Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Sister District Project work?
The Sister District Project (SDP) is a grassroots organization that matches volunteers in safe blue (or red) places with strategic local, state, and federal elections throughout the country. As a volunteer, you’ll join your local district team, led by volunteer District Captains (DCs). Your local district team will be your SDP home base. Every election cycle, SDP HQ will assign your team a Sister Race that you and your team will work together to support.
What kind of races will I support?
For 2017, we’re focusing on state races. (You can learn more here about why it’s so important to focus on these down-ballot elections.) In 2017, a non-exclusive list of states we anticipate participating in races in are Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Washington.
As 2018 approaches, we’ll be assigning congressional races as well.
When will I get matched with my Sister Race?
Soon! But not quite yet. Generally, we’ll announce our official Sister Races in the spring. Why the wait? Because we’re committed to only matching you with Sister Races that we're confident are worth your time and money---that is, only those races that have high strategic value, and that are winnable.
We’re also committed to coordinating with candidates to ensure that they receive the help they want and need. And keep in mind that election season is also when the campaigns actually need the most volunteer support, such as phone-banking and canvassing.
There races we are currently supporting can be found here.
How do I connect with my local district team?
After you register as a volunteer, your DCs should reach out to you to bring you into the loop. We’ve encouraged DCs to use whatever online platform is easiest for them, such as email, Slack, Facebook, or Google Groups.
What will I be doing as a volunteer?
As a volunteer with SDP, your core mission is to support your assigned Sister Race. If you’ve volunteered with a campaign before, these tasks will be familiar to you:
Small donations. Campaigns need cash to run, especially the modest down-ballot races we support. We’ll make it easy by including a secure link that allows you to donate straight to the campaign.
Fundraisers. You’re encouraged to organize and/or attend fundraisers in your home district to support your Sister Race. Depending on the campaign, it may be possible to feature a message from the candidate, or even a live stream conversation. These are a great way to build your local community too!
Phone-banking. Voter outreach is incredibly important, whether it’s persuasion calls or reminding people to vote. Whether you organize or attend a phone-bank, you’ll learn a lot and be able to do it as part of a team. (Please note that not every campaign needs this kind of help---some of our Sister Races cover very small areas, and may prefer to keep all phone-banking local. But we coordinate closely with campaigns so you can rest assured that when we do ask you to phone-bank, the campaign really wants and needs your help.)
Boots-on-the-ground. Where feasible and appropriate, we encourage you to travel to the location of your Sister Race. Person-to-person contact makes an enormous difference, through canvassing (knocking on doors), tabling, or attending town halls. The goals might be voter registration, persuasion, or GOTV (get-out-the-vote) on or near election day. This can be a rewarding opportunity to travel somewhere new and make meaningful connections. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have the training you need!
Social media. No matter what the Sister Race, we’ll ask you to spread the word. Liking posts helps promote them in other people’s feeds, and sharing your excitement and activities around your Sister Race helps build momentum.
Keep in mind that SDP’s focus is elections. Although there will be exceptions for special elections, much of the work we’ll be asking you to do happens during election high season, from June to November.
By the way, have you heard of Flippable or Swing Left?
We thought you’d never ask! Just kidding, we get this question all the time, and we’re happy to say that we’re in constant communication with the leadership teams of these groups, as well as others. We’re very grateful to be working together. Learn more about our allies here.