Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot is now the new mayor of Chicago. Her win in the race is a historic one for the city, as Lightfoot became the first black woman and first openly gay person to hold the office.
Lightfoot won the election over Toni Preckwinkle in a run-off after former mayor Rahm Emanuel chose not to seek re-election. Preckwinkle officially conceded late Tuesday night.
Following her victory, Lightfoot thanked her army of supporters for helping her win the office.
““Thank you, Chicago. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Today, you did more than make history. You created a movement for change,” a statement on social media read. “When we started this journey 11 months ago, nobody gave us much of a chance. We were up against powerful interests, a powerful machine, and a powerful Mayor. But I remembered something Martin Luther King said when I was very young. Faith, he said, is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.
“We couldn’t see the whole staircase when we started this journey, but we had faith—an abiding faith in this city, in its people, and in its future.”
The 56-year-old mayor was formerly interim first deputy of the city’s procurement department, chief of staff and general counsel for the emergency management office and chief administrator of the office of professional standards. She also served under former mayor Rahm Emanuel to head a police accountability task force. She continues to work with police in order to help better the community and relationship between officers and local residents.
“We have a lot of challenges to face, and he’s very well aware of it,” she said in an interview with CNN. “We’re going to be heading soon into the summer violence season. After that’s over, we’ll evaluate at that point, but I’m going to be working closely with the superintendent and with his executive team to make sure that we keep our neighborhoods safe.
“We’ve got to support and give better training to our police officers to help them understand how to bridge that divide better. We’ll certainly be borrowing from other cities like New York, but I feel confident that we’re going to be able to continue to make progress. Really, our children’s lives depend upon it.”
Lightfoot will be sworn in as Chicago’s 56th mayor on May 20.