Mayor Lightfoot, CTA, Lori Lightfoot discussed on WBBM Newsradio


A long and sometimes bitter campaign, Lori Lightfoot faces a field of 8 challengers. She is using the final days before the election to make her closing arguments this weekend, we are listening. Hello, I'm political editor, Craig Della Moore, and this is at issue. All during the race for mayor, we've tried to bring you conversations with all of the candidates on the ballot. We've offered each of them half an hour to talk about the campaign and their plans and policies, all of them accepted, though mayor lightfoot was only able to grant us 15 minutes. Well, you've heard from all 8 of the mayor's challenges over the past few months, mayor lightfoot's interview is the last one to air, as the incumbent the one who's had to defend her record is probably fitting that she have the last word, and you get to hear the one on one interview with her during this half hour. But I also think we have the opportunity to revisit some of the mayor's other recent appearances and conversations, because when you're deciding who should have your vote, you should be able to rely on more than 20 or 32nd sound bites. So this weekend, we're going to let you hear the mayor discuss some of her policies and accomplishments in the form in which we heard them expressed in detail. The other candidates have had their shots now. It's the mayor's turn. We'll start with a controversy that picked up a political spin. The city of Chicago as of this year extended its parental leave policy so that all 32,000 municipal employees get 12 weeks of parental leave up from 6 last year. But the Chicago public school system did not extend the offer to its employees. The Chicago teachers union blamed meddling by the mayor's office, but she denied it. Every single sister agency has multiple collective bargaining agreements. We work with organized labor. We don't impose by Fiat. And nor could the board of education do that. There's got to be a discussion in some agreement on the part of the parties and then perhaps that matter gets presented to the board of education for ratification. But we're nowhere near that yet. The discussion has to be had in the first instance at the collective bargaining table, and that process has not started yet. So I'm urging both sides and you saw hopefully my response to Stacey Davis Gates, I don't sit in and dictate local policy at the sister agencies. If there's a question that comes up and they want my opinion or want us to weigh in it, of course we do. But fundamentally, just as we did at the city, they've got to sit at the collective bargaining table and work it out. That's the way the process works. And when that happens, and there's an agreement, presumably it will be ratified by the board of education. At the appropriate time. But they're not there yet. The CTU, by the way, is backing mayoral contender Brandon Johnson, who's an official with the union. Another topic that's come up a lot during the campaign is the Chicago transit authority and safety on the trains and buses mayor lightfoot says the CTA is getting safer, but she is the first to acknowledge that things need to become a lot better. Look, the city has to be safe. Period full stop. The CTA's vitally important to the lifeblood of our city were here today talking about economic development and regional cooperation. Public transportation is a big, big component of that. And chairman, the chairman of the CTA, as well as president Carter, understand that. Yes, we've made progress. We've made progress because the Chicago police department under my direction and leadership in a superintendent's leadership has committed more sworn officers to support the CTA security efforts. We've made progress because the CTA itself has committed more security personnel, more canine teams, and what we've also made progress because we are listening to the customers and we are listening to our union partners about what needs to be done to make the CTA vibrant and safe and reliable. One of the biggest challenges that the CTA has right now is staffing shortages. Truthfully, it's a nationwide problem and we are doing everything that we can from the city from our city colleges and the unions and collaboration with the CTA to fill those staffing voids. That will solve and address a lot of the challenges that we're seeing, but more work has to be done. Yes, progress has been made, but we've got to keep working and keep our foot on the gas to make sure that we are delivering the safest, most reliable public transportation system in the country, bar none. But as she acknowledged that destination is some distance away. This year, though the city concluded another journey that's been years in the making at a ceremony at the Chicago history museum, mayor lightfoot and Cook County board president Tony preckwinkle introduced the greater Chicagoland economic partnership. It's an alliance among Chicago and cook to page will came Lake and mchenry counties, officials across the region have agreed to work together to bring businesses to the area rather than compete with each other, after the formalities I sat down with the mayor to discuss why the public should care. Well, first of all, it's never been done before. This is concrete, regional effort to market as a region to do pitches as a reason to think about what our opportunities are, what our assets are and to put those forward as Chicagoland and not simply Chicago. It's never been done before. So it's a big deal. You saw the level of enthusiasm of our county partners do page Kane will, they are all, and of course, cook all extraordinarily excited because we've created this opportunity where there is trust. And that the cornerstone of this partnership is trust and making sure that we hold ourselves accountable, but we go together as a region and recognizing that as our region rises, we all rise. And that trust is obviously key. This is, of course, the region in which McDonald's was lured from dupage to Chicago, how do you keep that kind of thing from hatch? Well, I think we have agreements that we're not going to go and try to poach each other's businesses. But if there's an opportunity and someone wants to move new page county board chair, Deb Conroy said, we look at how it can be a win for everybody. That's the difference. We're viewing these economic development opportunities through a very different set of lenses because we're looking at it how we benefit each other. The leads of this are you and Tony preckwinkle. Can we look at this as a new day for the two of

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