Designed to build upon the down-ballot momentum generated last cycle, the State Bridges program activates Sister District volunteers across the country to fundraise for organizations leading year-round power-building work in key states.
We know that progressive victories are possible when we support local power-building organizations and the activists that lead them. Long-term community-based organizing, often led by people of color, lays the critical foundation of civic engagement that leads to our collective ability to build progressive power in state legislatures come Election Day. The State Bridges program creates a way for the Sister District community to fundraise for select partner organizations doing this work in our 2021 and 2022 target states.
The strategy is clear: with greater resources, our partner organizations on the ground can do more, which will lay the groundwork for our candidates to win on Election Day and to build power in the long term.
In 2021, Sister District held 9 virtual fundraisers supporting 10 State Bridges partners. Each event was hosted by Sister District volunteer teams, featured a special guest or two from the partner organization, and included opportunities for volunteers and attendees to ask questions and learn more about what’s happening on the ground in these critical states.
We evaluate organizations for inclusion in our State Bridges program consultation with leaders and activists on the ground. To be featured in this program, organizations must be organizing year round in a Sister District target state. We prioritize organizations that organize and advocate at the state legislative level, and that are led by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), women and/or young people.
If you’re interested in learning more about our State Bridges partners, check out the recordings and transcripts of each event in the series below!
We the People Action Fund works to build long-term deep organizing infrastructure focused on local and regional issues that impact communities across Michigan. They work to keep elected officials and corporate and elite actors accountable for the roles they play in shaping policy landscapes. They work to foster stable, long-lasting alliances across urban, suburban, and rural communities that are explicitly multi-racial with a racial justice lens. They facilitate space for relationships, dialogue, and shared strategies across diverse communities
We the People Action Fund’s organizing principle is that we all deserve a decent life, and that in order to ensure that all Michigan families and communities can thrive, we must embrace our shared belonging and demand prosperity for everyone, not just the wealthy few.
Mothering Justice is dedicated to returning decision making power to the ones affected by these decisions the most. By empowering mothers to influence policy on behalf of themselves and their families, Mothering Justice hopes to change the future of families in Michigan for the better. Their goal is to empower a well-organized group of mothers that can engage fellow mothers and law makers around a variety of issues that affect working families.
When women with children are not able to advocate for solutions to the problems they care about, a vital voice is missing from the discussion. Through advocacy, leadership development, voter empowerment, and promoting family-friendly advocacy, Mothering Justice will raise the voices of mothers and help them become policy makers and shapers.
Our joint State Bridges event for Mothering Justice and We the People took place on August 12. It was hosted by Sister District Greater Chicago and Sister District Sacramento.
Pennsylvania Stands Up was founded in 2018 with the goal of building a multiracial movement of working people committed to creating a Pennsylvania that works for everyone. They have allowed for several grassroots organizations and campaigns across the state to combine forces, deepen their involvement, and scale up their work to build people power across Pennsylvania.
Over the past three years, PA Stands Up has made tremendous gains across the state, developing nascent resistance groups into lasting grassroots infrastructure in areas where there had been little to no progressive investment. By investing deeply in membership development and new organizing tactics, PA Stands Up has created one of the strongest independent organizations in the country.
The New Georgia Project Action Fund’s (NGPAF) mission is to increase civic participation of underrepresented and underserved communities of colors in Georgia by building grassroots political power in support of progressive candidates, policies, and issues. To meet the changing demographics of Georgia, harness the unheard voices of Georgia’s underrepresented communities, and position the state for leadership in the South and across the country, NGPAF is laser-focused on engaging and mobilizing the New Georgia Majority–voters of color, young voters, and first-time voters.
The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Education Fund is an organization of Black trade unionists and community activists fighting for racial equality and economic justice for all Americans. They work to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged families by providing the necessary resources that improve their standard of living and foster self improvement, self empowerment, and self sufficiency. The Institute is named for A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, who were preeminent African American labor leaders and fathers of the modern American civil rights movement. They believed the fight for workers’ rights and civil rights were inseparable.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is dedicated to economic, racial, and environmental justice, and to achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Citizen Action believes that organizing is a critical pathway to unlocking the true potential of democracy to fundamentally transform our society in the human interest and overcome structural racism, sexism, xenophobia, corporate domination, and other forms of oppression. Citizen Action’s theory of building power in Wisconsin is to work on big issues that can be the basis for creating a community of interest across the state. The pathway to progressive power in Wisconsin is multiracial organizing that bridges the urban/rural/suburban divide.
Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) is a membership-led, grassroots organization that builds power with Arizona’s working families to advance social, racial and economic justice for all. Through grassroots campaigns, leadership development, advocacy and civic engagement, they work to create an Arizona in which every person enjoys equal rights, opportunities and protections. LUCHA engages in voter registration and education, and advocates for progressive policy at all levels of government. They also provide empowerment services to immigrant communities, including citizenship classes, English classes, and the tools needed to navigate the immigration system.
Florida Rising is a merger of New Florida Majority and Organize Florida, two of the state’s largest and longest standing grassroots power-building organizations. They organize multi-racial movements to win elections, change laws, and create a state where everyone can be safe, happy, healthy and whole.
Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is a grassroots organization that has helped lead direct-action organizing, grassroots lobbying, and electoral organizing in Dallas, Harris, and Bexar counties since its founding in 2009. Their goal is to transform Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. TOP “fights with two fists.” They organize around issue-based campaigns, and they mobilize their members and supporters around electoral campaigns.
New Virginia Majority (NVM) was founded in 2007 in response to the failure to pass federal comprehensive immigration reform. Today the organization works to create a powerful multi-issue, multi-racial movement to transform Virginia through large-scale civic engagement, issue advocacy, and strategic communications and community organizing. New Virginia Majority organizers have knocked on over 1 million doors, engaging not only immigrant voters, but people of color, women, working class people, and youth. They have grown into a statewide organization with particular focus along Virginia’s urban crescent.