Statehouse Futures 2022: A Recap

Statehouse Futures 2022: A Recap

This past Tuesday, we at DPN, alongside the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and Run for Something Action Fund, hosted our second annual Statehouse Futures summit. With over a thousand state leaders, staffers, and advocates representing all 50 states (+DC & Puerto Rico) RSVPing, it was one of the largest state policy and strategy gatherings this year.

If you missed the summit, we fortunately have videos of some of the panels:

Opening Remarks + Keynotes

  • Amanda Litman — Co-founder & Executive Director, Run for Something Action Fund
  • Chris Melody Fields Figueredo — Executive Director, The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC)
  • Pete Davis — Co-founder, The Democracy Policy Network (DPN)
  • Rep. Anna V. Eskamani — Florida House of Representatives
  • Greg Jackson — Executive Director of the Community Justice Action Fund

Running with Values

How candidates can turn their campaign promises into actionable legislation and protect their brand and platform while serving in office.

  • Sen. Emily Randall — Washington State Senate
  • Rep. Manny Espitia — NH House of Representatives, Northern Regional Director, Run for Something Action Fund
  • Sen. Chloe Maxmin — State Senator, Maine
  • Sen. Becca Rausch — State Senator, Massachusetts
  • More information on Washington's Universal Health Care Commission here
  • More information on Sen. Randall's legislation to expand postpartum Medicaid here

Ballot Measures as a Tool for Change

Ballot Measures were created as a way for the people to have a direct influence on the laws that govern their daily lives. Join state leaders in a conversation around how they successfully leveraged this tool to create bold change for their communities.

  • Marsha Donat — BISC
  • Dre Chiriboga-Flor — Colorado State Director, 9to5 Colorado
  • Theeda Murphy — Co-Director, No Exceptions Prison Collective
  • More information on ballot measure for paid family leave in Colorado here

Social Housing in My Backyard

How state leaders can promote the public provision of housing — and the zoning changes necessary to bring it to your neighborhood.

  • Alex Lee — Member of the California Assembly
  • Paul Williams — Executive Director, Center for Public Enterprise
  • Patricia Bordallo Dibildox — KC Tenants Leader
  • Social Housing Chronicle substack here
  • Social Housing bill in CA here
  • KCTenants website here
  • Reclaim RI social housing update here
  • Tenant purchase opportunities information here

Non-Carceral First Responders

How states can promote community safety with the replacement of police response to mental health crises with alternate first responders, such as the innovative models piloted in Eugene, Oregon and Austin, Texas.

  • Thea Sebastian — Policy Director, Civil Rights Corps
  • State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa — 1st Hampshire District, Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Sen. Robert Peters — Illinois State Senate
  • Info on CESSA in IL, sponsored by Sen. Peters, here
  • ACES bill in MA, sponsored by Rep. Sabadosa, here
  • Story on 988 hotline here
  • Recent partnership in LA here
  • Story on ending cash bail in IL here
  • Eight ideas on building community safety here

Tackling Monopoly Power

How states can raise wages, lower prices, and empower the public to reclaim control over their economic lives

  • Michael Gianaris — New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader
  • Michael Swerdlow — Antimonopoly Lead, Democracy Policy Network
  • Solana Rice — Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director of Liberation in a Generation
  • NY S933A here
  • DPN's antimonopoly reform policy kit for state leaders here
  • Liberation in a Generation's Antimonopoly Activism report here

Green Homes

How states can create a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization while expanding their workforce and creating family-sustaining jobs in a growing sector.

  • Patrick Bigger — Research Director, Climate and Community Project
  • State Senator Nikil Saval — Pennsylvania's First Senatorial District
  • Blair St. Ledger-Olson — Legislative Director, Climate Cabinet
  • Rollie Williams — Creator/Host, Climate Town
  • Climate Town youtube channel here
  • Natural gas pre-emption bill mentioned by Blair here
  • Sen. Saval on Whole-Home Repairs here
  • Story on Sen. Saval's Whole-Home Repairs legislation here

Protecting the People’s Tool

Ballot measures are a critical part of building an inclusive, participatory, and thriving democracy. We can work in partnership with state legislators to ensure we protect this vital tool of democracy and build the equitable and just world our people deserve. Join the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center to learn how we can all play a vital role in protecting the initiative process.

