Who We Are

Senior Staff

Stevie Valles

Executive Director

Stevie grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but has lived all over the place – Virginia, Alabama, Washington DC, Dallas, Austin, and now Chicago. Even though he isn’t from the “Windy City”, he often says he got here as soon as he could. A graduate of Oakwood University with a Bachelors in Social Work, Stevie has committed his entire career to making sure all people have a voice and are welcomed as equals. Stevie joins the Chicago Votes family after working as the National Campaigns Director for the Alliance for Youth Action (formerly the Bus Federation). In this role he coordinated HUGE projects including National Voter Registration Day, which resulted in 777,321 new registered voters in 2017, and the American Voter Guide project. In addition to this experience he has worked in the United States Senate, the Texas Legislature and on a slew of campaigns ranging from presidential, gubernatorial, and affordable housing. Stevie loves music, dogs, writing, singing, and most of all playing basketball.


Rudy Garrett

Interim Executive Director

A Hoosier native, Rudy graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in political science and international studies. She moved to Chicago in August of 2013 to attend culinary school, but found her inner activist instead. She  completed the Chicago Votes Winter internship program in late winter/ early spring of 2014. After working at a law firm in the loop, she took a job as a Chicago Votes Field Organizer during the summer/ fall voter registration project and has been working with the organization ever since. Rudy is excited to show young Chicagoans that they can make a difference in their city and encourage the millennial generation to take an active role in the political system.

Jen Dean 2Jen Dean

Director of Operations & HR

Jen’s passion for human rights and systemic social change began where she grew up in Utica NY, which is home to one of the largest refugee resettlement communities in the US.  At 18, she moved to Tampa where she obtained a BA in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s in Sociology. She began organizing right away focusing on issues relevant to young people. During this time she became a founding member of STAND, an organization that aims to prevent genocide by getting students to organize, advocate, and educate folks on how to hold elected officials accountable for legislative action world wide. She is also a co-founder of Baby University in Tampa which is a program modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. During graduate school she moved to Chicago to study the growing violence epidemic, which resulted in a published book on activism highlighting the value of social capital and collective efficacy in violence prevention efforts. Jen is also certified in restorative justice peace circles for conflict resolution. After falling in love with Chicago she has since been a resident of the South Side and continues to mentor young people. When she is not organizing or keeping the office together, she is practicing yoga, chilling at “The Point”, cooking up something special or giving her dog Marley (named after Bob Marley) some lovin.

Chicago Votes Education

Fund Board Of Directors 

22Jauwan Hall

Board President

Student Trustee at the University of Illinois at Chicago



24Sam Spitz

Board Secretary

Senior Enterprise Account Manager At Yello



Laura Garcia

Board Director

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services