WASHINGTON — Day 2 in Washington for Mayor-elect Lightfoot included stops at the White House, the Department of Transportation and the House of Representatives when she met with the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I asked for ideas from their cities and what they’re seeing to help support our efforts in stemming gun violence in Chicago,” Lightfoot said.
On hand for that meeting Congressman Bobby Rush who did not back Lightfoot during the campaign and used harsh rhetoric against her. He said those who backed Lightfoot would have the blood of the next black person killed by police on their hands.
“It’s old news,” he said. “The campaign is over. The voters have spoken.”
Rush told reporters he has no permanent enemies and said he wishes Lightfoot much success.
And that is message from other members of the Chicago congressional delegation. They say they’re rooting for Lightfoot.
Before he was elected to Congress last November, Jesus "Chuy" Garica considered running for mayor.
When asked if he had second thoughts, Garcia said, “No second thoughts. I feel that the city is in very good hands with Lori Lightfoot. I feel that she has the vision for the city. She understands the causes for the great inequality. She’s committed to an equity agenda, she is tough and I think it’s what the city needs at this time.”
Elsewhere, the mayor-elect met with a Department of Transportation official as she tried to score federal dollars for transportation and infrastructure.
“This is really about making sure that we’re moving forward introducing me and my new administration to people who are here in Washington who will hopefully will be generous in giving us resources,” she said.
Congressman Dan Lipinski wants to help Lightfoot secure federal funds.
“Roads, public transit, there’s a real need for more funding for infrastructure and that’s something that I’m going to be working with the new mayor on,” he said
Before that, the mayor-elect returned to the White House. She did not meet with President Trump, but she did talk to the assistant to the president for Strategic Initiatives and the director of the Office of American Innovation. They discussed criminal justice reform and Opportunity Zones, the Congressional effort to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot sat down with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday for a conversation about workforce development and criminal justice reform. She also met with Democratic congressional leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi offered advice on leading a big city. The speaker’s father and brother both served as Baltimore mayor.
The mayor-elect said this trip is important because when Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office he already had relationships in Washington. Lightfoot is looking to build her own.
"This is really about making sure that we’re moving forward introducing me and my new administration to people who are here in Washington who will hopefully will be generous in giving us resources." Lightfoot told WGN. "Mayor Emanuel obviously had deep relationships with people here in Washington so for me it’s really about forming new relationships understanding that Chicago is headed into a very different chapter that are challenges are there but also being a cheerleader for our city."
On Thursday, Lightfoot will head to the Senate.