Tue, 25 Jun 2019

Chicago's First Black Female Mayor Takes Office

Voice of America
21 May 2019, 12:35 GMT+10

History was made Monday in Chicago when Lori Lightfoot was sworn in as the first black woman mayor of the country's third-largest city.

'For years, they've said Chicago ain't ready for reform. Well get ready because reform is here,' Lightfoot said shortly after taking the oath of office.

Chicago is trying to overcome its reputation as a violent city with an overwhelmed police force and corrupt officials.

'No official, no official in the city of Chicago, elected or appointed, should ever profit from his office. Never, ever,' Lightfoot said shortly before signing an executive order curtailing some powers of ward bosses called aldermen.

Lightfoot also promised police reform in a city that saw 769 murders in 2016 with only a fraction of those crimes ever getting solved.

Lightfoot also faces a $250 million budget deficit next year and must negotiate new contracts with police, firefighters and public schoolteachers.

The 56-year-old Lightfoot is a Democrat and a former U.S. federal prosecutor. She is also Chicago's first openly gay mayor.

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