Six aldermen sent a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reconsider a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city employees. “We firmly believe that your executive order to mandate the vaccination of ‘ALL’ City of Chicago employees is an infringement on their personal freedoms. We are strongly opposed to this mandate and are urging you to reconsider your executive order” signed by Ald. Felix Cardona (31st Ward); Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward); Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward); Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward); Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th Ward); and Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward).
“While we have struggled with the effects that the COVID pandemic has created in all facets of our lives, the fact of the matter remains that this mandate is an infringement on our constitutional rights,” they wrote. The letter states it’s an individual’s decision to get vaccinated and accept responsibility for their decision. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 and other police unions are against being forced to get vaccinated and will continue to fight against the mandate.
Mayor Lightfoot’s social media stated that Friday, October 1, is the deadline for the first dose.
“Folks, if you work for the city of @chicago, today is your last day to receive your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. You MUST be fully vaccinated by October 15. The vaccine is free, and there’s more than enough. This is about safety and saving lives.” The vaccine mandate also applies to Chicago Public Schools staff and faculty.
In a statement, Lightfoot acknowledged that she could not force aldermen to get vaccinated since they do not report to the mayor and are independently elected. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health data, non-vaccinated Chicagoans are 15 times more likely to die from COVID-19. In addition, African Americans and Latinos Chicagoans who are not vaccinated die at even higher rates.
Tammy Gibson is a black history traveler and author. Find her on social media @SankofaTravelher.