We learned today that Lori Lightfoot’s deputy campaign manager reached out to CTU members at their work addresses this morning, asking educators to help line up student ‘volunteers’ who will give at least 12 hours each week to the campaign. The campaign also claimed “Students are eligible to earn class credit through our volunteer program.”

This is unethical and wrong on so many levels — not least of which is our concern that CTU members who decline to volunteer for the mayor’s campaign or encourage their students to do so could face retaliation.

This is the same Mayor who promised to clean up corruption and make good ethics an anchor in her administration. This latest scheme shows she’s a rank hypocrite on ethics issues — including her attempt to use our schools and students as her campaign tools.

Recall that this is the same mayor who tried to fire Washington High School educators Lauren Bianchi and Chuck Stark for standing with students and parents to prevent polluter General Iron for moving into the Southeast Side. This is the same mayor who sought — unsuccessfully — to deny school clerk Deanna Myron her livelihood because she publicly spoke out against Lightfoot’s irresponsible COVID policies at the height of the pandemic, before vaccines were available. Put bluntly, our members get threatened and disciplined for supporting their students’ and community’s concerns simply because the Mayor doesn’t like opposition — while Lightfoot breaks the rules with impunity when it serves her agenda.

One ally in the legal profession wrote that it’s “just breathtaking stupidity by Lightfoot’s campaign to send this email. We have to routinely tell our clients that there are criminal penalties for political schemes like this, unreal.”

This mayor continues to refuse to provide students with what they need in their classrooms and school communities — while the mayor’s campaign strong arms educators to try to line up those students as unpaid campaign staff. This is exploitative and wrong on so many levels – and one more reason Lori Lightfoot does not deserve a second term as mayor.

Happily, this latest Lightfoot scheme is drawing heated coverage from local news outlets, including WTTW, which broke the story this afternoon. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the legal and political fallout from this outrageous behavior — and encourage members to join us this Monday for our 10AM MLK Day rally. Register here to join us on Monday — and help us elect aldermen and a new mayor, our very own Brandon Johnson, to at last bring honest, principled governance to the City of Chicago and her people.

In solidarity,

Stacy Davis Gates, President
Jackson Potter, Vice President
Christel Williams Hayes, Recording Secretary
Maria Moreno, Financial Secretary