For the first time in decades, the Left is on the rise in the United States. This resurgence has primarily been driven forward by local and national struggles. In towns across the country, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapters have helped win important victories, such as achieving paid sick days in Austin, Texas and electing six socialists to city council in Chicago. And on a national level, the efforts of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have captured the imagination of millions.

These types of advances in our cities and in the national political arena are essential, but they’re not enough. Our strategy has a crucial missing link: we’re not yet consistently building power on a statewide level.

State governments in our country are far too influential to be ignored. Decisions made in the fifty capitols determine which residents get to vote; who bears the obligation of financing public services; the strength of union rights and labor protections; access to comprehensive health care for women and trans people; the criminalization of black and brown residents; and the funding allocation for everything from schools to prisons to nursing homes. […]