Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
56th Mayor of Chicago
In 2019, Mayor Lightfoot was elected with 73.7% of the overall vote and became the first LGBTQ+, Black woman to be elected mayor of any major city in the United States. Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago. She led the city through the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic with tough, fair leadership — all while keeping or overdelivering on campaign promises. Mayor Lightfoot has:
- Increased Chicago’s minimum wage to $15.40 an hour for hundreds of thousands of workers.
- Championed the creation of a new civilian police oversight body, advancing Chicago on a path toward police reform.
- Passed transformative, unprecedented budgets, including historic investments in mental health, public safety and environmental justice.
- Forged a massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign, with a particular focus on the communities most devastated by the virus.
- Hit an all-time venture capital funding record, with $7.9 billion in 2021 alone.
Before she was mayor…
Mayor Lightfoot is the youngest of four children born to Elijah and Ann Lightfoot, who both grew up in the segregated South. Her father worked at least two, but typically three jobs, and her mother worked the night shift as a nurse’s aid. From a young age, she knew what it meant to struggle and became determined to make a difference.
As a teenager, she got a taste of politics when she ran for class president. Thanks to work-study jobs, Mayor Lightfoot paid her way through school and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Political Science. She moved to Washington, D.C., where she would spend two years as a legislative aide.
Two years later, she received a full scholarship to pursue her law degree at the University of Chicago Law School.
Mayor Lightfoot became a practicing attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm in Chicago. Then, she entered the public sector as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. She eventually returned to Mayer Brown and rose to be a Senior Equity Partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group. She also worked with the Chicago Police Department as the Chief Administrator of Office Professional Standards. In 2016, she became President of the Chicago Police Board and co-chair of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force.
In 2019, she ran for Mayor of Chicago, winning all 50 wards with an overall 74 percent of the vote and a clear mandate to bring sweeping reform to our city.
Mayor Lightfoot has been a resident of Chicago since 1986, and currently lives on the Near Northwest Side with her wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter.