By Elisabet Michaelsen, Volunteer, SDP MA-RI

A political candidate’s message has to be disseminated in multiple ways to be effective and reach as many voters as possible. The classical ways are mailers and canvassing (i.e. knocking doors and speaking with voters). We have such busy lives and only spend a few short moments reading a mailer or engaging a canvasser at the door. Mailers are quite expensive for a political campaign, and canvassing requires time, staff and effort.

Then there are more ways to reach the voter. You also want to be motivated as a campaign volunteer. If you dislike…

Does the name Elizabeth Guzman sound familiar? Perhaps you remember her delivering the 2018 Spanish language response to Trump’s State of the Union address. If you’re an environmentalist, you might know her as a co-founder of the Virginia Green New Deal. Or maybe you recall her presence on the Biden-Harris campaign’s National Latino Leadership Council.

What you may not know is what a creative and relentless advocate Guzman has been for progressive change in Virginia. Sister District Project MA-RI is excited to support Guzman’s reelection bid for a third term as Virginia House Delegate, because she Gets Things Done —…

Last week, we received a phone call at home from a number identified as “Washington, DC.” Our country calling! Of course we picked up. And, ooh boy, was it a doozy.

A voice asked our party affiliation, then asked Question #1: Do we support live-streamed vote-counting (i.e. having a web-cam going at polling sites)? Would we support live-streamed vote-counting if we knew it would deter “election fraudsters?” If “all parties” were granted equal viewing access? If the media had access? If anyone could watch on the Internet?

Question #2: Would we support requiring proof of identity with mail-in ballots? Would…

Photo by Serge van Neck on Unsplash

Like many Americans, I’ve been thinking a lot about guns recently. It’s hard not to, right? Collectively, our 331 million citizens own more than 390 million guns, or an average of more than one per person, according to the Small Arms Survey 2018. With this kind of firepower, it’s no wonder that 13,865 people in this country have been shot to death between January 1 and April 28, 2021 (Gun Violence Archive), or that the US has averaged more than one mass shooting (four or more people shot) per day since the beginning of 2021 (Giffords Law Center). …

Image of Virginia state flag: Roman goddess Virtue defeating a tyrant
Image of Virginia state flag: Roman goddess Virtue defeating a tyrant
Image: IAmEricasFlags

Have you been following the progressive news coming out of Virginia? You know, Virginia — in 2016, ranked the nation’s 49th most difficult state in which to vote, second only to Mississippi? Named by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy in 2018 as the state with the worst partisan (GOP) state-legislative gerrymandering in the country? The state with such an egregious history of racial discrimination, it was one of the nine states singled out for “preclearance” in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, meaning it had to obtain federal approval for any proposed changes to voting laws?

Aubrey Odom for Unsplash

Thank you, Bay State legislators! By overriding Governor Baker’s veto of the ROE Act, you’ve protected women’s health (and, by extension, the wellbeing of women’s families and partners). Co-sponsored by State Senator Cynthia Creem, the Act protects abortion access in Massachusetts, and is a critical bulwark against potential restrictions and rollbacks by SCOTUS.

But we can learn something from Baker’s veto. He objected specifically to one provision in the Act: the lowering of the age at which women can seek abortion without parental or judicial consent, from 18 to 16. It’s a common objection — that teenagers’ undeveloped and un-myelinated…

Tingey Injury Law Firm for Unsplash

It’s been said, by New York State’s former Chief Judge, no less, that a grand jury would “indict a ham sandwich.” So why not Breonna Taylor’s killers?

Forgive me if you’re a lawyer type and this is Legal 101. But for English majors like me — woefully uneducated about the grand jury process — I’ve gleaned the following from a lawyer friend. I found it helpful in understanding how, procedurally speaking, this utterly counterintuitive, inhumane result came about. …

Morning Brew for UnSplash

Over the past three years, I’ve been proselytizing for Sister District Project to anyone who will listen (and quite a few who won’t). Why? Because SDP understands a truth long grasped by the right: state elections matter.

Our elected state Representatives and state Senators pass laws that wield immense power over our daily lives. State laws largely govern policing, for example. State laws determine district maps, and ensure election protection (or suppression). State laws guarantee access to healthcare, reproductive and otherwise. State laws allocate funding to protect the environment, finance public education, and safeguard small businesses. …

Arto Marttinen for Unsplash

There’s a reason we here at Sister District Project MA-RI are working like busy bees to get three candidates elected to the Florida House in November. With the exception of one year, the GOP has maintained trifecta control of the state House, Senate, and Governorship since 1999… and look where that’s gotten us:

Pick a day, any day: when it comes to coronavirus cases, Florida has been breaking records all summer. 15,300 — the highest number of new virus cases reported by any US state in a single day (July 12). 1,230 — a state record for COVID-related deaths reported…

Elyssa Fahndrich for UnSplash


Just a few years ago, the commonwealth of Virginia was in a sorry state. The Old Dominion had cemented its status as one of the worst-gerrymandered states in the nation, with several illegal-racial-gerrymandering cases on the books to prove it. Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton won over Virginia voters in 2016 by more than 5 percentage points, an entrenched Republican majority prevailed in the state’s General Assembly, systematically diluting the votes of citizens of color and stonewalling everything from Medicaid expansion to gun-safety legislation.

No longer.

Backed by the hard work…

Juliet Eastland

Writer with many strong opinions.

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