Lori Lightfoot went from being a long-shot candidate to Chicago’s first black woman and openly gay mayor when she took the oath of office at Wintrust Arena on Monday. Lightfoot was the first of three openly LGBTQ candidates across the nation to win mayoral races.
What We Know:
- Lightfoot started her campaign 11 months ago as someone who’s never been elected to public office. Everything changed when the former federal prosecutor was elected in April and beat one of Chicago’s most prominent politicians and Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, claiming 73% of the vote.
- Lightfoot took the stage with her wife Amy Eshleman, a former assistant commissioner of the city’s public library system, and their daughter, before giving her victory speech.
- Lightfoot ran her campaign on change with her focus on restoring Chicago’s reputation for corruption and making the city more unified. “You voted for change, and I plan to deliver change to our government. That means restoring trust in our city’s government and finally bringing some real integrity to the way this city works,” Lightfoot said at her inauguration.
- Only two of Chicago’s 55 mayors have been black: Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, and only one woman, Jane Byrne. This win is a big milestone for the LGBTQ community, the black community and for women.
On her first day as mayor, Lightfoot signed an executive order stripping aldermen’s ability to stop development or projects in their wards. Who, according to Curbed Chicago, had a “tight grip” on infrastructure and development plans in their ward. This is just the first step of Lightfoot’s good governance initiative. Lightfoot will hold her first City Council meeting on May 29.