• May 14, 2019

What's in a name? Lightfoot and Lightfoot


You can’t choose your relatives, and CDS member Lori Lightfoot wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dr. Lightfoot is related to the Lori Lightfoot who will be inaugurated Monday as Chicago’s first black female mayor.

“We always planned to use our middle initials early on (in our careers),” Dr. Lightfoot said with a laugh.

Over the years, Dr. Lightfoot said she would field calls from people in need of legal work, while people contacted then-federal prosecutor Lightfoot for dental care.

But after Lightfoot began her mayoral run last year, the number of twilight zone moments exploded. Dr. Lightfoot laughed recalling an encounter with a man who asked her name: “You’re not Lori Lightfoot. I know Lori Lightfoot!” he insisted.

She also fielded any number of requests to speak before different organizations during the primary run and received big envelopes at home that she assumed were election materials or donations. “I stopped opening the mail,” Dr. Lightfoot said, chuckling.

At February’s Midwinter Meeting, many CDS members stopped Dr. Lightfoot to offer best wishes on her mayoral bid. “Oh, they definitely thought I was running for mayor,” said Dr. Lightfoot, who works in the oral health department at the Cottage Grove Health Center in Ford Heights, part of the Cook County Health and Hospital System. She’s also the newly minted correspondent for the Kenwood/Hyde Park Branch.

Dr. Lightfoot was on hand at Lightfoot’s election night headquarters to celebrate the win and said she is delighted to “be a part of her-story – that’s what I call history.” The two have known each other for about 30 years and text now and then. Their great-great-grandfathers were brothers in Arkansas before the “clans” moved north, Dr. Lightfoot’s clan to Chicago and Mayor-elect Lightfoot’s to Ohio.

“She’s a sweetheart,” Dr. Lightfoot said of her high-profile relative. With residents’ support and cooperation, “I think it’s going to go well for Chicago. I’m so proud of her.”