Lori Lightfoot made history Monday when she was sworn in as Chicago's first openly gay mayor.
“For years they said, ‘Chicago ain’t ready for reform.’ Well, get ready, because reform is here,” Lightfoot said to cheers at a packed Wintrust Arena.
Lightfoot was joined on stage by U.S. Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley as well as outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, introduced her wife and 11-year-old daughter. She seemed to choke up when telling her 90-year-old mother, "You and dad told me I could be anything I wanted. My gratitude to you knows no limits."
During her half-hour speech, Lightfoot pledged to keep the city safe and vowed to have "strong schools for every child, regardless of neighborhood or ZIP code."
She continued, "A city where people want to grow old and not flee. A city of sanctuary against fear, where no one must hide in the shadows. A city that is affordable for families and seniors and where every job pays a living wage."
Lightfoot, who is the city's 56th mayor, is inheriting a very divided Chicago. Her predecessor left behind a legacy of record homicide-levels, soaring crime rates and a deep racial divide that continues to polarize the Windy City.
Lightfoot, who won nearly 75 percent of the vote, has already started to make waves. In her first official act as Chicago's mayor, she signed an executive order aimed at curbing the power aldermen have in city departments.
"This is the start, not the (end) of a series of good government ethics reforms we'll be bringing to the city," Lightfoot said at the signing.