Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign urged Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teachers to offer extra credit to students who volunteered, according to WTTW News.
Megan Crane, Lightfoot’s deputy campaign manager, sent an email to teachers’ official work accounts requesting they tell their students about the campaign’s volunteer externship program, according to WTTW. The Lightfoot campaign initially defended the decision before walking it back and announcing that it would no longer contact Chicago employees.
“We’re simply looking for enthusiastic, curious and hard-working young people eager to help Mayor Lightfoot win this spring,” Crane’s email to teachers, obtained by WTTW, read. (RELATED: VICTORY: Lori Lightfoot Abandons Racist Interview Policy After DCNF Lawsuit)
The city’s teacher’s union leader said the move was unethical and violated city government ethics, including those established by Lightfoot herself, according to WTTW. A CPS spokesman denied that the school district worked with political campaigns.
“As a rule, the district does not coordinate with any political candidates or campaigns. It has not done so to date and will not be doing so,” the spokesman told WWTW. Lightfoot is responsible for appointing the CPS superintendent and school board members, and the city’s ethics ordinance bans the use of public resources, including email accounts, for non-official purposes such as campaigns.
Lightfoot’s campaign initially told WTTW that it was simply trying “to provide young people with the opportunity to engage with our campaign, learn more about the importance of civic engagement and participate in the most American of processes,” but revised this stance after public criticism.
“All [Lightfoot for Chicago] campaign staff have been reminded about the solid wall that must exist between campaign and official activities and that contacts with any city of Chicago, or other sister agency employees, including CPS employees, even through publicly available sources is off limits. Period,” the campaign told the outlet.
Lightfoot did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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