Staff and Board

Senior Staff

Stevie Valles

Executive Director

Stevie grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but has lived all over the place – Virginia, Alabama, Washington DC, Dallas, Austin, and now Chicago. Even though he isn’t from the “Windy City”, he often says he got here as soon as he could. A graduate of Oakwood University with a Bachelors in Social Work, Stevie has committed his entire career to making sure all people have a voice and are welcomed as equals. Stevie joins the Chicago Votes family after working as the National Campaigns Director for the Alliance for Youth Action (formerly the Bus Federation). In this role he coordinated HUGE projects including National Voter Registration Day, which resulted in 777,321 new registered voters in 2017, and the American Voter Guide project. In addition to this experience he has worked in the United States Senate, the Texas Legislature and on a slew of campaigns ranging from presidential, gubernatorial, and affordable housing. Stevie loves music, dogs, writing, singing, and most of all playing basketball.


IMG_4445 (1)Rudy Garrett

Deputy Director

A Hoosier native, Rudy graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in political science and international studies. She moved to Chicago in August of 2013 to attend culinary school, but found her inner activist instead. She  completed the Chicago Votes Winter internship program in late winter/ early spring of 2014. After working at a law firm in the loop, she took a job as a Chicago Votes Field Organizer during the summer/ fall voter registration project and has been working with the organization ever since. Rudy is excited to show young Chicagoans that they can make a difference in their city and encourage the millennial generation to take an active role in the political system.


Jen Dean 

Organizational Health Director

Jen grew up in Utica, NY which is the second largest political refugee resettlement community in the US.  Jen’s passion is to cultivate new social justice organizations which include STAND, an organization that aims to prevent genocide and Baby University which is designed to reduce infant mortality. During graduate school, she moved to Chicago to study violence prevention efforts, which resulted in a publication on activism highlighting the value of social capital and collective efficacy. While at Chicago Votes she has created and distributed over 250,000 voter guides that include youth-focused issue stances from candidates.  Jen is responsible for the citywide “Parade To The Polls” and is currently running Cook County Jail Votes, conducting voter registration drives making sure all eligible voters in the jail have a voice during elections. Working with coalition partners she drafted HB4469 that requires voting access in jails and will ensure that individuals released from prisons know their voting rights. Some of the campaigns she has worked on through Chicago Votes include Automatic Voter Registration, Fight for $15, and the Stop Act. She is a board member for Chasing 23 an organization that mentors South Side youth and Bring Your Bag Chicago.

Chicago Votes Action Fund

Board Of Directors

Alex Sims

Board President

CEO of APS and Associates.






Joanna Klonsky

Board Secretary

CEO of Joanna Klonsky Communication Strategies.




Matt Blizek

Board Director

Electoral Field Director at




Erika Wozniak

Board Director

Chicago Public School Teacher, Delegate with the Chicago Teachers Union




Alex Han

Board Director

SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana



Chakena Sims

Board Vice President

 JB Pritzker for Governor




Ramsin Canon

Board Director

Principal Attorney at Canon Law Group



Meet the Chicago Votes Education Fund Board of Directors