Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing criticism for her campaign’s attempt at recruiting student volunteers.
Reportedly a staffer from Lightfoot’s campaign sent an email to Chicago Public School teachers soliciting student volunteers for an “externship program” in which students must contribute 12 hours per week to qualify for class “credit.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois condemned that email as an inappropriate use of political power.
“Because the Mayor has the ultimate authority over the Chicago schools, teachers may feel coercion in this ask from the Mayor’s campaign or fear negative consequences for lack of participation” said the ACLU in a press release. “It is striking that Mayor Lightfoot presented herself four years ago as a candidate who would eschew the old corrupt patronage ways of Chicago politics. Now her campaign employs practices that harken back to the worst days of the Chicago political machine.”
Lightfoot said that the email in question “was clearly a mistake” in response to the criticism. The mayor faces an uphill battle in her reelection bid. The latest polling currently shows US Rep. Garcia as the frontrunner in the race.