I recently read an article about Lori Lightfoot, who became the first gay and black mayor in the history of Chicago. The article mentioned how Chicago is the largest city to elect an African American woman as the mayor. The article later describes how even though Chicago has had a large African American population for much of its history, only two out of the 55 mayors in the city’s history have been African American. Lightfoot won with almost 75 percent of the vote, and won in all 50 of the cities wards.
This was surprising to me. I know about the lack of diversity in politics, but I did not know that a city as big as Chicago had never elected an African American woman or gay mayor. Growing up in Cleveland, I often read about former mayor Carl Stokes, who was the first African American mayor of a major United States city in 1968. It is disappointing that it took over 50 years after that for a major city like Chicago to elect an African American woman as mayor. This shows that there is still much progress that needs to be made. Hopefully this will help the country realize the importance of diversity in politics, and cities will continue to elect diverse mayors. Congress also has started to become more diverse in recent years, but there is also much work that still has to be done. If work is done to continue this at the local level, then it is possible that it will happen at the national level as well.