The first African-American female mayor in Chicago history will be Lori Lightfoot

Article Image

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor who has never held public office before. She made history when she became the first black, gay woman mayor; but it was her ability to break through Chicago's fortified, often corrupt political establishment that's gaining national attention. CNN's Ryan Young reports.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 9:40 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 9:40 AM

While celebrating her victory in becoming the first African-American woman picked to lead Chicago, Lori Lightfoot thanked the city and those who blazed the trail for her victory.

"We may be strangers but in this room, in this city we are all neighbors," she told a cheering crowd following her win.

Lightfoot faced a historic runoff Tuesday against Toni Preckwinkle, who is also an African-American woman.

"Now that it's over I know that we will work together for the city that we both love," Lightfoot said at her campaign celebration. "Today you did more than make history, you created a movement for change."

She told her followers they were going to remake Chicago, home to 2.7 million people.

"Now we're going to take the next steps together," she said. "Together we can and will finally put the interests of our people, all of our people, against the interests of a powerful few."

Her competitor vowed to keep working on issues important to her.

"This may not be the outcome we wanted but while I may be disappointed, I'm not disheartened," Preckwinkle told supporters after she called Lightfoot to congratulate her.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not in the race, as he was not seeking a third term.

Lightfoot, 56, a former assistant US attorney, describes herself as "an out and proud black lesbian." When she is sworn in, she will be the first mayor in the Windy City who identifies as a lesbian.

"Out there tonight a lot of little girls and boys are watching. They're watching us. And they're seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different," Lightfoot told the crowd on Tuesday with a wry smile.

"They're seeing a city reborn. A city where it doesn't matter what color you are," she continued. "Where it doesn't matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart."

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

Preckwinkle, 72, is a political insider who heads the Cook County Board and chairs the Cook County Democratic Party. She made education and a $15 minimum wage focal points of her campaign.

A Chicago Tribune report in January claimed that Preckwinkle hired the son of a powerful old-school alderman, Ed Burke, to a $100,000 a year job with the county. Burke was recently charged with attempted extortion after the FBI raided his offices in January.

In February's general election which had 14 candidates, Lightfoot and Preckwinkle were the top two vote-getters, which led to Tuesday's runoff.

The next mayor will face issues like crime and police-community relations.

"A new mayor with a plan for police reform and better police-community relations will enhance the quality of life in the city and encourage people -- especially young people who wish to start a family -- to move to the city," said Arthur Lurigio, a professor of psychology and criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago. "The perceptions that a new mayor creates about safety and policing could make the city a more attractive place to live and stop the outflow of residents."

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

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34211

Reported Deaths: 2125
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9761576
Lake3573186
Allen160069
Cass15877
St. Joseph126634
Elkhart126228
Hendricks116671
Hamilton115493
Johnson1097108
Madison58659
Porter53428
Bartholomew50834
Clark49741
LaPorte43023
Howard40428
Tippecanoe3933
Delaware38536
Jackson3821
Shelby37122
Hancock33127
Floyd31839
Boone31635
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2662
Montgomery23817
White2338
Noble22821
Clinton2271
Decatur22431
Grant21022
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry17211
Greene16924
Vigo1688
Dearborn16821
Monroe16712
Warrick16628
Lawrence15924
Miami1401
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Kosciusko1271
Orange12622
Scott1193
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Marshall1021
Carroll932
Daviess8516
Steuben832
Wayne785
Fayette777
Newton7710
Wabash772
LaGrange762
Jasper661
Washington521
Clay511
Jay500
Fulton491
Randolph473
Rush462
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley413
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan351
Owen341
Brown331
Perry320
Wells310
Benton300
Knox280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke170
Adams171
Posey160
Gibson152
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 118917

Reported Deaths: 5330
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook771193603
Lake8238288
DuPage7620368
Kane6259176
Will5510273
Winnebago220955
McHenry153972
St. Clair112180
Kankakee90045
Kendall77819
Rock Island65124
Champaign6277
Madison57259
Boone44117
DeKalb3994
Sangamon34829
Jackson28210
Randolph2694
Peoria2218
McLean21813
Ogle2033
Stephenson2012
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15510
LaSalle15013
Whiteside13912
Iroquois1314
Coles12615
Out of IL1181
Warren1150
Jefferson10116
Grundy982
Knox980
Monroe9511
McDonough8711
Lee811
Unassigned800
Cass730
Tazewell725
Henry690
Williamson661
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Carroll162
Shelby161
Bureau151
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Robinson
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Rockville
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Casey
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 59°
Brazil
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Marshall
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 57°
A calm evening is expected
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events