On Wednesday, December 11, local voter registration and education nonprofit Chicago Votes hosted its annual “Give A Gift” fundraiser event in celebration of the year’s accomplishments, as well as to raise money to support its work in 2020.
Taking place at Emporium in Wicker Park, the event included food, drinks, arcade games and a concert featuring several local artists.
Included on the concert bill was an all-women DJ lineup, featuring DJ Mo Mami, Evie the Cool, and DJ Ca$hera.
There were also sets by other prominent Chicago artists such as rapper Stock Marley, indie singer Amira Jazeera, and, most notably, rapper Mick Jenkins, who also serves on the board for Chicago Votes. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx also made a special appearance.
Chicago Votes’s work encourages young people to get involved in the political process, as the Weekly profiled in a May 2019 cover story. It also takes on an activist role by advocating for the passage of specific pieces of legislation, including several laws expanding and protecting the right to vote.
One of Chicago Votes’s 2019 accomplishments was the passage of SB 2090, which ensured that eligible voters who are incarcerated in pre-trial detention are able to vote. This piece of legislation also included voter education programs, as well as a form for people who are looking to re-enter the voting process, according to the Chicago Votes website.
Another piece of legislation that Chicago Votes had a hand in getting passed was HB 2541, which brings basic civics courses to those who are incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Ryan Rosenberger is a Chicago-based freelance music writer with more than a years’ worth of experience. Specializing in Chicago’s hip-hop scene, he runs his own blog on ChicagoNow and has also written for several music publications throughout the city.
Keeley Parenteau is a photojournalist and music photographer based in Chicago, but originally from San Francisco. She currently works as the photo editor at the South Side Weekly.