On Sept. 12, at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive in Grant Park, board members from Women's March Chicago ( WMC ) and representatives from partnership organizations announced expansions and new features to its upcoming March to the Polls event on Saturday, Oct. 13.
"The stakes are sky-high this November," said WMC Board President Jessica Scheller in a previous press statement. "We need every single woman—from first-time voters to great grandmothers-along with every single ally to take to the streets and converge on the polls. We have been practicing for months. Now it's time to channel our outrage and energy and truly make our voices heard through our votes in greater numbers than ever before."
October's March to the Polls event will feature a First Time Voter Experience ( FTVE ), a special area for new voters where they will mingle with elected officials, community leaders, long term voters and others while enjoying VIP treatment. This section of the event is in partnership with Chicago Votes, a partner organization that specializes in youth out reach and mobilization.
March to the Polls will also feature a new expansive Voter Village that will run along Columbus Drive and serve as a hub for activists and will feature festival style booths hosted by political candidates, businesses and activist organizations including The League of Women Voters of Illinois, Moms Demand Action, The Young Women's Christian Association of Metropolitan Chicago, The Coalition Against Handgun Violence, The Rainbow Push Coalition, Gun Sense in America, The League of Women Voters of Chicago, The Illinois Council on Women and Girls, Action Illinois and Chicago Women Take Action, among others.
Following an energetic rally with entertainment and prominent speakers, including famed civil-rights activist Heather Booth, the event will encourage attendees from Cook County and the City of Chicago to literally march to the polls and utilize the early voting sites in downtown Chicago.
The March to the Polls rally site, FTVE and Voter Village area will open at 9 a.m., with entrances along Columbus Drive at Congress Parkway and Balbo Drive.