What is Gretchen’s List?

Many Americans feel compelled to use their resources for political change right now, but political giving can be really confusing and overwhelming. It’s hard to know where and in which candidates to invest.

Though I’ve always been politically active, I dove whole-heartedly into political giving after the 2016 election (like… everyone). I like to share frankly about my experience as a donor, so I’ve discussed my thinking on NPR (where my approach was described as “Moneyball meets Emily's List”) and San Francisco Magazine (where I was, along with a slate of incredible women, dubbed a “Queenmaker”), but the truth is there’s nothing I’ve done that isn’t replicable on some scale by anyone with intention and a credit card.

This newsletter includes political updates, candidate recommendations, virtual or San Francisco-based events, and answers to questions I often get, like: If I have $50, what race should I send it to? What candidates are you most excited about? Do you know any good races in [insert home state]? I am not a professional political strategist, but I am an active donor (both to candidates and to organizations that build Democratic and progressive organizing) and I put a lot of research into figuring out which candidates to support, what strategies make the most sense for a given electoral cycle, and what kind of democracy I want to help build. I give primarily to women and people of color; my core issues are reproductive, racial, and climate justice.

In my real job, I am an academic research sociologist, studying reproductive health and justice in the US. I’m also a board member at WDN Action and Emerge America, and steering committee member at Electing Women Bay Area -- but all content here is mine alone and not on behalf of any organization.

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Political fundraising for a Democratic and reflective democracy: candidate events and electoral giving advice, with a focus on women and people of color


Gretchen Sisson

Sociologist and Democratic funder