111 Days!

The weather is not the only reason we have the summer on our mind here at Chicago Votes. DemocracyCorps is only 111 days away!


We can see it now–Union Park, festival tents, hundreds of unsuspecting un-registered voters, and then boom. DemocracyCorps fellows to the rescue with clipboards, shades and a passion for people-powered politics.

That’s right, throw your hands up, the DemocracyCorps Fellowship is back!

Highfiving a million angels! Raise your hands if you want to apply.

What’s DemocracyCorps?
The Fellowship is a 10-week organizing and leadership development program for emerging leaders (like you, [[First_Name]]!) Fellows spend a summer learning from community leaders and political experts, immersing themselves in Chicago life, and making tons of new friends and allies in the process. Can it get any better? No. No, it cannot.

If this is the summer you always been waiting for, apply today!

Who are DemocracyCorps fellows?
Fellows are 20-24 year old new leaders, hungry to make their voices heard in our city and ready for a transformative summer of hard work and hands-on democracy.  Our Fellows are creative self-starters and architects of their summer experience. They have a passion for people and are fired up for democracy (without actually starting fires. Rule #1: no fires.)

Deep in thought.

Focused, fired up, making some change. 

Do you know a young boss who sounds just right for the Fellowship? Nominate a fellow here.

What is DemocracyCorps again?
We went over this already! Ok, so fellows spend the summer knock doors, canvassing at music festivals, and community organizing. They’re registering thousands of new voters and building support for an issue young people care about. They will spend summertime Chi writing a whole new chapter of democracy in our city.

Students of Democracy

Apply now! Spots are filling up. 

For errbody else, help spread the word. Share/tweet/pin/snap… ChicagoVotes.com/DC to help us find the next class of fabulous Fellows!

Ok, let’s review:

Got it? Good- you’re the best. Here’s a summer present for your efforts. 


The Chicago Votes team – Antonio, Carolyn & Rebecca

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<3 Voting?

Hey friend!

We know you love democracy as much as we do, and are psyched for the Illinois Primary Election Tuesday, March 18th–but did you know that the deadline to register to vote in that election is tomorrow – Tuesday, February 18th? True story.

If you register to vote before this election, make sure your form is postmarked by tomorrow, for real.

There are a couple things that always trip people up. Like if you move to a new crib or if someone put a ring on it, and you’re last name has changed, you have to re-register.

The good news is there is no need to go to an office or wait in line. Just click this bad boy to fill out a form, print it and drop it in the mail. Boom. Registered.

It has to be postmarked Tuesday, Feb 18th, so get on this post haste (adverb: with great speed or immediacy.)

And remember, sharing is caring. If you are already registered to vote at your current address, you do not need to re-register, but please show some democracy love and forward this notice to ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

And, to stay updated on all things Illinois Democracy like” Chicago Votes on facebook. We promise newsworthy democracy updates, lots of silly memes and Chicago Votes Action Updates.

Democracy Love,

The Chicago Votes Team

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It’s Go Time!

For What?
Don't you want to know.

Only the #Best Internship Ever! You’ve got 10 hours, count them, 10, to apply for Chicago Votes’ Winternship. You’ll learn the ins and outs of grassroots campaign organizing while helping Chicago Votes get the “youths” out to vote and support some righteous causes.

The deadline to apply for our Wintership is 7pm today! Click here and get on it.

Just imagine yourself spending the winter/spring building a more vibrant democracy and developing leadership skills while learning about the political landscape in the Chi. Also, you’ll help register a megaton of new voters. For more details about the internship and application, go here. 

Also, sneak peek, we’ve just opened up the application process for the DemocracyCorps summer fellowship. The early bird deadline for DemocracyCorps is March 21st.

Apply Within!

Think: 10 weeks, summer sun, thousands of new voters, 30+ organizing trainings and workshops and 12 new best friends.

That’s DemocracyCorps. Don’t miss the chance of a lifetime to organize and inspire your community to get active around the issues that matter to YOU!

Also, bonus points if you know a great emerging leader and share this email with them. That’s right, we’re keeping score.

If you have any questions or if you need a swift kick in the tush, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly!

Let’s do it for our country.

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Who are these young organizers?


As a lifelong public servant, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve certainly witnessed the unpleasant side of Illinois politics. But this year, I’ve seen something new: a rising generation stepping up to the plate, ready to usher in real progress. And they’ve got me feeling fired up.

It started this past spring. Seemingly out of nowhere, swarms of young people started calling, emailing, Facebooking and Tweeting at me and my colleagues, urging us to support a bill to create online voter registration in Illinois. They did my heart good.

Who were these inspired young organizers?

It was, I soon learned, Chicago Votes, a new organization dedicated to getting young Chicagoans engaged in and excited about the political process.

I’m so excited about this organization–and I know you are, too. Will you join me in supporting Chicago Votes today with a end-of-the-year contribution of $25 or more?

I am proud that the online voter registration bill, a bill I sponsored, passed. It was Chicago Votes’ first big victory in their crusade to make democracy accessible to young and underrepresented Chicagoans. And I know it won’t be their last.

Some of the Chicago Votes team and I at the Online Voter Reg Bill signing!

This is, however, not just about a single policy. Chicago Votes is an outstanding organization that reminds me of great movements in our past. It was founded by a group of committed young people, who no longer wanted to wait for “their turn” to lead. They’re leading now.

But they can’t do it without our help.

As 2013 comes to a close, please join me in supporting Chicago Votes today with a contribution of $25 or more right now?

Illinoisans who want progress in our city and state must join together to support the critical work of Chicago Votes.

The very future of our democracy depends upon it.

