Chicago was hard hit during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic—especially in communities of color.
Throughout this crisis, Mayor Lightfoot has led with honesty, toughness and compassion. Mayor Lightfoot and her team acted quickly: securing personal protective equipment (PPE), opening testing centers, and mobilizing the city’s resources to bend the curve. Her administration addressed COVID head on, and took on the decades of disinvestment that caused such a disproportionately harmful impact in Black and Brown communities.
Through a multi-pronged effort, the Lightfoot administration:
- Created the “Racial Equity Rapid Response team” to flatten the infection curve and support disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities.
- Opened 11 free testing centers on the South and West Sides, community clinics at City Colleges, and a mass vaccination site at the United Center.
- Increased vaccination rates in the city’s 15 most vulnerable communities through Protect Chicago Plus, which provided nearly 500,000 vaccine doses through at-home vaccinations.
- Launched an effort to vaccinate 82% percent of all eligible Chicagoans before the end of 2021. Chicago reached its vaccination target in November 2021, several weeks ahead of schedule.
- Took immediate action when Monkeypox began to spread, directing vaccines to Chicagoans most at-risk.
As we emerge from the pandemic, the Mayor is laser-focused on addressing both physical and mental health challenges faced by Chicagoans. Her team has:
- Raised the Chicago Department of Public Health’s mental health budget sevenfold from a 2019 budget of $12 million to a 2022 budget of $89 million, increasing the number of Chicagoans receiving mental health services by 1,500%.
- Funded more than three dozen mental health clinics across 35 neighborhoods with plans for expansion in each of Chicago’s 77 community areas.