Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shot back at McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski after he highlighted the rising crime in the city, telling him he needs to “educate himself.”
“I think what would have been helpful is for the McDonald’s CEO to educate himself before he spoke,” the Chicago Democrat said.
“The fact is that there are fewer large companies headquartered in Chicago this year than last year,” Kempczinski said.
Kempczinski added that the city’s crime is affecting his company’s ability to recruit top talent, and employees have been hesitant to return to work.
But Lightfoot also pointed to a letter from World Business Chicago President Michael Fassnacht that she says “lays out in exact detail all the good news, economic news, about what’s happening in our city.”
“I’m going to focus on those things and not the comments of CEO of McDonald’s,” Lightfoot said.
Meanwhile, several high-profile companies have announced they are leaving Chicago, citing rising crime as a factor in the decision.
Chicago saw its deadliest year in a quarter-century in 2021 with 797 homicides, the most since 1996 – and 25 more than were recorded in 2020.
There were also 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, with over 300 more recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more than in 2019.
Last month, Lightfoot claimed that Chicago has been investing in ways to prevent gun violence in the city, arguing it’s playing a role in a downward trend in crime.
“We rank 3rd among 50 U.S. cities for violence prevention programs, services and policies,” Lightfoot said.
“And this, to us, is a very big deal, we are grateful for the recognition.”
There is still no evidence for Lightfoot’s claims.