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Podcast: Tending to Democracy with Robert Hubbell

Tending to democracy is constant work, and a lot of that work often gets focused on the cracks in our democracy that are forming at the federal level. But if you trace those cracks down to where they started, you’ll see the foundations of our democracy are state legislatures — and that’s where we have to dig in to create change.

Melissa Walker, our Head of Giving Circles, joined Robert Hubbell for this episode of Today’s Edition to talk about how The States Project can help people contribute to changes at the state legislature level that will have a seismic impact on Congress, the Supreme Court, and the presidency.

Read a snippet of their conversation and listen to the full episode here!


Robert Hubbell, Today’s Edition: Six states currently outlaw abortion, and those states simply took advantage of something that happened in the Supreme Court. It seems like a Senate problem or a federal problem, but this issue is really about state legislatures. I think that really drives home the notion that yes, federal politics and national politics matter, but states legislatures are critical as well. So Melissa, what does The States Project do? How does it hope to affect change?

Melissa Walker, The States Project: We’re in the state legislative districts that we need to win to take the majority in state capitols — because taking the majority is what actually changes policies and changes outcomes for people’s lives. Before we go into a state, we do an in-depth data analysis to ensure we’re targeting critical seats that will help build a new majority or defend a vulnerable one. We work to ensure that all the seats we need to flip or protect are fully funded campaigns using research-based best practices.

It is often cheaper to change the balance of power in a state chamber than it is to win a single competitive congressional seat. Congressional races cost millions of dollars, but state legislative races do not. So our return on investment here is huge–especially when you consider that state lawmakers are the ones who draw the district lines that decide who goes to Congress and can affect federal races as well.


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!