Less than a month before Mayor Bill de Blasio struck a major contract agreement with the United Federation of Teachers, its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, gave $350,000 to a nonprofit run by de Blasio advisers, which lobbies on behalf of the mayor's priorities, newly released records show.
The AFT's donation, on April 9, was the largest donation to the de Blasio-affiliated nonprofit, Campaign For One New York, since it was founded after the mayor was elected last November. Its timing raises questions about the ability of outside interests to advance their agendas before the city by supporting a nonprofit close to the mayor.
The group was formed to advance the mayor's signature social reform: universal prekindergarten. It was founded by Mr. de Blasio's campaign manager, and the pre-K campaign was run by consulting firms that worked on the mayor's political campaign. The AFT donation came after the state Legislature approved funding for pre-K in late March. The nonprofit is now transitioning to other areas of importance to the mayor, including signing up children for pre-K.
Less than a month after the $350,000 donation, the teachers union and the city struck a nine-year deal that included raises and retroactive pay for teachers while also promising future health care savings for the city.
A governmental spokesman for Mr. de Blasio said the AFT's hefty donation had no impact on the contract between the mayor and the city teachers' union.