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Lori Lightfoot elected first black, lesbian mayor of Chicago

Patrick Kelleher April 3, 2019
Lori Lightfoot elected first black, lesbian mayor of Chicago

Lori Lightfoot (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty)

Chicago has made history by electing Lori Lightfoot—an African-American lesbian—as its mayor.

Lightfoot marked her win with a powerful speech in which she was joined on stage by her wife and daughter.

In the speech, she said there were children out there witnessing her election and seeing the beginning of something “a little bit different.”

“They’re seeing a city where it doesn’t matter what colour you are, where it sure doesn’t matter how tall you are, and where it doesn’t matter who you love,” Lightfoot said.

“In the Chicago we will build together, we will celebrate our differences. We will embrace our uniqueness. And we will make certain that we all have every opportunity to succeed.

“Every child out there should know this: Each of you, one day, can be the Mayor of Chicago.”

Lori Lightfoot fought off competition from 13 other candidates to become Mayor of Chicago

This marks the first time that Lightfoot has held political office after a career as a federal prosecutor. The 56-year-old independent candidate fought off competition from 13 other candidates to become Mayor of Chicago.

She will take over from outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served two terms.

Lightfoot’s closest competitor, Toni Preckwinkle, is also African-American. Both women ran on progressive platforms.

Elsewhere in her powerful victory speech, Lightfoot said the people of Chicago had done “more than make history.”

“You created a movement for change,” she said.

“In the Chicago we will build together, we will celebrate our differences. We will embrace our uniqueness. And we will make certain that we all have every opportunity to succeed.”

– Lori Lightfoot

She continued: “Together we can and will finally put the interests of our people—all of our people—ahead of the interests of a powerful few.

“Together we can and will make Chicago a place where your zipcode doesn’t determine your destiny.

Lori Lightfoot elected first black, lesbian mayor of Chicago
Lori Lightfoot celebrates her victory with wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty)

“We can and we will break this city’s endless cycle of corruption, and never again allow politicians to profit from their elected positions.”

Homophobic flyers about Lori Lightfoot were circulated in Chicago

At times, Lightfoot faced an uphill battle in becoming Mayor of Chicago. Last month, it was revealed that homophobic flyers were being circulated across Chicago’s South Side about her.

NBC 5 reported that the homophobic leaflets were left on cars outside churches across the city’s South Side.

“All contracts, jobs and employment newly assigned to gay people,” one of the flyers said.

Another stated on the front: “The Gay Equality Act!!!”

Lightfoot told NBC 5 that she and her partner had talked about the discrimination they might face when the former announced her mayoral campaign.

“We know that prejudice still lurks, and prejudice still lurks in lots of different forms,” she said.

More: Black, Chicago, elected, lesbian, Lori Lightfoot, mayor, US

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