Lori Lightfoot Makes History as First Ever Openly Gay African-American Woman Mayor in Chicago

Monica Otayza
Apr 04, 2019
07:53 A.M.
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Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot has won the Chicago mayoral race, making her the first ever openly gay and African-American woman to ever lead the city. 

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Lightfoot has never been elected as a public official, and yet she won by a landslide over Toni Preckwinkle, who was in the City Council for almost two decades before becoming the Cook County Board president. Preckwinkle also leads the county's democratic party.

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All Neighborhoods Equal

As for her promises to the US' third-largest city, she vows to rid the City Hall of corruption and provide aid to low-income and working-class people as she feels these particular sectors have been "left behind and ignored" by Chicago's political ruling class. 

"Together, we can and we will make Chicago a place where your zip code doesn't determine your destiny."

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It was a promise that won the hearts of thousands, who felt they could relate when it came to being frustrated with the Chicago government's string of scandals and insider deals that included heavy investments in downtown Chicago at the expense of its neighboring communities. 

A City Reborn

During her victory party, Lightfoot reiterated her goal of making Chicago inclusive for all, regardless of what neighborhood you come from. 

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“Together we can and will make Chicago a place where your zip code doesn’t determine your destiny. We can and we will break this city’s endless cycle of corruption and never again — never ever — allow politicians to profit from elected positions.”

She also said that now that she is elected, people will see a "city reborn," a place where race and "who you love" don't matter. 

The first openly-gay and African-American female mayor

When Lightfoot is sworn in on May 20, she will be the first black woman to serve in such a large US city. She will join seven other black women on the list and will be the second woman to lead Chicago. 

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The 56-year-old mayor-to-be shares one daughter with her wife, Amy Eshleman. This also makes her the first openly gay mayor of the city. 

Lori first went viral after she shared her outrage over a white police officer's shooting of a black teenager named Laquan McDonald, which launched her reformer campaign. She announced her bid even before current Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided he wouldn't be running for a third term. 

With her eyes set on major reform for the city, many could expect liberal Chicago to progress, even more, making it such an interesting time for the US' 3rd largest city. 

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