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Lori Lightfoot to be inaugurated as Chicago's first black lesbian mayor

Monday will mark a historic day in Chicago as the city inaugurates its first African American lesbian mayor.Lori Lightfoot, a former assistant US atto...

Posted: May 20, 2019 11:13 AM

Monday will mark a historic day in Chicago as the city inaugurates its first African American lesbian mayor.

Lori Lightfoot, a former assistant US attorney, will be sworn in at 10:30 a.m. at Wintrust Arena in the city's Near South Side community, according to a release from Lightfoot's office. The event will include performances by Miguel Cervantes of Chicago's "Hamilton" and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, among others.

"I look forward to joining Chicagoans on Inauguration Day to celebrate the start of a new day for our incredible city," Mayor-elect Lightfoot said in a statement. "We're building a Chicago that celebrates our differences, inspires us all to be better, and embraces new ideas. There is no limit to what we can do when we all work together."

Lightfoot, 56, defeated Toni Preckwinkle, a political insider who heads the Cook County Board and chairs the Cook County Democratic Party, in a runoff election in April. Preckwinkle is also an African American woman.

"I think the most historic thing was beating the old, entrenched Chicago machine and getting such a resounding mandate for change," Lightfoot said the morning after she won.

Both Lightfoot and Preckwinkle were the final contenders in a crowded field of 14 candidates vying to be mayor of the country's third-largest city.

Lightfoot promised to tackle the city's issues

Lightfoot will take office amid efforts to address violent crime in the city and improve police-community relations.

Violent crime totals in Chicago have made headlines in recent years. In 2016, the city reported its highest number of homicides in two decades: 762. But killings have dropped since then: 650 in 2017 and 550 in 2018, police said.

The Chicago Police Department has credited the drop in violence partly to hiring more officers and stronger community policing. The department added 1,161 officers in two years, exceeding a 2016 pledge made by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to add 970.

Still, a series of high-profile cases of have strained police-community relations. In the wake of the Laquan McDonald scandal -- in which a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, shot a black teenager 16 times as he walked away from police -- Lightfoot was appointed by Emanuel to head the newly created police accountability task force.

Many of the panel's recommendations were similar to the findings in the US Justice Department report that found serious problems with the police department's handling of racism within its ranks. Under Lightfoot, the city replaced its widely criticized police oversight agency with a civilian body designed to have much more oversight over officers and their supervisors.

She made holding police officers accountable for their actions a bedrock of her campaign.

Lightfoot's platform also looked at investing in neighborhood schools, according to her website. She promised to create an elected and representative school board so parents and the community can have a voice in how the school system operates.

Lightfoot also promised to expand affordable housing options and support small businesses.

Lightfoot joins a short list of black women mayors

Lightfoot's election marks her first time in political office.

She was born and raised in Ohio and comes from modest beginnings. Her mother worked as a health care aide. Her father worked in a factory and as a janitor.

Lightfoot went to college at the University of Michigan. After two years as a legislative aide in Washington, she attended law school at the University of Chicago. She has lived in the city for all but one year since 1986.

She often brings up her own background while promising to improve the city's school system and bridge the economic gap between city neighborhoods.

"I want to make sure that kids who look like me and are growing up in families like mine have the opportunity at their fingertips," she said.

Lightfoot describes herself as "an out and proud black lesbian." She and her spouse, Amy Eshleman, have a 10-year-old daughter.

Lightfoot joins a short list of black women mayors to lead a US city with a population of at least 100,000 people. Including her, there are only 13.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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