoot’s public safety report card

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_

◼️ Lightfoot on Crime

Following Saturday’s high-profile fatal shooting of a 16-year-old at the Bean, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said unaccompanied minors will no longer be allowed in Millennium Park Thursday through Sunday after 6 p.m.

“We, as a city, can not allow any of our public spaces to become platforms for danger,” Lightfoot said in a statement Sunday announcing the curfew.

But three years on the job, Lightfoot’s crime record has been highly criticized, especially by an emerging group of mayoral challengers.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a Chicago Police Department graduation at Navy Pier March 29. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Getty)

We’re looking at some public safety promises Lightfoot made as a candidate, when she said she would address violence as a public health crisis, and how those have played out. 

Full and swift consent decree compliance
❌ The reform timeline has been given an extra three years. But the Chicago Police Department has reached some compliance with 70% of the court-ordered reforms.

Replacing the gang database
❌ The new database has not yet launched years after the city’s top watchdog released findings about the flawed system that disproportionately targets Black and Latinx residents, WTTW reported.

New civilian police oversight commission 
⌛ City Council passed an ordinance last year, and commission candidates are being considered. But it was a rocky road as negotiations stalled between Lightfoot and community groups, Crain’s reported.

Neighborhood revitalization
⌛ In 2019, the city launched INVEST South/West, a $1.4 billion effort to promote development in 10 neighborhoods on the South and West sides. 

Mental health co-responders 
✅ A paramedic, public health clinician, and a plainclothes officer make up the mental health crisis teams on the North and South sides that are part of the two-year pilot program that started in the fall, WBEZ reported.

More federal support 
❓ In December, Lightfoot reiterated calls for help from federal law enforcement and prosecutors after one of Chicago’s deadliest years on record. Her calls aligned with President Joe Biden’s promises to address violence in cities, CBS Chicago reported.

🍔 McDonald’s to Millionaire
McDonald’s employee outside a Chicago restaurant. (Mark Peterson / Corbis / Getty)

Not every McDonald’s franchise owner has the same success as mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, who went from a custodian to a manager to an owner. 

But the company did try to entrench itself in Black America beginning in the late ’60s by offering franchise ownership. Those opportunities did have strings attached and allowed the company to create a narrative about its involvement in civil rights.

🎧 Marcia Chatelain, historian and author of “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” tells us how McDonald’s did it. 

Trivia Q: Which local McDonald’s location was once a safe house on the Underground Railroad? Reply with the correct answer, and you could be entered to win some swag.

📰 Newsfeed

GOP gubernatorial frontrunner’s old texts about Trump leaked. Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin called the former president a “bigoted racist” and an “idiot,” according to 2018 messages. The Republican candidate avoided saying whether he voted for Trump at a rare presser last week. [WTTW]

Monty the Piping Plover unexpectedly died. The beloved bird’s cause of death is not yet known, but a memorial is being planned. Monty and his mate Rose nested at Montrose Beach in recent summers, becoming local celebrities. [Block Club]

Illinois Senior Hall of Fame apps open! Nominate Illinoisans 65 and older for the state’s Senior Hall of Fame in four different categories: service, education, labor, and arts. Noms close June 1. [Department of Aging]

🎰  Readers Reactions to Casino

We’ve been asking what you think about the newly announced casino in River West, and more of you tell us why you’re opposed. 

Natalia M., a Pilsen resident who works in River North and Gold Coast, said, “I’m just wondering why we can’t make the development into affordable housing or something that is more for the community. … I’m worried that it’s also going to skyrocket the cost of living in this area when it’s already really expensive.” 

👉 Have a hot take on the casino? Support it? Our inbox and voicemails are open. Reach us at or (773) 780-0246.

🎞️  Film Fest Galore

Every few months, it seems like the stars align, and a bunch of local film fests all line up. So for all my cinephiles, grab the popcorn and get ready for some movie marathons. 

🎬 Chicago Film Critics Fest. Cry, laugh, and think at the movies curated by the city’s critics at the Music Box Theatre in Lakeview through Thursday. ($15)

📽️ Doc10. Head to the city’s only documentary fest at the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square and the Gene Siskel Film Center downtown Thursday through Sunday. ($16) 

🇵🇸 Palestine Film Fest. Catch the last of the films from across the Palestinian diaspora at the Siskel Friday and Saturday. ($12)

🇯🇵 Japan Film Collective. Watch rom-coms, documentaries, and more from women and queer Japanese filmmakers at the Logan Theatre, Siskel, and online Saturday through the end of the month. ($10-25)

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