Chicago has elected the first African American female as Mayor. In addition, she is openly gay. On Tuesday, April 2, 2019 in an historic run-off election, Lori Lightfoot won over 70% of the votes beating Toni Preckwinkle. Preckwinkle is also an African American female.
I’m a native Chicagoan who was born and raised in North Lawndale a high poverty neighborhood. I was surrounded by motivational people including my parents, teachers, and church. Even with these positive forces in my life I was hesitant to ever think Chicago would elect someone who looked like me, again. This is even after being in high school when the late Mayor Harold Washington, the first African American was elected as Mayor. Tuesday’s election had a low voter turnout with approximately 30% of residents casting a ballot toward progressive & historic change.
I send congratulations to Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot. I wish her success in attaining the goals of her platform. One of her issues is battling poverty and this is an issue close to my heart. In my opinion Chicago is a city built on the foundation of neighborhoods and not merely big corporations. Taking time to focus on the neighborhoods will benefit the city as a whole.
Memories of commuters pouring into the Loop from all areas of the city still stays with me. During my 20’s I was one of the many commuters riding the Metra train or CTA going to work in high-rises. However, my happiest memories include spending time with family on the South, North, and West sides of the city.
I believe focusing on the heart of the Chicago, which are it’s residents will benefit the city the most. There is much to Chicago’s strength including numerous industries and tourism but all of this is driven by people.
Finally, I am hopeful that beautiful brown skinned girls and boys will see themselves in Chicago’s new mayor. When children see city leaders who look like them, it gives them insight into who they can become. I look forward to my next visit to my hometown and possible visit to City Hall.