Activist Green: ‘The mayor is blocking a project that will save lives’ (Chicago, IL) – Chicago community activist Ja’Mai Green fears his relationship with Mayor Lori Lightfoot has deteriorated to another level.
“There’s a massive youth center being built on the South Side of Chicago & Mayor Lightfoot told her staff to stop working on it cuz I’m apart of it,” Green recently posted on Twitter. “I texted the mayor about it, she told me to stop contacting her. The mayor is blocking a project that will save lives, WOW.”
Green is part of a group looking to build a $15 million youth center in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood where the Garrett Morgan Elementary School once stood, but he claims Lightfoot is doing all she can to pull the plug on the project out of spite for him over his outspoken criticism of her administration.
“She takes things too personal and has an allegiance to her friends only,” Green told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Her vindictiveness, her personal vendettas. … That’s the game ball that she plays. If you’re not her friend, she is not willing to help you.”
Green also once stood as a 2019 challenger to Lightfoot, before dropping out of the race and endorsing her over Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
It wasn’t long before the two were again publicly clashing after Green criticized Lightfoot after she deemed a $95 million police and fire training academy that Green and others blasted as a symbol of Rahm Emanuel’s misplaced spending priorities a “done deal.”
She later endorsed a plan to expand the project. Green was also opposed to Lightfoot’s decision to install David Brown as Chicago Police Department superintendent and her decision to raise the bridges downtown in the wake of growing protests triggered by the death of George Floyd.
Green took to Twitter to set the mayor off anew by posting a since-deleted tweet where he declared “Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship.”
Green and company are hailing the Garrett Morgan plan as one “tailor-made to help young people avoid becoming perpetrators or victims of gang violence.”
In addition to recreational programs and a wellness center for mental health, the proposed center dubbed by Green as “Morgan All-Stars” would include everything from flight simulators to train young people for careers in aviation, to coding development courses, to training rooms for entrepreneurship and the building trades.
In order to seek federal, state or city capital development funding, the Chicago Board of Education must transfer ownership of the shuttered school to the city, allowing it to be donated or sold to an organization like Green’s.
Green said the project was moving along until a few weeks ago, when Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Samir Mayekar “told our developer, ‘We’re not moving on this project because Ja’Mal is involved and the mayor doesn’t like it.’”
Green said he’s seen and heard it all before when it comes to Lightfoot.
“This is the biggest character flaw of the mayor,” he said. “This is how she governs. She’s probably not gonna get another term because she runs this city in a very vindictive way and she can be spiteful with those who go against her. That’s no way to be mayor.”
Activist Green: ‘The mayor is blocking a project that will save lives’