'It's been fun': Lori Lightfoot bids farewell to City Hall as her term as Chicago Mayor comes to a close

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot bid farewell to City Hall on Friday, leaving her 5th floor office for the last time as the city’s 56th mayor.

This week, Lightfoot reflected on her time in office – a four-year term that was packed with plenty of headlines and can be described as both historic and tumultuous.

On Friday, Lightfoot officially started her next chapter during a momentous sendoff after serving as Chicago’s first Black female mayor.

"It’s been a glorious morning," said Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s tenure had its up and downs amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, but she asserts that she changed Chicago for the better.

During her farewell address on Monday, Lightfoot, at times emotional, touted accomplishments like raising the city's minimum wage and focusing federal COVID-19 relief dollars on the South and West sides. 

"It’s all about creating hope. Hope is the thing that will keep us resilient, motivated, thinking in an innovative way," Lightfoot said during her farewell bus tour on Friday.

During her stop at the Bronzeville Winery, she also offered Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson a word of advice.

"I’ve said this to him privately and publicly, be the mayor for the whole city," said Lightfoot. "He’s going to be facing a number of challenges immediately. We’ve done everything we could to set him up for success. As I mentioned to him and I’ll say it here, my door is always open for any consultation that he wants."

Lightfoot faced her fair share of criticism during her term, but says she believes there is a double standard.

"I’m not going to, and certainly not here in my final days as mayor, give in to the narrative which I think is frankly pejorative and offensive that ‘Mayor Lightfoot was mean and too tough,’" said Lightfoot. "Nonsense."

As the clock ticked toward 5 o’clock, Lightfoot left City Hall to applause, confetti and cheers – waving, shaking hands and thanking supporters on her way out.

And she was sent off in style, leaving with her wife, Amy Eshleman, in a 1940 Cadillac.

"Bye everybody! It's been fun," Lightfoot said as the car pulled away.

Following the fanfare, Lightfoot took to Twitter and closed with this:


"I'm forever humbled and grateful to have served our City as mayor. These past four years were filled with challenges, yet we achieved and celebrated so much together. Thank you, Chicago, for the honor and privilege of a lifetime."

As for what's next, Lightfoot is keeping that under wraps for now, but says she will be focusing on her family – starting with watching her daughter's track & field relay team compete at state next week.