Lori Lightfoot, a lawyer and the former president of the Chicago police board, has won Chicago’s vote to become the first African-American woman mayor of the city. She went head-to-head with Toni Preckwinkle, who is also an African-American woman, in the historic election.
Among her long list of credentials, Lightfoot, who is now 56-years old, has held appointed positions connected to police accountability and supervision in Chicago under outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard Daley.
At the height of the Laquan McDonald scandal, she led the newly established task force that oversaw the Chicago police department where serious problems in the handling of racism have been reported. During her headship, a civilian body replaced the previous agency to more thoroughly keep an eye over the officers and their supervisors.
Moreover, she deviated from other mayoral candidates’ suggestion to fire current Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. She claimed that would only do more harm than good, especially in the coming hot weather season when violence traditionally spikes. The month of January has actually seen the fewest recorded number of murders in the last 9 years with only 20 people killed, according to Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the Chicago Police Department.
Lightfoot, who identified herself as “an out and proud black lesbian,” also became the first openly gay mayor in Chicago’s history. She and her spouse, Amy Eshleman, have a 10-year-old daughter.
Being Chicago’s mayor is the first time for Lightfoot to hold an elected office. But she already has an extensive experience being a senior equity partner at a private law firm, an interim first deputy of the city’s procurement department, a chief of staff and general counsel for the emergency management office, and a chief administrator of the office of professional standards.
“I feel very humbled and honored. I’m gonna do everything I can to earn it,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times regarding her victory.