For this year’s Black History Month, HSPRD honors the legacy of the late United States Congressman and Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and his commitment to civil rights. As Congressman, Washington led the successful effort to extend the Voting Rights Act. As Mayor, Washington became the first African American to hold the office and extended municipal services and resources equally to all of Chicago’s communities for the first time in the city’s history. Like his early mentor, Representative Ralph Metcalfe, Washington ascended the ranks of the powerful Chicago political machine, only to later break with the organization and fight the corruption and racism of machine politics. As we reflect on the impact Harold Washington had in our city and nation, we remember and honor his life’s work as his legacy is carried on by the people he influenced and the opportunities he created.