On Friday, June 16th, the Center for Civic Innovation welcomed our first ever #VoteLocal Ambassadors. Our #VoteLocal Ambassadors are Atlanta residents that care about making sure their community's voice is heard in November's mayoral, city council and school board elections! We are so excited to work with individuals who will bring greater awareness, education, and continued engagement to their peers and neighbors.
We are excited to welcome our awesome Ambassadors who are representing clusters of NPU’s that we have designated as ‘Areas” (a few neighborhoods are listed as a reference):
- Area 1 (NPU A, B, C, D) Buckhead, North Atlanta: AMBASSADORS NEEDED
- Area 2 (NPU E, F, G) Midtown-West Midtown -West Highlands: Ross Hegtvedt
- Area 3 (NPU J, K, L) English Avenue, Vine City, Grove Park: Gwen Marshall & LaTeef Pyles
- Area 4 (NPU H, I, T) West End, Ashview Heights, Adamsville: Melissa Wardley
- Area 5 (NPU M) Downtown-Five Points-Castleberry Hill: Howard Robinson & Michelle Schreiner
- Area 6 (NPU N, O, W) Inman Park-Kirkwood-Old 4th Ward-EAV: Sophia Gallagher & Constance Franklin
- Area 7 (NPU V, X, Y, Z Adair Park, Mechanicsville, Thomasville): AMBASSADORS NEEDED
- Area 8 (NPU P, Q, R, S) Cascade-Adams Park-Greenbriar-Oakland City: Charnette Trimble & Candice Key
Friday's training was the first time that our #VoteLocal Ambassadors were in the same room together. They began by mingling and introducing themselves, giving them a chance to connect and share experiences. Each of them will host informative events on elections, civic engagement and local issues, become a presence in their neighborhoods, and act as a liaison between the Center for Civic Innovation and individual community.
Ambassadors will be hosting a new program called Civics 101 in their communities. This program was created with the belief that civic participation increases as people are (re)educated on how local government works. Civics 101 kicks off with a game and describes the processes and players in a functioning city government. Throughout their training, the #VoteLocal Ambassadors learned and began to implement their new knowledge. We know that the work they'll do is critical for spreading knowledge about our city’s government! Through events like Civics 101 and other programming that our Ambassadors will implement in communities, Atlantans will begin to feel more knowledgeable and engaged while shaping the future of their city.
Our Ambassadors are coming from all over the city and different walks of life to promote the importance of getting engaged in the electoral process. Meet our Ambassadors and help us celebrate their dedication to our city:
Representing Downtown-Five Points-Castleberry we have Michelle Schreiner & Howard Robinson! Michelle applied to be an ambassador because she wanted to make a positive difference in her community. If Michelle could pick any anthem song it would be “A Beautiful Day” by U2, and says her spirit is like a dolphin.
Howard Robinson Jr. joins the #VoteLocal Ambassador team from the Downtown-Five Points-Castleberry area. Howard has consistently supported CCI and its programming so we are elated to announce he is an Ambassador. He joined the team because he believes, “There is no place like home!”, and that Atlanta contains some of the most creative people in the country and that Atlantans have used this time and again to solve issues in the city. If Howard had an anthem it would be “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison, and his spirit animal is a gorilla, “...because they’re strong vegans”.
From English Avenue-Vine City-Grove Park, we have Lateef Pyles. Lateef was a Westside Innovation Fellow, and is now a neighborhood ambassador looking to spread the word about local elections. His favorite part about Atlanta is the Southern hospitality, because everyone smiles and greets each other. Lateef resonates with the spirit of a turtle and if he had an anthem, it would be “Liberation” by Organized Noize.
Hailing from the Cascade-Adams Park-Greenbriar-Oakland area is Candice Key. Candice joined the team excited to educate her local community and loves Atlanta’s diverse people and wealth of opportunity. If Candice could pick any animal that reflected who she is, she said she would be an elephant. Her theme song would be “Unity” by Queen Latifah.
The Cascade-Adams Park-Greenbriar-Oakland communities are lucky to have Charnette Trimble as one of their #VoteLocal Ambassadors! Ms. Trimble is eager for the chance to educate her neighbors about the upcoming elections. Charnette’s favorite part of Atlanta is Downtown’s skyline and if she had an anthem it would be Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin On.” When asked about what animal would she be if any, she shared, “Cougar”.
Joining as a #VoteLocal Ambassador from the Midtown-West Midtown-West Highlands area is Ross Hegtvedt. Ross’s favorite parts of Atlanta include the abundance of trees and the great people of the city. Ross joined the team because he believes strongly in both the idea of a citizen mayor and in social entrepreneurship. If Ross had a theme song it would be, “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast.
We are excited to welcome Constance Franklin, our new #VoteLocal Ambassador from the Inman Park-Kirkwood-Old 4th Ward area! Constance loves Atlanta’s rich history and culture, as well as the various pockets of diversity throughout the city. “Amazing Grace” would be Constance’s anthem, and if she could be any animal, it would be a butterfly. Constance joined our team because she believes in people’s abilities to be the change they wish to see!
Joining the team from the English Avenue-Vine City-Grove Park area is Gwen Marshall. Gwen loves Atlanta’s rich history, and became a #VoteLocal Ambassador because she knows just how crucial voter and civic engagement is to the future of Atlanta. If Gwen could channel any animal to represent who she is, she said it would be a tiger, and if she had an anthem, it would be “Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige.
Joining us from Inman Park-Kirkwood-Old 4th Ward-EAV, we have Sophia Gallagher. She joined our team to empower and educate communities. Sophia loves the vibrancy of people in Atlanta and all the trees! If she could pick any song to be her anthem it would be “Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow” by Funkadelic.
Melissa Wardley joined the #VoteLocal Ambassador team because she wanted to help voters understand the power that they hold. As a resident of the West End-Ashview Heights-Adamsville area, Melissa notes that her favorite parts of Atlanta are its history and the food. When asked about the animal that best reflected her personality, Melissa’s animal of choice was a lion and her anthem would be “Holy War” by Alicia Keys.