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Lori Lightfoot makes history - becomes first LGBTQ black woman mayor of Chicago

05 April, 2019, 04:45 | Author: Taylor George
  • Lori Lightfoot will be Chicago’s 1st black female mayor

Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor-turned-corporate lawyer and police reformer, overwhelmingly won Chicago's mayoral race on Tuesday, becoming one of several firsts for the country's third-largest city.

A former federal prosecutor, Lightfoot won 74 percent of the vote with almost all precincts counted compared with 26 percent for Preckwinkle, a long-time local politician, to become Chicago's 56th mayor.

"This may not be the outcome we wanted, but while I may be disappointed, I'm not disheartened", said Preckwinkle, who called Lightfoot to congratulate her on the victory. "You created a movement for change", Lightfoot told hundreds of supporters at her election night party, promising to end corruption and make the city's streets safe again. "They're watching us. And they're seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different", Lightfoot, who describes herself as "an out and proud black lesbian" told the crowd.

"What's also historic for me is she reached out very successfully to the white ethnic community, where you have traditional Polish, German, Irish-type people".

"In this election Toni and I were competitors, but our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together", Lightfoot said.

She served as president of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018 and was co-chair of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force in 2016. Last month, it was revealed that homophobic flyers were being circulated across Chicago's South Side about her.

But the significance of her win also transcended race or gender.

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Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade supported Lightfoot, who was McQuade's resident adviser at UM's Bursley Hall in 1983-84.

"I think that the people who come from communities like me as an African-American woman, as a member of the LGBT community, we haven't sat in the corners of power", she said.

But Lightfoot, the first black woman chosen to hold the position, emphasized the "fractured relationship" between the Chicago Police Department and the public as a critically important safety issue.

Lori Lightfoot most recently served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP.

Rev. Jesse Jackson whispers to Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot during a press conference at the Rainbow PUSH organization, Wednesday, April 3, 2019, in Chicago. She says she wants to "make sure we're being true to that".

Preckwinkle also tried to cast Lightfoot as an insider for working in police oversight posts under Emanuel and police oversight, procurement and emergency communications posts under Mayor Richard M Daley.

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