25 Facts About Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: An Extraordinary Leader

“It’s a new day, Chicago. We’re bringing in the Light.” When clicking on Lori Lightfoot’s website, the first message to be read is a big “THANK YOU CHICAGO” pop up, followed by the previous quote. Lori Lightfoot made history this spring as the first black woman and first openly gay person to serve as Chicago’s elected mayor.

The runoff election between Lightfoot and her opponent Toni Preckwinkle held consistently in the new mayor’s favor. Triumphant, focused, and humble, Lightfoot is ready to usher in lasting change to Chicago’s government. She stands for transparency and accountability. Lightfoot has a long history with those two themes, having worked in the past to bring justice to corrupt police and other sectors of City Hall.

Racism and injustice are held close to her heart, issues that she wants to work hard to reform. Lori Lightwood isn’t done making history, that’s for sure, so let’s take a look at 25 Facts About Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: The First Black, Openly Gay Person to Hold the Post.

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25

Paving the path

lori24https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

Chicago has found a new leader in its recently elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot was a former federal prosecutor before defeating Toni Preckwinkle for the mayoral position. She will the first openly gay person and black woman to lead Chicago.

24

By a landslide

lori23https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

Ligthtfoot won the race in a landslide. Leading with over 91 percent of precincts, she overtook Preckwinkle 73.7 percent to 26.3 percent.

23

Victory

lori25https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

The moment was picture perfect, Lightfoot pumping her fist in the air, calling, “Thank you, Chicago!” and the crowd cheering in response.

22

Working together

lori22https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

Lightfoot’s attitude was victorious and humble. She remarked that the differences between herself and her competitor were “..nothing compared to what we can achieve together.” And remarked that they both would be working towards bettering the city they loved.

21

Private to public

lori21https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

At 56 years of age, Lightfoot has never held an elective office before. She was previously an assistant U.S. Attorney before entering private practice.

20

First time for everything

lori20 https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

The election itself was historic, as Chicago has never before been led by a black female mayor.

19

What she stands for

lori19https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/lori-lightfoot-elected-chicago-mayor-will-be-1st-black-woman-n990266

Lightfoot has said she wants to work towards restoring people’s faith in government. As mayor, she wants to invest in neighborhoods on the west and south sides and hold City Hall accountability and transparent to its people.

18

Family life

lori18https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Growing up, Lightfoot was the youngest of four children. Her mother was a healthcare aide and school board member. Her father a factory worker and janitor. They grew up in Massillon, Ohio.

17

Overachiever

lori17https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

From a young age, Lightfoot was achieving big things. She played in her high school band and she was on the basketball team. Moreover, she was a yearbook editor, and pep club member. Lightfoot was also elected high school class president three times.

16

Knowledge is power

lori16https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot would not allow humble beginnings to hold her back from success. She worked seven jobs to afford her education, graduating from the University of Michigan with her BA in political science.

15

Big goals

lori15https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

In search of financial independence, Lightfoot went on to attend law school. After being awarded a full scholarship, she graduated from University of Chicago Law School with her Juris Doctor degree in 1989.

14

Close to home

lori14https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

 

While Lightfoot was an undergraduate, her older brother was arrested in connection with a bank robbery. She has cited this as a reason for her drive to enter into public service.

13

The beginning

lori13https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot’s first legal job after graduating from law school was as a practicing attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm.

12

Motivation

lori12 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot has mentioned that her drive for entering public service included a desire to better represent the African-American community. She also held a sense of injustice based on the murder of a family member by a Ku Klux Klan member in 1920’s.

11

Working hard

lori11https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

During her time as a federal prosecutor, Lightfoot helped to bring to trial many drug crimes. She also assisted with Operation Silver Shovel, which was an FBI investigation into Chicago corruption.

10

Branching out

lori10https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot held the position of chief administrator of the Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards for two years. The branch has since become inoperative due to a lack of thoroughness during investigations.

9

Corruption runs deep

lori9https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot took some time away from Mayer Brown to explore other avenues of justice. She held positions in the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications and as deputy chief of the Chicago Department of Procurement Services.

She was dismayed at the corruption of City Hall, where her investigations drew the ire of many. She returned to Mayer Brown shortly after.

8

Delivering justice

lori8https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

In 2015, Lightfoot became President of the Chicago Police Board, which made recommendations for or against disciplinary action on cases of police misconduct. Under Lightfoot’s leadership, the board became much more punitive, deciding to fire officers entirely in 72% of its cases.

7

Building a following

lori7https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot garnered much support during her campaign, and picked up several endorsements. Those endorsements included support from several LGBTQ groups and local politicians.

6

No shots under the belt

lori6https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Not long before the election, the manager of Preckwinkle’s campaign, Scott Cisek, came under fire when he compared Lightfoot to a Nazi in a post on Facebook. Preckwinkle swiftly fired Cisek and apologized publicly for his words.

5

Not over yet

lori5https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot#Early_life

Lightfoot finished first in the February election, which was in itself unorthodox. She placed highest out of fourteen candidates, though no one reached the necessary 50% of the vote necessary to win. Since the election was not won outright, Lightfoot and Preckwinkle advanced to a runoff election.

4

Support systems

lori3https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot

During the runoff, former candidates, including Mendoza, Chico, Paul Vallas, and Willie Wilson endorsed Lightfoot. She held a constant lead over Preckwinkle in the polls during the runoff campaign.

3

Holding fast

lori1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot

Though Lightfoot received criticism during the runoff from notable names such as Chance the Rapper and U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, she held firm to her stance that she took the concerns of the black community seriously.

2

Settling in

lori2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot

Lightfoot is scheduled to take office on May 20, 2019.

1

Home life

lori4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lightfoot

Lightfoot currently resides in Logan Square neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. She is married to Amy Eshleman, who works as a full-time parent to the couple’s adopted daughter, Vivian.



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