Chicago makes history with election of first black female mayor

Lori Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot

After Lori Lightfoot cruised to a landslide victory in the race for mayor, following an often bitter and divisive campaign against Toni Preckwinkle, the mayor-elect and her former rival joined for a show of unity, and pledged to work together to advance a progressive agenda in Chicago and Cook County.

Lightfoot also touched on the issue of economic disparity in Chicago that has led to a lack of opportunity for lower-income people.

She became the city's first black female mayor and the US's highest-ranking LGBTI mayor.

Noting Preckwinkle is still the Cook County Board President, with more than three years left in office, Lightfoot said she and her former mayoral rival have no choice but to work together for the good of the city and county.

At her victory party on Tuesday night, just a moment before she delivered her speech to the crowd, Lightfoot exhaled and said, "Thank you, Chicago".

Voters overwhelmingly chose Lightfoot, an attorney who once served as interim first deputy in Chicago's Department of Procurement Services but who had never held elective public office before.

She was also bothered by Preckwinkle's association with longtime Alderman Ed Burke, who was indicted earlier this year on charges he tried to shake down a restaurant owner who wanted to build in his ward.

Lori Lightfoot elected first black lesbian mayor of Chicago
Lori Lightfoot celebrates her victory with wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter

Lightfoot said that as mayor, she would focus on investing in neighborhoods on the West and South Sides and bring transparency and accountability to City Hall.

She emerged as the surprising leader in the first round of voting in February when 14 candidates were on the ballot to succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who decided against running for a third term.

NBC Chicago reported that Lightfoot had been endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as U.S. Representatives Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Robin Kelly. Ross said she believes Lightfoot will be better able to clean up the police department and curb city's violence. In Lori's LGBTQ policy framework, she outlines increasing LGBTQ representation in government by appointing mayoral LGBTQ liaisons, bolstering safety and justice for the trans community by improving police training and thoroughly investigating hate crimes, and addressing the needs of Chicago's LGBTQ community by creating youth drop-in centers and expanding housing options for seniors and veterans. She and her supporters asserted her rise to Democratic Party leadership did not hinder her ability to oppose policies promoted by the city's ever-powerful mayors.

The next mayor will be expected to deliver on a campaign promise to reform the police department now under court-appointed oversight to address a 2017 Justice Department finding of widespread excessive force and racial bias by officers.

"Not long ago, two African-American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable", she said.

But as Van Dyke was about to go on trial for murder in September, Mr Emanuel announced he would not run for re-election. With the exception of a one-year clerkship on the Michigan Supreme Court in Detroit, she has lived in Chicago since 1986, according to her bio.

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One woman, Lucy Flores , said he grabbed her shoulders from behind and kissed the back of her head unexpectedly. That won't change but I will be more mindful and respectful of peoples' personal space".

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