Email appears to show Dem. mayor asking public schools to give students credit to volunteer for her reelection campaign

 January 13, 2023

Fox News reports that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's (D) reelection campaign has just been caught asking teachers of the city's public school system to encourage their students to volunteer for her campaign. 

As we will see, Lightfoot is now claiming that this was all a "mistake."

The email

The request from Lightfoot's re-election campaign came in the form of an email that Megan Crane - the deputy manager of Lightfoot's re-election campaign - sent to teachers' Chicago Public Schools ( email.

The email mentions an "externship program" in which students would give 12 hours per week to Lightfoot's re-election campaign. And, in exchange, the students could get a "class credit."

"We’re simply looking for enthusiastic, curious, and hard-working young people eager to help Mayor Lightfoot win this spring," the email, in part, reads.

Explanations 1, 2, and 3

Initially, a spokesperson for Lightfoot's office defended the email, saying that this program is designed "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."

As soon as the email was made public, however, Lightfoot started facing some serious criticism. And, that's when she began to change her story.

In explanation number two, Lightfoot's campaign said that, out of an "abundance of caution," it would "cease contact with CPS employees."

Then, not long after that, Lightfoot's campaign released yet another statement, saying:

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.

Explanation 4

During Thursday's press conference, Lightfoot, herself, offered yet another explanation for what happened.

Lightfoot, claiming to have been initially unaware of the email, said, "the outreach to the CPS teachers via their emails was a mistake, should not have happened, and is not going to happen again."

"There was absolutely no nefarious intent on the part of the staff person and there simply was no coercion - I've seen that question bubble up - there was no coercion, no intent to do that by any means by this young woman, and no city resources were used," Lightfoot added.

An investigation is launched

These comments from Lightfoot came after the inspector general for the Chicago Public Schools launched an investigation into the matter.

It appears that this investigation is ongoing.

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Thomas Jefferson
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