Particularly regarding the safety of street vendors, Lightfoot said that "we've heard a lot of rhetoric here, a lot of sound bites, but not a lot of concrete solutions on how we get the job done and make our residents and our workers safe."
The moderator interjected by asking, "I think the follow-up is, 'And your solution is?'"
"I just explained it," Lightfoot responded.
"We have been in Little Village working with street vendors, understanding what the nature of the crime is, making sure we're doing things in concert with them to help them make sure that their money is secure, not use money if at all possible, using other forms of transactions to take care of themselves,” the mayor suggested.
Other candidates responded to the question with their own solutions, some of which blamed the mayor for the city's safety concerns.
A candidate named Willie Wilson remarked that Lightfoot and the mayor's office are the only people in the city who feel safe.
"You have to stop playing politics so much. This particular administration, now, she feels safe and the mayor's office feels safe, but the people are afraid," Wilson remarked.
Another candidate suggested the transit commission needed greater investments to increase safety:
"You have a transportation system where the workers don't feel safe, the riders don't feel safe, it means we have to make sure we're providing critical investments," said Brandon Johnson, currently the commissioner for Cook County.
Lightfoot responded by saying that other candidates were spewing "sound bites that have no basis in fact."
The debate also covered the topic of asylum-seekers, for which one candidate suggested that a better plan needs to be in place: "The first thing is to stop baiting other governors. ... You can't basically grandstand and say we're a sanctuary city, we're inviting everyone in, and then not have a plan for dealing with people when they do come in," said candidate Paul Vallas.
Lightfoot responded by saying Vallas was ignoring racism: "I think I just heard Paul Vallas say that we should not call out racist, xenophobic practices of governors like Greg Abbott."
Chicago's election takes place Feb. 28, 2023.
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