  • Gina Moore — Senior Manager, Defend Direct Democracy, BISC
  • Kentiya Orange — Policy & Legal Advocacy Manager, BISC

Banding Together: Political Cooperatives

Learn how state leaders are coming together — as candidates through political cooperatives — to push a shared agenda.

  • Sen. Cynthia Mendes — Rhode Island State Senate
  • Jennifer Rourke — Co-founder, Rhode Island Political Cooperative
  • Pete Davis — Co-founder, The Democracy Policy Network (DPN)
  • RI Political Co-op here
  • Recent Intercept story on the RI Political Co-op here
  • Story on recent automatic expungement clause Sen. Mendes mentioned here

Reproductive Freedom

How states can advance abortion rights, protections, and access in response to the Dobbs decision.

  • Tresa Undem — Partner, PerryUndem
  • Sen. Tiara Mack — Rhode Island State Senate
  • Beulah Osueke — Deputy Director, New Voices for Reproductive Justice
  • Sommer Foster Co-Executive Director + Michigan Voices
  • Coverage on recent Michigan petition here
  • Guttmacher state reports example (Minnesota) here

Open Educational Resources

How states can create more open, collaborative, educational curriculum in public schools and universities—and in doing so, save students and schools money, provide better outcomes, and challenge state censorship.

  • Hal Plotkin — Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Education (2009-2014); Senior Scholar, ISKME
  • Nicole Allen — Director of Open Education, SPARC
  • Graceanne Hoback — Student PIRGs Open Textbooks Coordinator, Student PIRGs; FSU PIRG Club President
  • Pete Davis — Co-founder, The Democracy Policy Network (DPN)
  • Student PIRGs Open Textbooks guide here
  • SPARC OER Policy Playbook here
  • History on OER here
  • GoOpen K-12 OER info here
  • ISKME info here
  • Hal Plotkin interview on OER here
  • Hal Plotkin's Free to Learn here

Public Medications

How states can kickstart the public manufacture, purchase, and sale of pharmaceuticals, as recently seen in California, Maine, and Washington with insulin.

  • Dana Brown — Director of Health & Economy, Democracy Collaborative
  • Zain Rizvi — Research Director, Public Citizen
  • Pete Davis — Co-founder, The Democracy Policy Network (DPN)
  • Dana Brown report on Medicine for All here
  • More in-depth DPN briefing on public medications policy here
  • Deseret News story on public medication state policy here

100% Democracy

How states can respond to unrelenting attacks on voting rights by creating a system and culture where everyone voting is the norm—through policies including: universal civic duty voting, democracy dashboards, and civic transitions.

  • Dr. Melissa R. Michelson — Dean of Arts & Sciences, Menlo College
  • Sam Novey — Visiting Fellow, SNF Agora Institute
  • Ashley C. J. Daniels, Ph.D. — 2021-2022 ACLS Leading Edge Fellow, Black Girls Vote
  • Amaad Rivera — Chief of Staff, City of Green Bay; Founder, Democracy Fellows
  • Party at the Mailbox info here
  • Black Girls Vote info here
  • 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting by E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport book here

You better (Clerk) Work!

It could take just one bad local election official to undermine the entire election – one anti-democracy city clerk in Wisconsin or one conspiracy-minded county recorder in Arizona could be the determinant for decades of anti-democratic leadership. Run for Something Action Fund is working to scale to meet the crisis with the urgency it requires. Learn more about how Run for Something Action Fund, CSME and other organizations have partnered with 5,000+ pro-democracy election officials to protect our democracy.

  • George Stern — Clerk and Recorder, Jefferson County, Colorado
  • Quentin Savwoir — Political Director, Run for Something Action Fund
  • Katharine Clark — Santa Fe County Clerk, New Mexico
  • Story on vote by mail success in Colorado here

If you found Statehouse Futures useful, you might find its co-hosts useful, too:

  • Learn more about how Run for Something Action Fund helps people run for office here.
  • Check out the The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center ballot measure hub, sign-up for BISC's weekly ballot measure news round-up, and apply for trainings here.
  • And if you are interested in raising up ideas for deepening democracy, join up with the Democracy Policy Network here, browse DPN's agenda here, and support DPN here.

See you next year at Statehouse Futures 3!