Gretchen's List: December 2020

Dear Friends,

Here we are: just over a month since Election Day, just under a month until the Georgia special elections, just about three weeks left in 2020. I’ve been spending my time publicly bugging Governor Gavin Newsom about appointing a woman of color to Vice President-elect Harris’s seat, reading autopsies about why polling was so bad for Senate races this cycle, taking a close look at where money failed to move the needle this cycle, and writing emails to the candidates who I supported that lost, to thank them for running and to encourage them to keep me posted on their next steps.

I have also been fundraising and planning some special ways to support Georgia this month. (More details below, but in case you’re looking for the tl;dr version: join me for a conversation with the New South SuperPAC.)

I am grateful to you all for your engagement and outpouring of support for so many candidates and so much grassroots organizing this cycle. Through this list, we raised approximately:

$347,649.79 for women running for the United States Senate;

$204,120.00 for the Biden Victory Fund;

$130,851.10 (and counting!) for campaigns and grassroots organizing for the special elections in Georgia;

$52,294.66 for women running for the United State House of Representatives;

$25,328.00 for women running for State Senate and Legislature seats in Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida;

$5,225.90 for Black women running for District Attorney seats across the country.

When I started this small newsletter in February to more effectively communicate with my network about giving opportunities, I had no idea of the appetite across the country for people interested in learning more. I truly hope that I have been helpful to you this year, and I hope that I can continue to be in elections to come.

Georgia Update & The New South

The Senate run-offs in Georgia are very close, with both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in very slight leads over their Republican opponents. (Warnock is about two points up; Ossoff is about one point up.) Giving what we saw with polling for the November races, though, we should consider both of these races effectively tied (if not with an edge to the Republicans). We must continue to devote resources to supporting organizers in Georgia. Truly, all hopes for the first two years of the Biden administration hang in the balance.

When I was considering what I wanted to do to help the Georgia special elections, my thinking went something like this:

  1. I knew the campaigns will likely be saturated with money, so I wanted to equally, if not more so, focus on grassroots organizing. I put together this slate for funding, and fund it you have! Because several of the organizations on the list are now fully funded, since my last email I’ve added two new organizations: Mijente and Black Voters Matter Fund. If you’ve already donated and want to chip in to those organizations, you can use the same link and customize amounts.

  2. I decided I would only do an event if I could do one with Nse Ufot from the New Georgia Project. And then I decided that Nse was too busy, and I wanted her to be able to focus on doing the work, so I decided to raise money for New Georgia Project Action Fund without taking up her time with a fundraiser (which was good, because apparently I’d have been competing for her time with Oprah). And we did! We brought in 423 donations totaling $24,153.23. I’m happy to report that New Georgia has closed their funding gap.

  3. …. and then I got a phone call. Nse Ufot has a new project: The New South SuperPAC. Did I want to do an event? Well, here we are.

Please join me and Nse Ufot on Wednesday, December 16th at 1pm PT for a briefing on the New South SuperPAC. Suggested giving levels begin at $500, but contributions of any size are very welcome.

New South is designed to take the vision of the new Georgia, win these Senate seats, and expand through the American southeast. New South was created to engage voters on a year-round basis to build long-term institutional change. While New South is focused on the Senate races in Georgia right now, win or lose those seats, you can know your contribution to the New South will be investing in a longer-term infrastructure in southern states. Their vision is in service of the “New South” where Black, Asian Americans, Latinx, Pacific Islanders, queer, and young voices are represented in elected leadership and progressive policies across the region. The overall long-term objective is to create super voters in the 18 to 40 age group and across the rural Black Belt, stretching from eastern Texas to southern Virginia. I believe this organization represents the future of our country, and our best investment for democracy.

Want to learn more about Nse and why I’m so excited about her as a leader? Watch this clip from the documentary series And She Could Be Next.

I hope you’ll join me on December 16th. You can donate and RSVP here. Please let me know if you have any questions.

I’m already looking ahead to 2022: an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania, a gubernatorial contest in Georgia, a House majority that we will have an uphill battle to defend. Even more than before, I will be critically considering how campaigns are using money, so that I can feel confident donations are being used effectively. I would love to hear what races you are already watching, and what is most exciting to you.

Wishing all of you very happy, healthy holidays in the weeks ahead, and better new year.

My best,


P.S. In case you missed the Emerge 15 annual event, you can view it in its entirety here! I am absolutely biased because I love Emerge so much, but I thought it was a truly special event. My favorite part was the conversation between San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Board of Equalization President Malia Cohen, discussing “lifting as they climb” and how they, as Black women in elected office, are working to build the pipeline of Black women serving. You’ll also hear from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem, Virginia House Delegate (and future governor!) Jennifer Carroll Foy, Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott, emcee Alyssa Milano, musical guest Andra Day, and, of course, Emerge’s president A’shanti Gholar.

Donor, sociologist, obsessive researcher. 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. My goals are to help others find their networks and feel more comfortable and informed participating in the political giving space.