Crime and Safety

Chicago Crime Has Spiked 40 Percent, But Lori Lightfoot Thinks She Deserves a Raise

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is lobbying for a raise to her $216,000 salary, according to the Chicago Sun Times, despite the city’s crime problem worsening considerably under her leadership.

The mayor’s salary hasn’t changed since 2005, but Lightfoot’s new budget proposal includes an annual salary adjustment equivalent to the rate of inflation, capping it at five percent, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Chicago has seen major crime spikes in several categories, including homicide, under Lightfoot’s leadership.

A five percent pay raise would add $10,810 to Lightfoot’s salary the first year, taking effect Jan. 1, 2024, according to the Chicago Sun Times. The city treasurer, city clerk and council members would also get pay raises, though 17 council members have already declined the raise.

Chicago’s crime problem has worsened since Lightfoot took office in January 2019: the city saw a 40 percent spike in crime from 2021 to 2022, including a 56 percent rise in sexual assault reports, a 15 percent rise in robberies, a 52 percent rise in thefts and a 132 percent rise in motor vehicle thefts. The jump from 2019 to 2020 was even starker, with a 53 percent murder rate spike, from 18.9 homicides per 100,000 residents to 28.9, according to Brookings.

Several major corporations have announced plans to relocate from Chicago this year amid the crime surge, and while McDonald’s hasn’t announced any plans to leave, CEO Chris Kempczinski has been vocal about public safety issues in the city.

“There is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis,” Kempczinski said in a September speech, according to Fox Business.

“The fact is that there are fewer large companies headquartered in Chicago this year than last year. There are fewer this month than last month … truth is, it’s more difficult for me to recruit a new employee to McDonald’s to join us in Chicago than it was in the past.”

Lightfoot did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.

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