Meet Our Team

You Can Vote began as an ALL VOLUNTEER program. We are fortunate to have recruited talented staff to effectively support and mobilize our outstanding volunteers — 2500 and growing!


 

Kate Fellman

Founder, Executive Director

Why I started at You Can Vote: I became passionate about voting and volunteering for elections when I was just a kid! I’ve worked with the community in every election cycle in North Carolina since 2008, and have seen first-hand the mass confusion around what’s on the ballot and how, when, and where to vote. There was little focus on easily accessible, simple voting information to help encourage and support voting among infrequent voters and those that are disengaged and frustrated by partisan politics. When the NC legislature changed our election law in 2013, voters became even more confused and frustrated. We created and launched You Can Vote in 2014 as a permanent educational campaign to mobilize volunteers and build community leadership that helps voters navigate the rules and cast their vote. North Carolina voters deserve easy and equitable ballot access and support in making their voice heard.

More about me: Raised in Minnesota, I began my organizing career on Senator Paul Wellstone’s final campaign. He instilled in me the values of grassroots organizing that is centered on lifting up the voices of community members by empowering people to lead and become key decision-makers in their community.

Ask me about: Evidenced-based communications, parenting a child with limb loss, ending childhood bullying, yoga, my family (including our numerous pets!).


Caitlin Metzguer

Deputy Director

Why I started at You Can Vote: I love to be involved with voters through the steps of registering to vote, turning out to vote, and making connections to how elections influence daily life. I like how You Can Vote programming sticks to successfully getting voters involved in our systems, and I love being able to be part of the outreach to new voters.

More about me: I am originally from Hillsborough, NC, and graduated from UNC Greensboro. I spent four years after college in New Orleans doing rehousing and homelessness prevention, before returning home to NC to help implement the Affordable Care Act. I love reading, and I’m always looking for the latest Durham coffee shop.

Ask me about: how NC is the perfect model for the fight for voting rights, cold brew coffee


Zion Lemelle

Mecklenburg County Organizing Director

Why I started at You Can Vote: I joined You Can Vote because it offers volunteers top notch training while preparing individuals to be the difference within their own communities.

More about me: I'm originally from South Carolina but grew up right here in the beautiful Queen city. I started my humble beginnings doing non-partisan voter registration and became more involved in candidate work. I have managed several campaign offices across state lines. I also serve as a child and family advocate within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools. I love working with YCV because it appeals to the community as a whole. We are stronger together.

Ask me about: Mental health, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), canvassing, family building, community resources


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Jennifer (Jenn) Thomas

Regional Organizing Director - Wake County 

Why I started at You Can Vote: I love voting! I think getting more people voting and involve in our democracy will help make elections more positive all around. I love that YCV is data-driven and uses proven methods to increase turnout. I see my role as empowering volunteers to get involved and create the change they want to see in their communities. 

More about me: I’m originally from Greensboro and went to college at UNC in Chapel Hill. After a first career teaching Latin and ancient history, I decided I needed to be more actively involved in today’s world, so I got involved in grassroots organizing for political campaigns. I’m excited to be back in North Carolina. In my spare time I like to read and bake.  

Ask me about: Roman history, Rhode Island coffee milk, a super-easy 2,000-year-old recipe for cheese biscuits


Leila D. Lewis

Guilford County Organizing Director

Why I started at You Can Vote: You Can Vote’s mission is an extension of my personal mission, to make sure folks have all the information they need to make educated decisions for themselves and their families. Additionally, I love working with volunteers who are passionate about working in their communities to make a difference.

More about me: As a self-proclaimed community wholeness advocate I can be found in the community operating as a doula, breastfeeding counselor, childbirth advocate, arts education advocate and dance theatre artist.

Ask me about: Local arts opportunities, anything birth related, creatively tasty meals for picky spouses/toddlers


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Bob Stewart

Eastern NC Organizer

Why I started at You Can Vote: After retirement I was looking for something more meaningful to do with my time than playing pickleball. When I learned about YCV, I immediately recognized that it was a perfect match and an extension of my personal and political values. Working with volunteers and people around the issue of registering, voter education and participation is fundamental to our democracy. With US voter participation the lowest of any other western industrialized country, every day we at YCV are helping to strengthen our democracy.  

More about me: I was born and raised in Indiana. I received a BS in US History from Ball State University and a Master’s in Social Work from Indiana University. I retired after 39 years with organized labor – 7 years with AFSCME and 32 years with UFCW.

Ask me about: I enjoy going kayaking, to farmers markets and art galleries with my wife Sharon. I also enjoy spending time with my two children, their spouses and my two lovely granddaughters. I love US History and you can ask me about the “Compromise of 1877” and its impact on current events today.


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Patricia Reed

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Deputy Organizer, Durham

Why I started at You Can Vote:  After working on a campaign in 2008,  I knew that I would love working with You Can Vote after I attended one of their first trainings in 2014. I have been part of the team since that day. I like making sure that everyone I talk to is a registered voter.   

More about me: I am retired for one year now. I am the mother of three children and the grandmother of 16 and have 12 great grandchildren. I make sure that my grandchildren and great grandchildren know that voting is very important.

Ask me about: How you can get registered to vote, helping to raise my grandson.


Some of our great volunteers wearing the orange You Can Vote shirts stand in front of a table with a You Can Vote banner and a variety of pamphlets and clipboards.
 

In addition to our staff, we have and an organizing consultant, Liza Hazirjian, and volunteer leadership team members who give of their time, talent, and energy to make You Can Vote an effective, efficient and beneficial program for our community.