Less than 24 hours before she takes the oath of office, Chicago’s Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has been busy welcoming friends, family, and well-wishers ahead of her big day.
Lightfoot, who won April’s run-off election to become the next mayor of the city, will be joined at Wintrust Arena on Monday by her family, including her mother Ann Lightfoot. Those family members began arriving in town Sunday, and attended a church service at Resurrected Life Church on the city’s Northwest Side.
The church was, appropriately, celebrating its Women’s Ministry Day, and one of the guests of honor was the first African-American woman to ever win the office of mayor in Chicago.
“I need your prayers. We are going to move forward and transform this city and I appreciate the faith that you’ve given me,” she said.
In addition to family, plenty of other well-wishers have arrived in Chicago for Lightfoot’s inauguration. Students from her hometown of Massillon, Ohio will also be on hand when she takes her oath.
“If she can become something that big (and important), we can too,” student Lauren Turner said.
Turner is one of numerous students from the school that are taking a journalism class, and they will be guests at Lightfoot’s inauguration at Wintrust Arena.
Aside from the pomp and circumstance, there is plenty of business that Lightfoot is hoping to get done as she takes office. She has already announced a significant overhaul of leadership positions on the Chicago City Council, including the appointment of Alderman Scott Waguespack to lead the Finance Committee.
In addition, Lightfoot plans to sign an executive order abolishing the practice of “aldermanic privilege,” which allows aldermen to halt projects that impact their respective wards.
“Change is difficult, and I understand that,” she said earlier this week. “But I ran on change. People voted for change, and I’m going to deliver change.”
The order will fulfil a campaign promise, but could also set Lightfoot up for her very first battle with the City Council. Some aldermen have indicated that they do not want “aldermanic privilege” to be abolished, and if 35 of the 50 City Council members vote to block the measure, then it will not take effect.
Even with that battle looming, Lightfoot is focused on her big day, and the memories that will be created as she takes over the city’s highest-ranking office.
“I absolutely feel ready. I’m anxious to start,” she said.