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  • Title
    Mayor
  • Affiliation
    Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago; Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle; London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco

As the federal government dragged its feet, America’s mayors—particularly those leading our biggest and therefore most vulnerable cities—sprang into action to protect their citizens. In Seattle, the earliest U.S. hotspot, Jenny Durkan established the country’s first drive-up testing site for first responders, created a $5 million grocery voucher program, and shared her city’s hard-won lessons with her fellow mayors. Durkan’s counterparts in the Bay Area—including San Francisco’s London Breed and Oakland’s Libby Schaaf—seem to have heeded her warnings. The region was the first in the nation to issue shelter-in- place orders, a farsighted step that likely saved thousands of lives. In Chicago, Lori Lightfoot showed that urban leadership extends beyond the West Coast, closing the city’s parks to enforce social distancing—and playing into the loving memes that sprang up depicting her as a stern quarantine enforcer. “Your jump shot is always gonna be weak,” quipped Lightfoot. “Stay out of the parks.”

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