The Chicago Votes Monthly: August 2023

Since last month’s newsletter, lots has happened! The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the Pretrial Fairness Act is constitutional, three finalists for CPD superintendent were named, Chicago held community budget roundtables#TreatmentNotTrauma passed out of the City Council committee…. And aliens were discovered??? 

Anyhoo, keep reading this month’s newsletter for volunteer opportunities, upcoming events, and programmatic announcements! Happy August!

The Clique

Chicago Votes is a grassroots community organizing organization. We were founded to be a platform for the youth voice and to empower the next generation of Chicagoans to create the change they want to see in their city. We can accomplish nothing alone, and we always strive to work in collaboration, be in the community and be an active part of the movement. 

Join our membership program, The Clique, and get access to exclusive Fuel The Movement social events! We appreciate whatever time and resources our community shares with us, and we created this program to intentionally thank everyone for their support!

Unlock Civics

Judges wield a lot of power over people’s lives. They can decide who gets custody of a child, if a family gets evicted, or how long to sentence someone to prison.

Chicago Votes and the Illinois Alliance for Reentry & Justice have launched a court watching program, sending community members inside Cook County Criminal Court to watch judges and collect data on bias and misconduct. The data collected will help in the creation of a judicial voter guide in 2024.

Court Watching will take place from August through the beginning of October. Shifts take place on weekdays during the day. Volunteers are asked to complete five shifts in total. If this program fits with your interests and capacity, please complete the online, self-paced Court Watching training!

 Cook County Jail Votes 

In July, our small but mighty team of volunteers registered 19 folks to vote in Division 11 of Cook County Jail. Many of the people we spoke with were already registered and had voted in the mayoral elections! 

We are ALWAYS seeking new Cook County Jail Votes volunteers. To become a volunteer, you must complete the fully online, self-paced Cook County Jail Votes training. To access the training, go to our volunteer portal. Once you complete the training course, you will start receiving monthly CCJ Votes opportunities in your inbox! 

Reimagining Democracy

This past weekend Chicago Votes popped out to the West Garfield Park CRIME DROUGHT Installation: Re-imagining Health and Wellness in our Communities. CRIME DROUGHT is a unified collective within the Black and Brown community in Chicago to show the true meaning behind CRIME DROUGHT: to bring an end to the crime and violence in communities of color, in our hometown Chicago and throughout America.

The event featured an entirely free grocery store, health screenings from Rush, community resources, peace circles, music, art… and the list keeps going. Chicago Votes engaged folks in conversations about city government & voting, registered folks to vote, and gave out lots of prizes!

Earlier this summer we said we’d be outside and we really meant it. This weekend we’ll be at Lollapalooza registering people to vote and making sure they know Chicago Votes is a resource for them. Following that, on August 12th we’ll be at the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic. 

Sponsor our tent at the Bud Billiken Parade & Picnic! We’ll be setting up the Chicago Votes tent and giving out school supplies. You can also donate school supplies and drop them at our office. Just DM or email us to set up a time for drop-off.

Give A Sh*t

 Don’t miss the Intersection! 

Don’t miss your chance to connect with some amazing musicians, artists, and advocates at The Intersection event in Chicago on August 5th! We’ll have cultural enrichment through music, fashion, and food for $10 a person! Get your tickets here. 

 C Space 

Each month, we open up our office to artists to share space and craft alongside and in community with one another. We call it C Space. Light refreshments are provided! The next C Spaces are Friday, August 18th, and Friday, September 15th from 7-9 pm. RSVP for office location!

Sign up for C Space updates here!

Give A Sh*t Creative Collective 

Our Give A Sh*t Creative Collective is a hub for creatives to rethink how we engage young Chicagoans in the political process. The Collective is made up of a diverse set of artists, including designers, musicians, poets, and videographers. Joining gives you access to paid opportunities, including mini grats. August’s Give A Sh*t Creative Collective will take place during C Space, on August 18th from 7-9 pm in our office. 

Join the Creative Collective here.

Sh*t Talkin’ Central 

The latest piece, written by Stephen Yoshida, examines “affordable housing” and the impacts of it being a statutorily-defined category designed out of political expediency and not actually an accurate description. Read “That Development is Affordable Like Pizza is a Vegetable” on Sh*t Talkin’ Central. 

We publish stories submitted by young Chicagoans, a.k.a. you! You can submit op-eds, digital content, poems, and photos. Selected contributors will be paid $100 per published piece. Pitch us a story here.