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Chicago Votes Action Fund

Chicago Votes Action Fund seeks to increase civic engagement among young people in the City of Chicago. It is our mission to listen to and raise the diverse voices of young people in our city who want to create a more robust and inclusive democratic process. We do so, by registering young people to vote across Chicago, providing them with civic training on issues affecting their communities, and pursue the legal and practical enactment of policies that young people support. We are committed to giving young people the resources, encouragement, and knowledge they need to build a better city that represents them.

How we helped

Through our voter engagement efforts, we will provide non-partisan information to young voters ages 18-35 in the form of a printed voter guide. These guides will be distributed in schools and other public spaces across the city of Chicago, and provide issues based conversation starters about our responsibility to steer the direction of our government. We plan to distribute 50,000 voter guides through partnerships with schools, libraries, and through paid distributors. Additionally, we will launch a video project that will supplement our voter guide with a humorous visual articulation of why we need to vote. Our launch will include a happy hour bringing together hundreds of youth, students and young professionals to meet and discuss why this election matters in a fun and casual setting. Finally, we will launch a CTA advertisement that includes a URL to register to vote online and important dates with information about the pre-registration deadline, grace period early voting and election day. The ad will run for 4 weeks starting August 29th leading up to national voter registration day and have an impression on 1,519,200 commuters. The funds from Lush will assist in the above projects, however, from a broader perspective, these funds will allow us to innovate beyond the use of traditional media when it comes to voter contact. Television and direct mail are the primary source for most voter education and contact. However, this is problematic. First, mainstream media is not guaranteed to reach a broad audience. Second, the skewed political slant of the media often delivers editorial information to the voter base. Therefore, our project is focused on bi-partisan, fact based information, and delivering it in an atypical way that is inclusive of communities frequently ignored by the political establishment. By providing an alternative to political advertisements in the form of our humorous, factual video, and delivering our non-partisan fact-based voter guides directly to young people, we have the potential to reach and include historically underrepresented communities.

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