Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter Sunday morning to dismiss “rumors” about her impending resignation that set the social media platform ablaze over the weekend.
“I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people’s work,” Lightfoot tweeted from her personal account. “The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.”
5/ I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people's work. The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) April 18, 2021
The claim that Lightfoot planned to step down Sunday was apparently fueled by a now-deleted tweet sent by Ja’Mal Green, an activist and former mayoral candidate who continues to call for her resignation.
“Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship,” Green tweeted Saturday.
That claim quickly lit up Twitter, leading to speculation about a series of uncorroborated allegations about the mayor’s personal life. The Sun-Times hasn’t independently confirmed any of those claims, including the allegation Green said prompted his initial tweet.
“Our city doesn’t have any time for homophobic, racist and misogynistic rumors, today or any day,” Lightfoot tweeted. “It’s shocking and disappointing to see some media members and verified Twitter handles are peddling this trash as truth.”
Green on Sunday apologized for his tweet and claimed it “was taken out of context.”
“I should have kept quiet,” he said in a statement.
Green explained he fired off the tweet after he was “made aware by members of the political world that it was possible that mayor [sic] Lightfoot would resign.” He acknowledged that ultimately “helped to amplify rumors.”
“I made clear to the public and to the mayor that my intention was never to fuel rumors about her family. I have major concerns with how the mayor is leading right now, but I will never get personal,” said Green, noting his own connections to Lightfoot’s family.
Green said the rumors about Lightfoot were “circulated” by members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union that represents Chicago’s rank-and-file police officers.
In a Facebook post Sunday, the FOP urged its members to “temper their public comments” while attempting to distance John Catanzara, the union’s embattled president, from the conversation.
“There are many rumors flying around about the Mayor,” the FOP said. “Several posts and comments have mentioned President Catanzara being in possession of proof and that he is pushing the issue. BOTH ARE FALSE!!!”
“Pushing rumors,” the FOP added, isn’t the proper way to address the “extreme differences” between the union and the mayor.
“No parent would want their child to read disgusting rumors about them, including US. Extend that courtesy in this situation also,” the FOP said. “Have some empathy and use common sense.”
Lightfoot began her tweet thread by jokingly referencing a previous rumor that she was moving her family from Logan Square to Sauganash, a sleepy neighborhood on the Northwest Side. But she quickly shifted tones, hammering on the “major challenges” facing Chicago while decrying the claims churning in the Twitter rumor mill.
“This nonsense that some apparently have the luxury of indulging in has not fed one person, stopped the pandemic, housed anyone living on the street or saved one young person,” Lightfoot tweeted.
“Anyone who wants to work with me to make progress, I’m ready,” she added. “Even if we don’t always see eye to eye, if you actually love this city and want to be part of making it better, let’s do the work. The rest of you, get out of the way.”