Johnson sworn in as Chicago’s 57th mayor, ‘There is enough room for everyone’


Amber Stoutenborough

Johnson was sworn in as Chicago’s 57th mayor on Monday afternoon UIC’s Credit Union 1 Arena.

A spirited crowd filled UIC’s Credit Union 1 Arena Monday afternoon to watch history unfold as former Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson was inaugurated as Chicago’s 57th mayor, showcasing the multicultural coalition that propelled him to victory.

“The soul of Chicago is alive and well,” Johnson said. 

His diverse support was reflected in audience members, but also in all those who took the stage before him. Prior to singing the national anthem, The Hyde Park Academy JROTC’s Cassandra Figeroas greeted the crowd in Spanish and Imam Hassan Aly led a peace prayer, followed by The Soul Children of Chicago’s Walt Whitman’s soulful performance of the Black National Anthem. 

“There is enough room for everyone in the city of Chicago,” Johnson said. 

During his inaugural speech, Johnson mentioned the several challenges that he hopes to address such as reopening mental health clinics, supporting newly arrived migrants and prioritizing the safety of residents. 

Johnson’s inauguration comes right after former Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared a state of emergency last week in response to the influx of migrants arriving since last August.

Eric Ramos, an organizer in the 17th district said that he hopes Johnson will continue to work with communities to address the city’s “humanitarian crisis.”. 

“We need to find a way to support [migrants] and be able to fill in gaps quickly,” Ramos said. 

The newly elected mayor recognized Lightfoot’s achievements despite facing the challenges that come with being the first Black, openly queer mayor. 

“Lori I am grateful to you and your sacrifice,” Johnson said.

Lightfoot took the stage, welcoming the crowd to “the peaceful transfer of power.”

Thirteen newly elected alderpeople were inaugurated as well, most notably Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th), who will serve as Johnson’s floor leader and take on city council’s powerful zoning committee chair.  

The Chicago City Council will also have its gayest city body ever, growing from seven to nine members of the LGBTQ+ community. The newly elected alderpeople include Lamont Robinson (4th), Jessie Fuentes (26th), Bennett Lawson (44th) and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th), joining Ald. Timmy Knudsen, Alds. Raymond Lopez (15th), Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and Maria Hadden (49th).

“Our differences [are] what makes us the amazing city that we are…We can lead Chicago to a new era,” Johnson said.