Lori Lightfoot cannot escape controversy.
On Wednesday, WTTW reported that she was soliciting help from CPS Teachers to recruit students to help with her mayoral campaign. In return, they would receive class credit. Although Lightfoot’s team asserted that this was common practice in a statement, her challengers spoke out against what Ald. Sophia King deemed unethical. In a tweet, she noted: “I’m flabbergasted. This is pay to play except with unsuspecting and vulnerable victims. There is no lens that makes this ethical. As a teacher, I’d give her an F. Actually she’d be expelled. This is the lack of transparency I want to change for Chicago.”
She was not the only Lightfoot challenger to speak out against the mayor’s misstep. Brandon Johnson, a front runner in the election, also called the move “unethical” in a tweet. He wrote:
“This is outrageous, desperate, & downright unethical. Mayor Lightfoot has failed our students — now she’s exploiting young people for political gain. Chicago needs a leader who’s focused on fully funding our public schools —not someone blatantly abusing the power of her office.”
According to CBS News, the CPS rule book states, “A political campaign should not be using the CPS email system to solicit volunteers and donations.” Due to the violation of the rules, there are possible ethical issues with the email from Lightfoot’s camp.
Given the backlash, Lightfoot’s camp put out a statement saying they would cease CPS outreach to err on the side of caution.
With just eight weeks left of the election, the battlefield heats up. To learn more about each candidate, check out our mayoral guide.