by Todd Feurer, CBS Chicago web producerBy CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Saying “make no mistake: America is Back,” after former Joe Biden has been projected to become the nation’s 46th president, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she expects the president-elect will work to help Americans “come together as a country and focus on our common ground.”

“Over the course of this very hard year, we’ve been battered, but not broken, and now more than ever we must resolve to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow. We owe it to ourselves and importantly we owe it to our children to do just that,” Lightfoot said Saturday afternoon at City Hall.

CBS News and other news outlets projected late Saturday morning that Biden and running mate Kamala Harris were projected to win Pennsylvania and Nevada, giving them 279 electoral votes, enough to clinch the White House, defeating President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I am truly elated – and, yes, relieved – to get to work with this new administration,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor said she admires how Biden “remains hopeful and resolute, even in the face of so many personal tragedies,” referring to the death of his first wife, Neilia, and their daughter in a car crash in 1972; and the death of his son, Beau, in 2015.

“With Joe Biden as our president, we’re never going to have to wonder whether he sees and understands our triumphs or our tragedies,” she said.

Lightfoot also noted that the win is particularly historic for Harris, as she’s the first woman, first African American, and first Indian American to be elected vice president.

The mayor said Harris has “shattered glass ceilings and sent a message to so many little girls and boys that in America, truly anything is possible.”

Biden is slated to address the nation at 7 p.m. Central Time on Saturday, in his first formal remarks since clinching the White House.

Lightfoot said she looks forward to hearing him discuss his vision for the future of the country, and his plans for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On this most historic day in one of the most historic times in our history, what we need to be focused on is unity,” she said. “I’m certain that one of the themes that he will strike is the importance of how we must come together as a country, and focus on our common ground. We must come together as a country in the face of this horrific virus, and to tackle the hard but important work that can only get done when we unite and work together.”

Lightfoot, who has frequently criticized President Donald Trump for his repeated lies, his attacks on immigrants, his denial of climate change, and his efforts to dismantle protections for the LGBTQ community, among other significant disputes over policy, said news of Biden’s victory “opens up boundless possibilities for the return of science, the rule of law, respect for civil rights, and respect for our most vulnerable residents and communities,”

“I believe very deeply that we are a country with a generous and compassionate heart, and we will soon have leadership in the White House that reflects those values,” she said. “There’s a reason that people all over the world breathed a huge sigh of relief upon today’s announcement. Make no mistake: America is back. We have the opportunity but also the obligation to reaffirm our role on the global stage, and reaffirm our uniquely American values here at home as well as abroad.”

President Trump has yet to formally concede, and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has said the president will not concede the election “when at least 600,000 ballots are in question.”

The president’s personal attorney claimed without evidence that ballots were tampered with in Pennsylvania, the state that gave Biden the crucial Electoral College votes necessary to win the White House. He was joined by three poll watchers who claimed they were prevented from adequately monitoring the ballot counting process.

Giuliani said he has statements from 25 watchers, and has spoken to a total of 50 with similar stories. “I could have brought about 50 with me,” Giuliani said, but he said he did not because “50 is too many,” and some were afraid of retribution.

The president’s personal attorney claimed without evidence that ballots were tampered with in Pennsylvania, the state that gave Biden the crucial Electoral College votes necessary to win the White House. He was joined by three poll watchers who claimed they were prevented from adequately monitoring the ballot counting process.

Giuliani said he has statements from 25 watchers, and has spoken to a total of 50 with similar stories. “I could have brought about 50 with me,” Giuliani said, but he said he did not because “50 is too many,” and some were afraid of retribution.

However, Lighfoot said she expects President Trump eventually will concede that Biden has won.

“I think he will get there, I certainly hope he will get there, but whether he says those words or not, the time has come for the transition to start, and I’m confident that we will do so, and we will do so as we’ve done throughout most of our history, which is peacefully,” she said.