Mar 23, 2023 - Politics

5 Lightfoot legacy projects that a new mayor could dismantle

Photo of a rendering of a casino design

A rendering of the proposed Bally's casino is on display at a recent public forum in December. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago is less than two weeks from choosing a new mayor.

Why it matters: Whoever gets the job, be it Paul Vallas or Brandon Johnson, will bring new goals and initiatives to the city, and he'll have to make tough decisions on whether to continue, or ditch, some of his predecessors' plans.

Zoom in: Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed through a few signature projects that are at risk of being rolled back under a new administration.

  • Here are five we're watching:

Invest South/West: The mayor's investment initiative has poured $2.2 billion into new infrastructure and resources for Black and brown communities in Chicago. Some, though, have felt shut out of the process.

  • The fund actually started under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but Lightfoot prioritized it early in her term.

The Chicago casino: The next mayor may not be able to back out of the casino deal, but he can have input on how it looks.

  • Recently, Sun-Times editorial board member Lee Bey wrote that the Bally's casino design is "better suited for a stretch of I-15 in the Nevada desert heading toward Las Vegas than for the prime urban riverside site for which it’s slated."
  • Also, they could play a big role in relocating the booted Tribune printing plant, and keeping it in Chicago.

Columbus statue removals: Lightfoot ordered the city's Columbus statues to be removed and put in a warehouse in 2020 after violent clashes between police and protesters in Grant Park. She created a monument committee, which recommended the statues should be permanently removed.

Near South Side high school: Lightfoot and the Board of Education want to build a high school in the South Loop to teach students from a few different neighborhoods.

Speed cameras: The City Council almost mutinied on Lightfoot's signature revenue builder, dropping speeds from 10 mph to 6 mph over the limit for speed cameras tickets near parks and schools. Lightfoot prevailed, but will it continue under a new mayor?

  • Also, Lightfoot inserted a new ordinance that will attach cameras to buses and fixtures downtown to catch double-parkers in bus and bike lanes.

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