Your Primary Playlist is an interview-style show that breaks down the major issues facing our country, how to define “electability,” and what to expect from this presidential election. Every week join Host Emily Tisch Sussman, a veteran of political campaigns and issue advocacy, to talk issue by issue, candidate by candidate, and state by state with the women who know them best. With guests including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Cecile Richards, Emily offers a comprehensive primer on what you need to know to feel ready to cast your ballot, granting behind-the-scenes access to the activism, movements, people, and research that have brought these issues to the forefront of this election.
Your Primary Playlist was named one of Refinery29’s Best New Podcasts for 2020 and has received multiple features on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. Emily’s January 2020 interview with Hillary Clinton broke headlines in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, and several other outlets, driving a 48-hour news cycle in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial and the weekend leading up to the Iowa caucuses.The show was called “required listening for any Democrat” by the National Field Director for Swing Left and “an in-depth policy brief with context around the democratic evolution on these issues” by a national political reporter for a major news outlet. 

Featured In

Season One

VOTING RIGHTS: Stacey Abrams

In the season finale, Emily talks to Leader Abrams about how Fair Fight tackles voter suppression by focusing on litigation, legislation, and advocacy. Leader Abrams also weighs in on how the primary candidates have been talking about voting rights, and shares what might motivate her to accept a job offer from a presidential nominee.

INFRASTRUCTURE: FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Emily Chatterjee

In this episode, Emily talks to Emily Chatterjee, Senior Counsel at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and Jessica Rosenworcel, the Federal Communications Commissioner. They each share what a comprehensive infrastructure plan would actually look like and which presidential candidates are talking about it in the right way.

THE FUTURE OF WORKS: Angela Hanks

In this episode, Emily talks to Angela Hanks, Deputy Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, to find out what the future of work really means, from fair wages, to union strength and more.

FOREIGN POLICY: Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Kate Hoit

In this episode, Emily sits down with Ambassador Wendy Sherman to understand Trump’s nationalist approach, and what effective foreign policy should look like in the 21st century. Emily also speaks to Kate Hoit, Senior Advisor at VoteVets.org and Director at Vet Voice Foundation, to get her opinion on the situation in Syria.

IMPEECHMENT: Rep. Abigail Spanberger

In this special bonus episode, Emily spoke with Representative Abigail Spanberger, whose op-ed, co-penned along with six other freshman Democrats, played a key role in spurring the House Democrats to open a formal impeachment inquiry.

THE ROLE OF THE DNC: Seema Nanda

In this episode, Emily talks to the CEO of the DNC, Seema Nanda, about employing a fifty-state strategy, focusing on down-ballot races, and working closely with presidential candidates throughout the primary process.

LOCAL POLITICS AND GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING: Live with Tori Taylor

In this episode, Emily talks with Tori Taylor, Head of Political Organizing at Swing Left, on what local politics and grassroots organizing can teach us about winning close elections in 2020 and beyond. This episode was recorded at a live event hosted by the Wednesday Group, which was formed after the 2016 election as a hub for activism moving forward.

ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE CRISIS: Tiernan Sittenfeld

In this episode, Emily talks with Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, about how climate policy has regressed under President Trump and how the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates hope to address the climate crisis.

LIVE WITH RENT THE RUNWAY: Jenn Hyman and Fatima Goss Graves

In this episode, Emily speaks with experts on shaking up policy and business to improve workplace policies. This episode was recorded live in Washington, D.C with Jenn Hyman, CEO of Rent the Runway, and Fatima Goss Graves, CEO and President of the National Women’s Law Center.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Josie Duffy Rice

In this episode, Emily talks with Josie Duffy Rice, journalist, lawyer and President of The Appeal, about where the candidates stand on policing, clemency, marijuana legalization and more.

WILL WHITE WOMEN SWING BLUE IN 2020?: Jenna Arnold

In this episode, Emily seeks to understand how this voting bloc will or won’t show up for democrats in 2020 with Jenna Arnold, co-founder of ORGANIZE and a National Organizer for the Women’s March on Washington.

DYMISTIFYING CAMPAIGNS: Allison Zelman

In this episode, Emily talks with Allison Zelman, Former Director of States and Deputy Political & Organizing Director for the DNC, about field organizing and what it takes to win a campaign.

IMMIGRATION: Angie Kelley and Wendy Carrillo

In this episode, Emily talks with Angie Kelley and Wendy Carrillo about the state of our immigration policy and the 2020 candidate platforms.

GUN REFORM: Chelsea Parsons and Patricia Oliver

In this episode, Emily talks with Chelsea Parsons, Vice President of Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress, and Patricia Oliver, who lost her son, Joaquin, in the Parkland shooting.

HEALTHCARE: Dr. Alice Chen

In this episode, Emily talks with Dr. Alice Chen, former executive director of Doctors for America, about the Affordable Care Act and how politics have shifted around healthcare.

LET’S TALK ECONOMY: Neera Tanden

In this episode, Emily talks with Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, about the state of our economy and how the 2020 candidates are approaching economic policy.

ABORTION AND THE POWER OF WOMEN: Cecile Richards

In this episode, Emily talks with Cecile Richards about how women are driving progressive change in elections across the country and where the 2020 candidates stand on reproductive rights.

SETTING THE STAGE: Nancy Pelosi

In this episode, Emily sets the scene by chatting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the present and future of the Democratic party, the main issues at stake this election cycle, and how Democrats can succeed. Plus, what music does Speaker Pelosi jam out to in her free time?

Season Two

NEVADA: First in the West

In this episode, Emily sits down with Nevada’s Lt. Governor Kate Marshall and state Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss the issues important to Nevada’s diverse population, and Mi Familia Vota’s Cecia Alvardo discusses the importance of organizing in the state’s Latinx communities before elections.

BONUS: EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock

In this special bonus episode, Emily sits down with EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock. EMILY’s List is dedicated to getting pro-choice Democratic women elected into office and preparing women for careers in public service. Emily and Stephanie discuss the diverse viewpoints of women in leadership, the myth of “electability,” and the fight for 2020.

New Hampshire: The First Primary

In this special bonus episode, Emily sits down with Senator Maggie Hassan to discuss the Granite State’s active electorate and history of political involvement. She also speaks with the former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Kathy Sullivan, to talk about what’s stayed the same and what’s changed in the minds of New Hampshire voters. 

IOWA: First In The Nation

In this episode, Emily tackles the Iowa Caucus. She interviews the former Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman, Sue Dvorsky, to discuss some unique Iowan traditions and why the Hawkeye state is the first primary every presidential election cycle. Emily also sits down with Iowan political operative Brenda Kole to learn about how the Caucus works, along with Sen. Gillibrand’s former Iowa director Lara Henderson, who talks about the impact female candidates have had on the race.

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