We’re at the halfway point of a year that feels like it holds a decade’s worth of relentless attacks on our democracy. Most recently, the nation was confronted with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a decision that removed the constitutional protection for abortion and kicked the issue of reproductive healthcare where the stakes are high.
Our Head of Giving Circles Melissa Walker and Director of Research Aaron Kleinman, recently joined the hosts of Gaslit Nation to talk about how you (and your friends!) can have the biggest impact on the issues that matter most to you, by working to build power in state legislatures.
Andrea Chalupa, Gaslit Nation: What can be done about Trump’s onslaught on the local level? Is it just support the states? Support groups like The States Project?
Aaron Kleinman, The States Project: Yes, exactly. The States Project support state legislative candidates who will not go along with the rightwing’s attempts to end representative democracy in America — that’s what it comes down to. We’ve already announced 8 states we’re working in this cycle. One I want to flag in particular is Michigan because for the first time in decades, they have fair maps in place. Because of that, even in a tough year, there is real potential for us to flip a chamber in Michigan.
Andrea Chalupa, Gaslit Nation: The focus is really on these national characters in terms of the right-wing assault on our democracy and it just feels like this horrific reality show that we’re bombarded with every day in the headlines. But when you get up close on this local level, you see a lot more hope. When you pull back the curtain, you see a lot of opportunities here and a lot of reasons to sort of… Not breathe a sigh of relief, but a lot of places where it’s like, “Okay, here are all of our pressure points. Here’s how we’re going to fight back. And we stand a really good chance of winning.”
Melissa Walker, The States Project: I started to see that these state capitals were incredible power centers and places that if we could focus on them, we could make change at the foundations of our democracy as opposed to from the top down. And that’s what really drew me in to working on state legislatures.
Want to help build state legislative majorities who will defend democracy, protect reproductive healthcare, and so much more? Fill out this form and our team will get in touch!