What is Chicago Votes?

Chicago Votes


Chicago Votes Action Fund does volunteer-driven democracy and builds power for our generation. We’re not left or right, but forward. We think democracy’s great, and believe it works best when all of us–including young people–make our voices heard!


But there are some real challenges:

  1. Ballots can be confusing, and the long list of candidates and issues can be intimidating for first time voters (and anyone, really).
  2. The voter registration process isn’t easy for young people, who move frequently.
  3. Politics excludes a lot of people and can be divisive. It can seem boring, unattractive and disconnected. Political discussion is had on TV by mostly older, privileged people from lands far, far away.



  1. We mobilize more people. We are mobilizing thousands of young people throughout Chicago to have Millennial-to-Millennial conversations, in their own communities, about the issues that affect them the most.
  2. We work on issues that YOUNG PEOPLE choose. Politics is about getting what you want from government — when young people don’t get to choose what they vote on, something’s wrong. We put in work on issues that young people are excited about, and we win.
  3. We develop more leaders — on everything from how to organize other young people on the ground, to the importance of voting, and how issues and candidates affect our lives.
  4. We have more fun. Who said politics has to be so serious, dry and dark all the time? No one. Ever. We throw huge events that are as fun as they are informative. We bring together young people across race, ethnic and community lines. The more the merrier, we say.




Our generation cares about community and the way our government works, but it can be a real challenge to see how voting impacts both the issues we care about and our lives. We’re working hard to bridge the gaps between issues Millennials care about and the choices on our ballots. Chicago Votes creates opportunities to impact problematic policies directly through organizing our communities.


We believe our generation can build a greater, more inclusive city (but seriously — who else is going to do it?). We believe politics needs to be more accessible, more equitable, and more innovative. We’re pulling together young Chicagoans across the city to turn things around. And we’re having a ton of fun doing it.


So What Do We Do, Exactly?

Chicago Votes created programs to bring together young, driven Chicagoans who are ready to get their hands dirty and learn the grassroots basics of our democracy.

We’re committed to educating, training, and empowering the next generation of Chicagoans and have designed our programs to act as springboards for young leaders to enter the life of political and public service.


    All our leadership programs share three goals:

  • Hands-on, impact focused. We know the best learning happens through experience. That’s why we help YOU build the project from the ground up.
  • Leaders making lasting impacts. We’re the beginning of a leadership pipeline, exposing you to a network of organizations and relationships to give you a running start.
  • Incubating innovative ideas. We have a team-led process of developing and choosing projects to maximizes your learning experience, creative capacity and ability to impact change.