Applauding Mayor Wu’s Indoor Vaccine Requirement

Coronavirus, Health Disparities

Statement on Mayor Wu’s Indoor Vaccine Requirement 

Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) commends Mayor Michelle Wu for today’s announcement of “B Together” — Boston’s COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Select Indoor Spaces. Communities of color have been hardest hit throughout the pandemic, making increased public health protections a critical civil rights issue. We strongly urge Governor Baker to build on Mayor Wu’s initiative and implement a similar plan throughout the Commonwealth.

Mayor Wu’s new initiative is a concentrated effort to minimize the community spread of COVID-19. The plan requires individuals to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter certain indoor spaces in Boston, including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, fitness centers, and entertainment venues. Additionally, employees working in these spaces will now be required to be vaccinated, and businesses will be required to verify proof of vaccination.

At LCR, we have seen from the beginning of the pandemic how communities of color have suffered the most from COVID-19, both medically and economically. LCR has worked to combat this pressing public health and economic crisis in many different ways:

  • assisting our client communities in accessing emergency rental assistance and unemployment benefits to avoid food insecurity and eviction;
  • providing legal and technical assistance at each phase of the pandemic to small minority-owned businesses; and
  • organizing vaccination clinics at churches and community centers in low-income communities as part of our fight to increase the number of individuals vaccinated. 

All our work is designed to minimize racialized health and economic disparities that exist within our communities. Just this past weekend, LCR partnered with Hyde Square Task Force to vaccinate more than one hundred individuals. On January 8, 2022, we will once again partner with the Veronica Robles Cultural Center to host another multilingual vaccination clinic in East Boston. 

Like LCR’s efforts, Mayor Wu’s “B Together” initiative is a recognition that bold steps are necessary to protect the public, and particularly communities of color, from further harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.  We urge Governor Baker to follow suit.