With Rahm Emanuel deciding against running for a third mayoral term, Chicago has finally elected a new mayor for the Windy City: Lori Lightfoot, who is the first Black woman to hold the office in the history of the city.
In late February, Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, another Black woman, claimed 17.48 percent and 15.96 of the vote, respectively. With neither claiming enough of the vote, a runoff was scheduled for April 2, meaning no matter the results, a Black woman was to become the mayor of Chicago.
Lightfoot is a former assistant US Attorney and made reform of the Chicago Police Department the base of her campaign.
“Now that it’s over I know that we will work together for the city that we both love,” said Lightfoot, according to CNN. “Today you did more than make history, you created a movement for change.”
“Now we’re going to take the next steps together,” she said. “Together we can and will finally put the interests of our people, all of our people, against the interests of a powerful few.”
“Out there tonight a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They’re watching us. And they’re seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different,” Lightfoot continued. “They’re seeing a city reborn. A city where it doesn’t matter what color you are. Where it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart.”
Chicago has been seeking change in the city amidst the gun violence and police brutality that has been plaguing the city. Emanuel was able to over-deliver on his promise to bolster the CPD by more than 900 new cops, but there is still a lot of work to be done to turn the city of Chicago around. Lightfoot will have an opportunity to bring a fresh set of eyes on very old problems, and she’s looking forward to the chance to do so.