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CHICAGO —  Mayor Lori Lightfoot is back in the public eye after COVID-19 sidelined her last week.

During a stop at Rainbow Beach Park Fieldhouse, the mayor wore her mask the entire time, sharing her first comments about being ill. 

“My symptoms were relatively mild,” Lightfoot said. “Kind of felt like a cold, a bad cold. Luckily I recovered pretty quickly.”

With the mayor back at full strength, she says she is pressing hard to bring down Chicago’s violence. 

“I’m pushing on every lever that we possibly can,” Lightfoot said. “Not only holding myself and our police department accountable but also pressing our federal partners, pressing the Cook County partners because they have a role to play as well.”

Cook County’s Chief Judge Timothy Evans denied the mayor’s request to jail the most dangerous defendants awaiting trial. The Chicago Tribune has reported at length about the mayor using flawed data in her push for electronic monitoring reform. 

“I’m going to keep fighting because I believe that having 2,300 violent offenders out on the streets makes our communities less safe,” Lightfoot said. “These judges are operating seemingly without any regard for public safety and not taking that into consideration as they are mandated to do by state law is a huge problem and I’m gonna keep pressing that point.”

READ: Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans Responds to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Request on Electronic Monitoring

Lightfoot is off to Washington DC for the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. While there, she’ll meet with senior Biden Administration officials. Lightfoot is scheduled back in Chicago on Friday. 

Lightfoot is asking Washington to help make Chicago safer. The mayor wants ATF fully staffed and resources for U.S. Marshals going after fugitives. 

“I expect to have more conversations when I’m in Washington, DC, about those issues but there have been some very favorable responses from federal law enforcement in particular, so I think we’re going to see some additional supports come our way,” Lightfoot said.  

Thirteen months before the Chicago municipal election, the mayor does have reelection on her mind. 

The mayor has $1.2 million in the bank. That’s enough to get a campaign going but it’s significantly less than Rahm Emanuel had entering the last year of his first term. 

“I believe in being prepared and I think if you look at what we’ve done particularly on fundraising over the course of the last year, it’s heading in a direction, a particular direction,” Lightfoot said. “But I’ll save the specifics for a later date.”

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