Success in the States: How Outstanding State Lawmakers Lead and Govern

State legislatures play a critical role in governing the United States. They serve as the workbenches of our “laboratories of democracy.” And one out of two members of Congress have previously held office as state legislators. Thus the craftways of representation, legislation, and oversight they learn–or fail to–in statehouses leave a profound imprint on our democracy.

How do the best state legislators approach their responsibilities and build sustainable coalitions in our fractious political environment? How do they succeed in politics and policymaking? How do they lead and govern? Looking ahead, how are the challenges and prospects evolving for stellar leadership of the sort they provide–and should that give us hope or pause for the future?

To explore these questions, “Success in the States” will bring state lawmakers identified by independent observers as exceptional political leaders into conversation with each other. The lawmakers will be joined at this event by leaders of nonprofits dedicated to supporting better political leadership in the U.S. to reflect on the issues at stake for our democracy.

The co-hosts for this lunchtime event include the Center for Effective Lawmaking, the Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy, Lyceum Labs, and the Millennial Action Project.



12-12:15 — Gathering / box lunches served

12:15-12:25 — Opening remarks, Daniel Stid, Executive Director, Lyceum Labs

12:25-1:10 — Panel 1: Campaigning, Governing, and Working Across the Aisle

  • Senator John Michael Montgomery, Oklahoma State Senate (R)
  • Representative Ajay Pittman, Oklahoma State House (D)
  • Layla Zaidane, President and CEO, Millennial Action Project
  • Craig Volden, Co-director, Center for Effective Lawmaking

1:10-1:55 — Panel 2: Effective Lawmaking and Oversight in the States

  • Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, Oregon State Senate (D)
  • Senator Ann Rivers, Washington State Senate (R)
  • Jim Townsend, Director, Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy
  • Alan Wiseman, Co-director, Center for Effective Lawmaking

1:55-2:00 — Closing reflections: Daniel Stid, Executive Director, Lyceum Labs


This event will be held on Monday, December 12, 2022 from Noon to 2PM. Lunch will be provided for all attendees. Please RSVP by Tuesday, December 6.


Event Address:

Offices of the Partnership for Public Service

600 14th Street, NW; Suite 600

Washington, DC 20005

Garrett Hall at Sunset

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