Lori Lightfoot has made history as the first, frankly, lesbian African-American woman to be elected as a mayor. Before her election, she had already been making waves in the legal field.
Lightfoot had served as an assistant United States attorney and later worked in private practice, specializing in police accountability and reform.
Despite being a seasoned lawyer, Lightfoot’s political aspirations were ignited after the death of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014.
The incident highlighted systemic racism within the Chicago Police Department and propelled Lightfoot to become more involved in local politics.
In 2018, Lightfoot announced her candidacy for the mayoral election, running on a platform of police reform, social justice, and equity for all Chicagoans.
During the campaign, she emphasized her experience as a prosecutor and reform advocate and promised to bring transparency and guilt to the city government.
After winning the election, Lightfoot became Chicago’s first African-American female and openly gay mayor. Her historic achievement has been celebrated by many, especially those within the LGBTQ+ community.
Interestingly, Lightfoot met her wife, Amy Eshleman, years before she was elected mayor. Eshleman is a former Chicago Public Library employee serving as Chicago’s First Lady.
The couple has been open about their relationship and has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Lightfoot’s election as mayor and her marriage to Eshleman serve as a reminder of the progress made regarding LGBTQ+ representation in politics and society.
Who Is Amy Eshleman?
Amy Eshleman, married to Lori Lightfoot, is a philanthropist and local community leader from Sterling, Illinois. She earned a degree in history from Miami University in 1984 and subsequently worked in the US House of Representatives from 1984 to 1988.
After her tenure with Congress, Eshleman relocated to Chicago, where she served as the Assistant Commissioner for the city’s public library from 1994 to 2012.
When did Eshleman And Lightfoot Got Married?
Lightfoot and Eshleman got married on May 31, 2014, which was the day when same-sex marriage was legalized in Illinois.
She shared that falling in love, having a family, and getting married were important milestones. The couple adopted a daughter named Vivian after their wedding.
How Did They First Meet?
Lori and Amy’s first encounter occurred when Mary Dempsey, a colleague of Amy’s, collaborated with Lori in the administration of then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Mary was the Chicago Public Library’s head commissioner, where she and Amy worked.
As Lori and Mary continued to work with former Mayor Daley, Lori was introduced to Amy.
Lori assumed office on May 20, 2019, which marked her and Amy’s official roles as the mayor and first lady of Chicago.