Battle erupted for winner in Chicago Votes Jeopardy in the Chopin Theater…all in the name of civic engagement

Date: 
06/01/2013
AlexVanna

The evening's Vanna and Alex

Focused on Chicago trivia, teams battled it out in rounds of Chicago Votes' Jeopardy in the Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division, Wed. May 29.

With a panel of people in the know, two teams tied for second. The tiebreaker round heightened the competitiveness as the top two teams verbally slugged it out to claim the #1 slot. 

Some teams formed pre-show on site and others pre-planned their existence. They had such names as Gerrymander This, Roykos, Retirement Sweeties and Bootylicious. In two rounds, teams earned points as they wrote down the question to such statements as "name 3 of the 4 governors who served time since 1961" and "there are how many in the City Council,"

Panel

Panelist: Colon, Walfish, Fernandez and Adams

NDFA

After their victory, NDFA poses for pictures

On hand to provide knowledge resources for the final contestants were Northwest Herald's sports journalist Herald Joshua Walfish; Vocalo Radio's MC, Molly Adams; 25th Ward Alderman Rey Colon; and National Rep for the American Federation of Teachers, Carlos Fernandez. 

Team NDFA won the final honors. But, you wonder, what is this really all about?

Who is Chicago Votes and Why?
Chicago Votes is an organization of people from the Millennial and Hip Hop Generations. As they put it "born after Elvis died in 1977 and before Facebook was born in 2004." They gathered together a couple of years ago to try to turn the tide of civic un-involvement. 

LighteningRound

Retirement Cuties and NDFA battle it out in the final round

They wanted to meet the challenge of the unengaged, particularly the young people. Despite the fact that President Obama came from Chicago and the fact that Chicago has the reputation of "voting once and often even after you are dead," the reality is that registered voters in Chicago and elsewhere are way down and many Millennials rarely vote. 

Roykos

The Roykos

Many of Chicago Votes' founders have been or are engaged in government, politics and other causes. They determined that the way to make a change in this apathy was to focus on training young people.  

Concentrating on teaching leadership skills and civic knowledge through hands-on experience, they

BootyLicious

Bootylicious

targeted voter registration. For 2012 they list their successes as:

  • We registered thousands of voters. Chicago Votes and the coalition we leg registered re 7,226 Illinois residents to vote.
  • We grew our volunteer base significantly. Our first team of interns mobilized more than 170 volunteers who spent more than 1,000 hours registering voters and getting out the vote.
ColAngus

Col. Angus

We educated young voters. Our intern team researched, drafted and distributed thousand of vote guides for the 2012 general election.We hosted events to inspire democracy. More than 400 young people came to three major youth-organized events, including our kick-off a presidential debate watch party, and a post-election celebration.

 Chicago Votes Future

RReynolds

Rebecca Reynolds

As Chicago Votes Executive Director, Rebecca Reynolds put it, "Our success this fall indicates that young Chicagoans are, in fact, eager to work together to confront these challenges and make our democracy stronger, and we are ready to take the lead in doing so." 

With a commitment to work in diverse communities with underrepresented youth across Chicago, they are fully funded, they are looking to be leaders in the training, organizing and civic education of young Chicagoans. 

News that the Illinois General Assembly approved the legislation to allow online registration brought a cheer from the house at Wednesday's Jeopardy event. 

Reynolds said, "When every iPhone, library and computer lab becomes a site for voter registration, we open the doors for a wave of new voters to get registered, get to the polls, and get involved.”

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