EP 013 Kat Calvin is Spreading the Vote

Kat Calvin.png

This week, I speak with Kat Calvin, the founder of Spread the Vote.

After the Supreme Court took the teeth out of the voting rights act in 2013, conservative lawmakers started passing Voter ID laws around the country. So now we have eligible voters in 34 states that are turned away from polling stations because they don’t have a state-issued ID.

So Kat founded Spread the Vote as a way to get people their IDs, so they know they can vote, and so that they won’t be turned away at polling stations on Election Day.

Kat was recognized in Fast Company's 2018 list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, and was named one of Business Insider’s 30 Under 30. She was also featured in one of BET's Black History Month profiles.

We talked about:

  • What motivated her to build Spread the Vote from scratch

  • How leadership means knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and then putting your ego aside when it’s time to let someone else’s strengths shine

  • The crucial difference between being a CEO/executive director, and being a founder

  • What life looks like as someone at the head of an ambitious organization working to secure people’s voting rights in the run up to a major election

Paul Zelizer