March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we’ll be profiling D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, is heading the project. Today she profiles Ashley Spillane. If you’d like to suggest someone for Amy to profile, tweet at her. -ed.
Ashley Spillane is President of Rock the Vote, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization committed to engaging young people in the political process by educating, registering, and turning them out to vote.
Ashley shares her generation’s entrepreneurial spirit and is constantly tracking the latest trends to make critical issues more relatable to Millennials. Following successful efforts in 2014, she is focused on expanding Rock the Vote’s efforts across the country to reach an even broader audience ahead of the 2016 presidential election. In her first year as President of Rock the Vote, she reinvigorated the iconic youth organization with the launch of the Turn Out for What campaign, which garnered 11 million views within the first two weeks and was featured in major media outlets like Rolling Stone, Elle, US Weekly, CNN and Time – all of which helped the organization process nearly 800,000 online voter registration applications through its technology in 2014.
Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Ashley spearheaded the creation of an interactive online platform at The Atlas Project, giving campaigns and organizations access to critical data and tools needed to run smart, strategic political programs. She simultaneously ran a nonprofit dedicated to recruiting, training and supporting young people to work in politics as a career. She has worked on numerous electoral campaigns across the country, including presidential, gubernatorial and congressional campaigns in Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota and Maryland.
Ahsley is moved by the passion and commitment to positive change in D.C. Although being asked what you do for a living in every conversation can get stale, Ashley notes that that people genuinely want to hear about what you’re doing to change the world — and want to share the ways they are doing so.
Ashley wants to inspire people to make their communities, our country and the world a better place. She feels very fortunate to work with Rock the Vote because she genuinely believes that we have a unique opportunity to create positive change through our political process. She is just as frustrated with politics as the next Millennial, but she feels very strongly that it’s “on us” to step up and demand to be heard by the people representing us in elected office. By sheer numbers alone, Millennials have the potential to wield great political power — we are the largest generation in the country’s history and outnumber even the Baby Boomers. She sees no reason and no excuse for any young person to sit out elections — the system isn’t going to fix itself and staying home certainly doesn’t make anyone want to pay more attention to the issues we care about.
Woman She Admires
Ashley finds strength and motivation in Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a badass young woman who stands up for what she believes in and stands up to create the world she wants to live in. She lives her truth, despite the likelihood of being killed for doing so. Ashley admires women who stand in service to the greater good. Malala’s courage is even more impressive as a teenager. Malala’s strength teaches us what incredible power we have to make a difference.
Ashley’s Favorite Quote
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead