Lori Lightfoot is sworn in as the first openly gay Mayor of Chicago

Lori Lightfoot is sworn in as the first openly gay Mayor of Chicago
Lori Lightfoot. Photo: MacLean Center, Wikimedia Commons

The new Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, has made history after being sworn in as the first openly gay mayor of Chicago. Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor, having worked in both the public and private sphere.

In May of last year, Lightfoot announced her candidacy for the 2019 elections. It was her first ever run for a position in public office. Her victory was considered quite an upset, considering she was only polling between 2% and 5% in early opinion polls. However, following several controversies and major corruption scandals plaguing other candidates, such as Toni Preckwinkle, Lightfoot emerged as a heavy frontrunner.

Lightfoot was unable to gain a majority (more than 50%) in the first election, leading to a run-off election between her and Preckwinkle. She subsequently annihilated Preckwinkle in the run-off vote, recording over 70% of the primary vote.

In her half-hour address, Lightfoot has promised to keep the city safe, while vowing to endorse stronger schools for all children, regardless of their status. Her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, has left a legacy characterised by record-high homicide rates, increasing levels of crime and an entrenched racial divide that continues to polarise the city.

It is hoped that Lightfoot will be able to bring the city together and overcome the racial disunity.