Thank you for all that you do.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie

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Chicago: Cloudy with a Chance…

We’ve got some big challenges here in Chicago. But it’s also home to some of the baddest organizers around, and we’re putting in work to take those challenges on.
Join us on November 21st at 6pm in the Blue 1647 Innovation Center to break it all down with at Chicago: Cloudy With a Chance of Democracy! 
RSVP Here so you don’t miss out on a night getting into the issues on democracy, civil rights and voting.
Feelin’ it? So are we! 
Reema Ahmad (Asian Americans Advancing Justice), Christian Diaz (Logan Square Neighborhood Association),Mia Henry (Freedom Lifted) and Todd Belcore (Shriver Center on Poverty Law) will provide their vision and critique of democracy in Chicago through lenses unique to their background and work. Also, a spoken word piece will be performed by our very own Antonio Bacon!
Free food, amazing speakers, and a spoken word performance. What more do you want from us? 
We look forward to seeing you there! 
Chahinda Mustapha


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We’re blowing up!

Hey Chi City—

It’s been a crazy fall, because our little organization is growing!

First, we are on the hunt for a new field genius to join our daily hustle as we approach the March primary election and voter registration deadline.

Are you our dream field organizer? Click here to check the job description and apply.

Second, and just as exciting, we’d like to kindly introduce to you our beautiful new Boards of Directors!

Yes, we’ve got two boards now– just look at all the badassery…

Board Email FINAL

Read all about our amazing Boards by clicking here.

We are way too psyched about having these incredible individuals as part of the Chicago Votes family–and we’ll need them as we start executing our game plan for the year to come. And YOU, we need you too.

So, to recap!

  1. Can you spread the word and help us find our next field organizer?
  2. Check out our unbelievably brilliant and dynamic new Boards of Directors!
  3. Help fuel our movement by being a Boss and giving small monthly donations.

Thanks, y’all.

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National Voter Registration Day 2013!

Four score and seven years ago–oh wait, it was actually more like 2008–6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register.

Here at Chicago Votes, we’re working to change that by organizing what can only be described as the coolest of democracy holidays ever!!!

What is National Voter Registration Day?

On September 24, 2013, volunteers, celebrities and organizations from all over the country will hit the streets for National Voter Registration Day. It’s a day of people coming together to celebrate democracy by registering tons of new voters.

Sound like your type of party? Sign up and join us on National Voter Registration Day to help spread democracy! 

Last year, Chicago Votes helped organized hundreds of volunteers and 30+ partner organizations across Illinois who registered more than 7,000 people to vote on this holiday. Thats right, we did it all in ONE day.

 In 2013, we want to make sure no one is left out.

We need good samaritans and party people from across Chicago to join us and register thousands of new voters!

Sign up and say that you are committed to registering members of your community, friends and neighbors to vote.

P.S. Check this out for some more information on who is joining the party on National Voter Registration Day!

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DCYOUjpgHey Beautiful People,

School is starting, and as any true Chicagoan knows, our loving relationship with our weather will soon start to turn. So while dreams of apple picking and pumpkin pie start popping into your mind, let’s take a moment to think about what we’re growing here at Chicago Votes.

For us, it means the start of our fall internship, where we get to flex our muscle in developing Chicago’s next set of Millennial leaders!

I bet you’re asking yourself, “What can I do to help these charming people on their quest to change the world?”

Well, we’re glad you asked!

We are launching what can only be described as:

Chicago Votes is looking for the next generation of leaders 
Leaders who want hands-on organizing experience to develop skills so they can have a huge impact, engage their community (be it campus or neighborhood) and change the rest of the world. Yes, THE WORLD! (No pressure.)

Apply Today:
Final Deadline: October 4th

If you or someone you know are totally about that “progressive change” life, apply now and pass this along.


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Are you our next Board member?

Hey friend–

It’s hard to believe Chicago Votes is a year old! We’ve come so far–from registering thousands of young voters to taking on (and winning!) the fight for online voter registration in Illinois.

If you love Chicago Votes, share our commitment to a civically engaged Chicago, and want to help pave the path to make sure we keep winning for years to come, we hope you’ll apply to join our Board of Directors for the term of service beginning in September!

Click here to submit your application! The deadline is August 7.

Want to get a sense of what we’re looking for in a Board member? Well, aside from being willing and ready to bring delicious snacks to our quarterly meetings and having a deep love for profit & loss statements and bylaws, our ideal new Board family members:

  • Should reflect the diversity of our city (yep, that means young people, women, people of color, LGBT persons, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply);

  • Should be ready and willing to build from their networks to advance our mission–  fundraising, hosting events and more;

  • Should be ready to leave it all on the field to empower young Chicagoans.

  • Want more details? Read more here. 

Is that you? Yeah, we know it is.

Click here to submit your application right right right now!

Thanks for believing in Chicago Votes.



Joanna, TJ, Harishi, Courtney, Ilya, Eric, Carlos and Stacey (the 2012 Chicago Votes Board of Directors)

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Celina Villanueva: Oh Hai Girl!

Check out Celina Villanueva, our new Director of Organizing!
Born and raised in the Little Village community, Celina Villanueva is an organizer to the core, with experience at Illinois Unites for Marriage, the New Leaders Council, the National Council of La Raza, the Progressive Alliance of Cook County and the Instituto del Progreso Latino (she’s pretty in demand). With a strong background in youth development, leadership development and civic engagement, Celina has always strived to serve the community through her efforts.
In short, her badassery is never ending.
Seriously, we are so excited to have her join our team. We’ve had the joy of working with her on a number of projects are all inspired by her constant drive for a more just Chicago. Celina’s passion for mentoring and training the next generation of leaders is something we can all aspire to have. Already a leader in the movement, we’re lucky to bring her into the Chicago Votes / Bus family.
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