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What the Cleveland VOTES team is excited about for 2023.

Erika Anthony, Executive Director

Erika Anthony sits on a white chair facing the viewer. She is wearing a blue outfit and smiling at the photographer.
CV Executive Director and Co-Founder Erika Anthony

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?

It’s been a busy few months so far! I celebrated my one-year anniversary as CV’s inaugural Executive Director. My primary responsibility is ensuring that my teammates have clear objectives, feel supported, and have the space to grow into their roles. I’m proud of the team's creativity, ingenuity + commitment to realizing equitable civic engagement. We continue to challenge previously held norms around what is needed to build our social infrastructure and to embrace democracy beyond elections.

What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

We are launching a new initiative–The Democracy Collective–later this year, and I’m excited to introduce this new incubator to our Cleveland community. I am also excited about our continued collaboration with the PB CLE Coalition. We’ve made tremendous progress and are working diligently to bring participatory budgeting to fruition in Cleveland.

Green and orange text against a white background reads “PB CLE.”
Cleveland VOTES has been very involved with the PB CLE Coalition for the past year.


How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?

I encourage our readers to sign up for our newsletter and stay connected via our social media channels. Our Spring into Democracy virtual event in March also covered a lot of current campaigns Cleveland VOTES is supporting–you can watch the video of the event here. And you can sign up to join the movement for a “people’s budget” in Cleveland by visiting PB CLE’s website.

This year we hosted our first Spring into Democracy event where we shared updates about ongoing Ohio legislative campaigns.

Lique Gates, Senior Strategist

Lique Gates sits on a chair in a white room, facing the viewer. They smile at the photographer.
CV Senior Strategist Angelique Gates

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?

I have been working behind the scenes to help support multiple programs, including our inaugural State of Our Democracy (SOOD) event, the launch of our new program The Democracy Collective, and other projects that the team is working on. I have also continued our education initiatives by partnering with a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art and amplifying our Equitable Civic Engagement Fund on social media. I presented on equitable civic engagement a few times this year as well, such as at the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, at Cleveland Print Room for their winter photography series, and to the Planned Parenthood Ohio team.


Lique Gates sits on a green sofa holding a pamphlet that reads “Building Community Through Civic Engagement.” The pamphlet features a green and pink floral motif.
Lique presented on sustainable civic engagement at one of CVNP’s “Low Power Happy Hour” events. This colorful zine was shared with all attendees.

What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

I would say the launch of The Democracy Collective! Also this year's SOOD. Please be on the lookout for the 2023 theme!


How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?

By subscribing to our newsletter and following our various social media channels. You can also learn more about the goals of State of Our Democracy by viewing our virtual event from 2022.



Lique Gates speaks with a microphone. They are framed by a multicolored balloon arch. A man and woman look on in the background.
Lique speaking at State of Our Democracy 2022.


Robin Turner, Civic Engagement Strategist

Robin Turner sits in a non-visible chair and faces the viewer. She wears a blue outfit and smiles at the photographer.
CV Civic Engagement Strategist Robin Turner

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?

I want to celebrate my one-year anniversary at CV—it has been very enlightening, empowering and encouraging to say the least. I am also proud of being chosen as a fellow for the Center for Artistic Activism’s Unstoppable Voters Fellowship 2023. And I served as a panelist at the White Privilege Conference.

For her local voting work, Robin was chosen to be one of the six Unstoppable Voters Fellows for 2023 (Graphic by C4AA).


What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

This month I’m going to be a panelist at a City Club event for Reentry Week.

I will be starting a project management course at MIT soon. For Cleveland VOTES I am working on the ECEF 2023, the Environmental Justice cohort, HB 458 education + awareness, and programming for the Jream Foundation. In a few months I will also be working on planning NVRD and VED.



How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?

You can learn more about these programs and future opportunities by emailing robin@clevotes or visiting clevotes.com.



Robin will be on a panel to discuss the importance of lessening institutional and legal barriers to employment for returning citizens, and how such changes can create stronger and more equitable communities (Graphic by The City Club of Cleveland).


Tacha Sako, Operations Administrator

 Tacha Sako sits on a non-visible chair and faces the viewer. She wears a gold and black-stripped dress and smiles at the photographer.
CV Operations Administrator Natacha Sako

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?

So far this year I am proud to be back working and doing it with a new baby attached to me. I am also proud of all that my team has accomplished while I was away.

Two women and a baby face the camera and smile.
Tacha, Brianna + baby Nuri co-working at a coffee shop.

What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

Currently my biggest project is to complete an operations guide for internal systems for the team. I am also helping plan and launch the Equitable Civic Engagement Fund, which is just around the corner, and our event State of Our Democracy. And I am excited about the civic holidays in the fall (like National Voter Registration Day and Vote Early Day). We have some great things planned, and I cannot wait to put them into action.


How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?


Sign up for the blog and follow us on all social media. And follow us on Eventbrite so you'll know when we're having an event. And most importantly, attend our events and meet us in person!


Our Eventbrite is a great way to keep up with upcoming CV events and programming like this.






Brianna Zgodinski, Communications + Narrative Strategist

: Brianna Zgodinski sits on a white chair,  facing the viewer. She wears a gold shirt and black pants and is smiling at the photographer.
CV Communications + Narrative Strategist Brianna Zgodinski

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?


Launching this blog, haha! I am also very proud of managing and completing my first Democracy in Review. DIR is a visual report that provides a detailed yearly recap of Cleveland VOTES’ activities and our many partnerships. Democracy in Review 2022 was completed in late March this year. It gives an engaging overview of the four-year Strategic Plan we published last year, campaigns we endorsed in 2022, civic holidays we celebrated, and more! DIR 2022 was written by the CV team and designed by designExplorr. You can read it here.


The cover for Democracy in Review 2022.

What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

I am providing comms support for lots of interesting Cleveland VOTES programming like the Equitable Civic Engagement Fund, State of Our Democracy, and our new Democracy Collective. I am also helping plan a CV brand refresh. Our design consultant firm SunnyBlu and I are working behind the scenes to create a CV website that is more community-oriented, accessible, and stocked with helpful civic engagement information + resources. If you want to offer feedback or ideas for the website update, you can contact me at media@clevotes.com.


How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?

More details about the ECEF grant application will go out in early May, and details about the Democracy Collective will be shared this summer. People who are interested in applying to either opportunity should subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Facebook. You can also email your questions to info@clevotes.com.



We share a lot of updates on our social media pages.

















Sidney Poor, Civic + Creative Engagement Intern


CV, Civic & Engagement Creative Intern, Sidney Poor

What have you accomplished so far in 2023 that you are proud of?

At the beginning of this year, Cleveland VOTES had the goal of increasing organization around our internal capacity planning so that we could all plan our day-to-day and quarter-to-quarter support for each other. I was able to help the team organize a system of programming and professional development that was easy for us all to use and share with each other. I am excited I got a chance to help the team increase our internal communication and learn more about that process!

What projects/campaigns/programming are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

Currently, I am getting the chance to work on revising a White Paper on reimagining our funding stream, which I wrote last summer. As I revise the paper, I am getting a chance to explore bigger research questions about the nonprofit structures in place as they relate to Cleveland VOTES and how we can navigate them. I am also working more and more on creating graphics for our social media, such as informational cards about CV announcements and highlight cards for Democracy in Review 2022!


The cover for Sidney’s White Paper.

How can people learn more about these projects/campaigns/programs?

People can find many of these graphics on social media, such as our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram!


One of the highlight cards Sidney made for Democracy in Review 2022.


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