By Brett Rowland
The Center Square
CHICAGO – Promising to address corruption, violence, education and the city’s finances, Lori Lightfoot was sworn in to office Monday, becoming the first black woman and openly gay mayor in Chicago.
“I campaigned on change, you voted for change, and I plan to deliver change to our government,” Lightfoot, 56, said. “That means restoring trust in our city’s government and finally bringing some real integrity to the way this city works.”
Lightfoot defeated Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle by a wide margin in a runoff election in April.
Lightfoot campaigned on curbing the use of aldermanic power. She addressed the issue in her speech Monday.
“The family with the bungalow, the lady who runs the hair salon, the guy who owns the store on the corner – they aren’t powerful or big or well-connected, but they end up paying when our government is corrupt,” Lightfoot said.
A former prosecutor, Lightfoot also pledged to bring unity and new hope to Chicago. She faces serious challenges, including a shrinking city that is mired in debt.
Lightfoot is the second woman behind Jane Byrne, second African-American behind Harold Washington, and the first openly gay person to serve as mayor of Chicago.
The Center Square is formerly the Illinois News Network.