Meeting of the mayors: Johnson feels ‘historic moment’ discussing transition with Lightfoot — ‘We are uniting this city today’

In his first visit to the mayor’s office since being elected Tuesday, Johnson said he was struck by “what this moment means for people around the city, who want the city to be united.”

SHARE Meeting of the mayors: Johnson feels ‘historic moment’ discussing transition with Lightfoot — ‘We are uniting this city today’
Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson greets outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson greets outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Brandon Johnson strode onto the 5th floor of City Hall Thursday for the first time since being elected Chicago’s 57th mayor, getting his first up-close view of the office he’ll assume next month.

During a 90-minute huddle with outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Johnson said he and the woman he’s about to replace discussed their shared commitment “to making sure the city is united” — and passed on rehashing any of the harsh words they shared on the campaign trail.

La Voz Sidebar

Lea este artículo en español en La Voz Chicago, la sección bilingüe del Sun-Times.
la-voz-cover-photo-2.png

But before diving into the details of the mayoral transition, the mayor-elect said he was struck by the weight of the moment when he stepped into the mayor’s suite.

“I had a flood of emotions. I thought a lot about my parents, and my mother in particular who is not with us. She’s an ancestor.”

The 47-year-old mayor-elect said it reminded him “of what this moment means for people around the city, who want the city to be united. The real opportunity to bring people together and how the office of the mayor has a role and responsibility to do that — I really began to feel that once I crossed that threshold.”

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson greets outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson greets outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Talking briefly to reporters after the meeting, Johnson wouldn’t divulge any specifics from their talk, and he wouldn’t discuss the flood of city issues that’ll transition to his administration, too.

“We are uniting this city today, and this moment is quite frankly a historic moment, where the first Black woman, LGBTQ, transitioned her administration to another Black man,” Johnson said. “It’s a very great day for the city of Chicago. We are going to be not only united, we’re gonna be a strong city.”

As for any hard feelings from a mayoral campaign in which Lightfoot routinely referred to him as a “false prophet,” Johnson said “we didn’t really talk about the campaign, because that’s over. We talked about the future.”

Lightfoot greeted Johnson when he arrived at City Hall, but she didn’t talk to reporters beyond joking with news photographers about whether they got “the shot” of her shaking hands with her pending replacement.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson and outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot wave to reporters before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson and outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot wave to reporters before a meeting Thursday in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Johnson said he was “deeply humbled by the gracious reception of Mayor Lori Lightfoot,” calling her “someone that I believe that the city of Chicago will continue to appreciate in the coming days.”

“I’ve been incredibly grateful for her love and dedication to the city of Chicago, and of course, her commitment to make sure that we bring the city together, and that the Johnson administration starts off, literally, on the right foot,” the Cook County commissioner said.

“Her and her entire team have worked tirelessly to make sure the transition is smooth. And our collective teams have had a very collegial exchange, which is something that … should be comforting to the city of Chicago.”

As for any advice imparted by Lightfoot, Johnson said “she was very intentional about making sure that the city of Chicago and this wondrous position — to digest that, to take it in and to appreciate it. It’s really good advice.”

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson speaks with reporters Thursday after a meeting with outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson speaks with reporters Thursday after a meeting with outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall in the Loop.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Latest
How comfortable a guest can get depends on the size of the party, their relationship with the host and the limits and boundaries the host establishes.
He’s destroying property and setting a bad example for the children with his tantrums, and his wife wants out.
"[The biggest difference] was a desire to win,” Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon said. “We were hungry to get it done and we bettered ourselves in the second half.”
The endgame for them could be the 2027 draft, not the next two. The JuJu Watkins/MiLaysia Fulwiley/Madison Booker/Mikaylah Williams/Hannah Hidalgo generational, unicorn lottery that will change the trajectory of several WNBA franchises.