Chicago Democrat Mayor Lightfoot apologizes for email asking students to volunteer for her campaign

Though Lightfoot personally apologizes she put the blame entirely on one young staffer

Published: January 13, 2023 7:20am

Updated: January 13, 2023 10:31am

Chicago Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot has apologized for emails her campaign sent to Chicago Public Schools teachers to try to recruit student volunteers.

Lightfoot said Thursday her campaign staff did not work with the school system to get out the emails, which ask teachers to share a form encouraging students to volunteer in exchange for class credit.

"There was zero, zero coercion, coordination or anything else between the campaign and Chicago Public Schools," Lightfoot said at a press conference. "Zero. I want that to be abundantly clear."

The apology came one day after a news report about the email, which also went to City Colleges staff.

The city and school district inspector generals are gathering information to see if any policies were violated, according to WBEZ Chicago.

Though Lightfoot personally apologized, she put the blame on a young staffer, the news outlet also reports.

“It was a mistake," Lightfoot said. "She understands it was a mistake."

Lightfoot said she only learned about the matter Wednesday afternoon.

However, City Colleges released a statement Thursday saying they notified Lightfoot's campaign about the emails in August, when staffers first received them after being advised to do so by their Ethics Department.

"Volunteers are expected to devote 12hrs/wk to the campaign. Students are eligible to earn class credit through our volunteer program," the form reads.

Lightfoot said a supervisor was aware of the efforts by the staffer, who was not fired, but she doesn’t think the campaign was aware of how the staffer would go about such efforts, also according to WBEZ Chicago

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