Why States?

The question we get from Sister District volunteers more than any other:

Why state legislatures?

The answer: because state policies matter, for their constituents and for all of us. As the federal government continues its crusade against compassion and common sense, state legislatures are becoming more important as bulwarks against injustice.

For a deep dive into Sister District strategy and the question of why states matter, read this Medium article co-authored by Sister District co-founder Gaby Goldstein. Or watch Robert Reich in conversation with SDP about the importance of state legislatures:

States matter because:

  • GOTV (get-out-the-vote) efforts flow upticket. Getting voters to the polls for down-ticket state level races, helps ensure that more voters will come out for the Governor and Congressional races, and in the process creates a more knowledgeable electorate.

  • States control redistricting and 2020 is around the corner. Republicans currently control 66 of 99 state legislatures, and we want more Democratic representatives in office before district lines are redrawn after the 2020 census.

  • State policies have a day-to-day impact. Roads, schools, public transportation, clean water – these are the issues that voters know the most about and impact them in their daily lives.

  • Small dollars make a big impact. The $5,000 that we raise from 250 of our New England volunteers making $20 donations each can blanket a district with flyers or help a campaign in innumerable other ways. A little bit of money goes a long way.

  • States are policy laboratories: ¬†policies piloted in one state spread to other states (automatic voter registration, sanctuary cities) and even become federal law (Romney-care, gay marriage). But not all examples are positive – voter ID restrictions, union-busting, restricted access to Planned Parenthood – and these laws are spreading through red states like viruses. STATES MATTER.

If you’re feeling powerless, like a tiny fish in an enormous pond — know that in a state legislative district, you are actually a huge fish in a small pond! The easiest and most effective way you can make a real impact in 2018: get involved in state elections and help your friends in red/purple districts nationwide flip some seats from red to blue. This is what we do at Sister District!