Body-cam video captured the raid on Anjanette Young’s home.

You’d think that with the pandemic still spreading, along with historic economic crises, uprisings for racial equity, and an attempted overthrow of our federal government, the city’s first openly gay and only second female mayor would have made more strides for justice and equality in her city. For a mayor just halfway into her first term, Lori Lightfoot has racked up a stunningly long and sundry list of controversies.

But the disdain the mayor seems to have for some of her constituents, who she often refers to as Twitter trolls, has cemented her as a particularly callous leader; a far cry from what many thought, if misguidedly so, was going to be a term of progressive policy and racial justice.

It’s hard not to see this disdain in her decision to raise the bridges last summer, protecting the luxury business district from protesters demanding racial equity. Or in her repeated attempts to withhold video showing in stark relief the failures of the city’s police, like a nearly 40-minute video of a nude, sobbing, and pleading Anjanette Young’s home being raided, or Martina Standley’s leg being crushed under a police van for more than eight excruciating minutes. Or in the often-stalled negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union. Or baseless attacks on reporters.

And if Lightfoot reads this, she’ll probably just call me a troll or a critic. But it would do well on her to remember that trolls and critics like me have one thing she needs most: votes.

Adam M. Rhodes

Adam M. Rhodes is a queer, nonbinary, first-generation Cuban American journalist. Rhodes is currently a social justice reporter at the Chicago Reader, where their work centers primarily on queer people and people of color. Their recent work has examined HIV treatment access in Puerto Rico, racism in Chicago’s principal queer neighborhood, and, most recently, HIV criminalization in Illinois. Alongside the Reader, Rhodes has been published in outlets including BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post. You can follow them on Twitter at @byadamrhodes.