CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made strategic errors within the first main battle of her tenure, an 11-day academics’ strike, however could have discovered classes that may show helpful as she confronts immense metropolis finances challenges, political observers stated.
FILE PHOTO: Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot speaks throughout her election night time celebration after defeating her challenger Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff election in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/File Picture
Lightfoot, 57, was elected in convincing vogue to turn out to be Chicago’s first black lady mayor in April, when she vaulted to victory on guarantees to dismantle town’s corrupt political machine and reform town’s college district.
Her first misstep was providing the Chicago Lecturers Union a 16% increase earlier than talks even started – a maneuver supposed to keep away from the strike that induced 300,0000 college students to overlook class for greater than two weeks however as a substitute emboldened union management to push for extra spending in different areas, in accordance with fellow officeholders, political analysts and Chicago’s media.
“The notion was that they have been going to take the 16% and run. However for CTU, it wasn’t all concerning the cash,” stated Alderman Anthony Beale, who supported Lightfoot in her marketing campaign for mayor, however has since clashed with the previous federal prosecutor relating to committee management.
Lightfoot didn’t muster sufficient supporters who may have helped get her message out to the general public throughout the bruising political battle with the academics union, stated Dennis Culloton, a political and media strategist in Chicago.
“At occasions, the mayor could have been outflanked by the academics’ union’s very efficient political organizing,” he stated.
Having sturdy supporters can be important for Lightfoot as she focuses in on negotiations with Chicago’s police and firefighter unions to switch collective bargaining agreements that expired in 2016 and 2017, Culloton stated.
In opinion items revealed on Friday, each native newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Solar-Occasions, have been vital of how Lightfoot dealt with the negotiations with academics, particularly by providing a 16% increase up entrance.
Beale agreed in a cellphone interview, saying the technique misplaced Lightfoot vital leverage and that she might want to sharpen her negotiation techniques for future labor battles.
Lightfoot wouldn’t reply reporters’ questions concerning the strike’s consequence on Thursday.
“I refuse to even speak about this by way of profitable or shedding,” stated Lightfoot, who’s in her first elected workplace. “No person wins in a circumstance like this.”
Lightfoot’s workplace didn’t reply when requested for touch upon Friday.
The brand new mayor did win on some factors: she secured a five-year contract, reasonably than the three years the union sought, and held off a number of the union’s bigger-picture calls for for inexpensive housing and reforming the legal juvenile justice system.
“She will additionally look again on this and say that it was good to seem calm and to remain levelheaded,” stated Culloton, the advisor.
That strategy, he stated, will serve Lightfoot properly as she offers with Chicago’s fiscal woes that embrace an $838 million deficit within the metropolis’s upcoming finances.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien and Karen Pierog in Chicago; Enhancing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis