Learn from Mayor Lightfoot’s mistake and get kids involved in election — the right way

Let’s provide opportunities for young people to participate in campaigns, elections and organizing of civic activities, of their own choosing.

SHARE Learn from Mayor Lightfoot’s mistake and get kids involved in election — the right way
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters on Thursday over a controversy where a campaign staffer allegedly emailed Chicago Public School teachers to enlist help from students for her mayoral campaign.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters about a controversy in which a campaign staffer emailed teachers to enlist help from students for her mayoral campaign.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s attempt to recruit CPS students to work on her political campaign presents a valuable lesson in the right way and wrong way to include young people in civic activism and the democratic process.

As one of many CPS civics teachers, we encourage students to first get properly informed on civic topics — such as doing ample research on candidates, comparing platforms and learning all the ways to get involved in elections, public policy and activism. In short, we encourage being informed and getting involved. 

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What Lightfoot did was wrong. It was a mistake to email CPS teachers to recruit students to volunteer on her reelection campaign. What is not a mistake is to provide opportunities for young people to participate in campaigns, elections and organizing of civic activities, and to advocate for more youth involvement in civics — the right way. With the current shortage in election judges, for example, this would be a great opportunity to promote more eligible young people to serve as election judges.

Students should be encouraged to volunteer, not in a biased way or for one particular candidate, but holistically and with the option of their choosing.

The Mikva Challenge organization has for years provided a healthy, fair and productive way for young people to get involved in political campaigns, volunteer in elections and engage in the democratic process. We need more collaboration and organizations such as this to do this valuable work.

Hopefully, the recent mistake will serve as a catalyst for having more discussions about getting youth involved properly and students becoming interested and excited to give back to their communities. Remember President John F. Kennedy, who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.”

Froylan Jimenez, civics teacher

Double standards with Trump and Biden

I’m sitting here waiting for the FBI to raid the White House and the Biden home for classified documents he took as VP. 

Steven Zahareas, Schaumburg

Putting classified documents issue into perspective

To put this classified papers thing into perspective: Joe Biden is the guy who gets too much change back and slips it into his pocket without noticing. Donald Trump is the guy who grabs a handful of bills out of the cash register and runs out the door.

Kenneth J Schadt, Downtown

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