Today our city saw history.
I was one of the many Chicagoans glued to my screen watching the inaugural ceremony as Lori Lightfoot took the oath of office to become the city’s first black woman mayor.
At this historic moment, I can’t help but think of the progress our city has made, and the progress we still must make.
A recent interaction I had with a young Chicago student drove home that point for me. I was visiting a school on the South Side with several others and was the only black person in the group. A girl who had a hairstyle similar to mine (except she had beautiful purple highlights) came up to me and said, “I like your braids!”
Then, without missing a beat, she said, “You must be important to be here with all these white people.”
I have to admit I was at a loss for words for a moment. Once I recovered from my shock, I quickly assured her that she and her classmates were important too.
I think about this exchange almost every day. It reminds me just how important representation is for all little girls and boys, regardless of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability. Children need to see people who look like them in positions of power and influence so that they know that one day, they too could be mayor of Chicago.
Our city has come a long way, but we still have many issues to resolve, especially when it comes to our schools and the quality of education our children receive.
Please join me in celebrating this momentous day. We will deliver to the Mayor's office our welcome card that includes Chicagoans' comments about their education priorities. You can also email Mayor Lightfoot's office directly. Be sure to highlight the education issues you care about most.