Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: Thursday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that a staffer working on her reelection campaign sent the widely criticized email asking teachers to give students class credit if they volunteered for her.
She noted that it was a “mistake” and that the matter was being looked into. The mayor of the “Windy City” criticized the recruiting plan on Thursday. She said that her campaign worker was to blame because he sent the email to the official work inboxes of several Chicago Public Schools teachers the day before.
The email, which WTTW News says was sent by Megan Crane, Lightfoot’s deputy campaign manager, urged teachers to give “credit” to students who volunteered through the campaign’s “externship program.”
“The staff member had no bad intentions and did not force anyone to do anything. I’ve heard that question come up. “This young woman wasn’t forced to do it, she didn’t want to do it, and no city resources were used,” Lightfoot said at a news conference on Thursday.
Lightfoot said she didn’t know about the email until a reporter asked her about it Thursday morning. She said, “I’ll repeat it: sending emails to the CPS teachers was a mistake, shouldn’t have happened, and won’t happen again.”
Lightfoot said this after the Chicago Public Schools inspector general was said to have started an investigation to see if the campaign broke any rules by asking for volunteers for political campaigns using official email addresses that Lightfoot had access to because she was the mayor.
The email reportedly said the campaign sought “enthusiastic, curious, and hard-working young people” to help her win this spring. WTTW was the first to report that students had to work 12 hours weekly on the Lightfoot campaign to get “class credit.”
The Chicago Teachers Union reportedly called the move a “shake down” and said it was “unethical and wrong on many levels.” FOX 32 CHICAGO said that Lightfoot’s opponents for mayor also criticized the email. Then, her campaign reportedly took back the offer and said it would “stop contact” with CPS employees “out of an abundance of caution.”
“All [Lightfoot campaign] staff members were reminded that there must be a solid wall between campaign work and official work and that they are not allowed to talk to any city of Chicago or other sister agency employees, including CPS employees, even through public sources. “End of story,” the campaign said.
The Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked Lightfoot to “renounce” the “inappropriately coercive” email earlier Thursday, saying that it was a violation of the First Amendment.
Today, 30 Chicago nonprofit & government leaders, including seven from City government, join the Civic Leadership Academy at @UChicago. We’re proud of these public servants, whose contributions to Chicago’s civic fabric are so critical. Congrats to the @UChicagoCLA fellows! pic.twitter.com/EmIun7E5xD
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) January 12, 2023
“The Lightfoot campaign’s email to Chicago Public School teachers asking them to give extra credit to students who volunteer on the Mayor’s re-election campaign is wrongly coercive and raises First Amendment concerns,” a non-profit organization said.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that government officials can’t use their jobs or power to force people to participate in political campaigns or punish people for not taking part.” As the mayor tries to get a second term, nine people are running against her next month. The date of the election is February 28.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.