Building Progressive Power Since 2016

We build enduring progressive power in state legislatures to improve people’s lives, by filling critical gaps at every point in the political life cycle.

Our Programs Work To:

  • Win elections
  • Develop Legislators
  • Support Organizers
  • Educate and Empower Communities

Our flagship electoral program works to get Democrats elected to strategic state legislative seats by supporting campaigns with grassroots action. We “sister” volunteers from deep blue districts with carefully targeted races in swing districts, where flipping control of the state legislature will advance progressive policy. Our volunteers canvass, phonebank, write postcards, textbank, and fundraise for candidates. We welcome volunteers and candidates of all genders.

Since launching in the wake of the 2016 elections, the Sister District Project has grown to over 50,000 volunteers across the country. Our volunteers have raised over $3.6 million in small-dollar donations directly to candidates, and reached out to over 3 million voters via phones, doors, postcards, and texts. For a more detailed look at our work last year, check out our 2020 Impact Report.

We’re also proud to be an organization founded and led by women, including women of color. Four out of five of us quit our jobs to be with Sister District full time.

Sister District Co-Founders Candis Mitchell, Rita Bosworth Lala Wu, Gaby Goldstein, and Lyzz Schwegler in 2017

Mission

Sister District activates the passion, creativity, and resources of volunteers to win elections and build progressive power in state legislatures.

Vision

Sister District envisions a country where every person is welcomed and served by its government at all levels, and state legislatures are at the vanguard of progressive policy. In this world, Sister District directs engaged volunteers to help state legislators win and serve in governing majorities that reflect the diversity and viewpoints of the people they represent. This world is free of partisan and racial gerrymandering, voter suppression, and other policies and practices that diminish democratic participation.

Values

  • Integrity: We believe in doing what is right even when nobody else is looking.
  • Strategy: We are thoughtful and deliberate in forming our plans, setting our priorities, and deploying our resources, always ensuring that they advance us toward our goals.
  • Kindness: We work collaboratively and treat people both inside and outside our organization with respect and generosity.
  • Creativity: True to our scrappy beginnings, we encourage innovation and ingenuity at all levels.
  • Tenacity: We move forward with a curious and problem-solving attitude, and we do not give up.
  • Equity: We know that our mission is inextricably linked to achieving equity for all people, and we commit to dismantling white supremacy and structural oppression in everything we do.

We are still a small, lean startup non-profit, and we do not take a cut of the money we raise for our candidates. We don’t even have an office – we do all of our work remotely (spending a lot of time on video conference!). Your donation helps us keep running; paying staff to recruit new volunteers, work directly with campaigns, develop partnerships, and expand our services for volunteers and candidates. Thank you for being a part of our movement!

Racial Equity At Sister District

Sister District’s mission to build progressive power in state legislatures is inextricably linked to our vision for racial equity and justice in America. Racism and discrimination are embedded in our government infrastructure as well as the laws passed by our legislative bodies. In order to dismantle structural racism, we must organize at the grassroots level to elect progressive representatives who will enact policies that are unapologetically anti-racist. We must also ensure that we are electing officials who represent all the voices in our communities.

The bedrock American principle of “equality and justice for all” has never applied to everyone in this country, nor does it today. In one breath, the same founding fathers who declared “all men are created equal” also decided that slaves counted as only 3/5ths of a person. State governments have always played an outsized role in denying equal rights to people of color. When slavery was abolished, southern states quickly enacted laws such as the poll tax, the grandfather clause, and literacy tests to prevent Black people from voting. As far back as 1850, anti-immigrant sentiment drove states to subject Asian-Americans to unequal taxes, bar them from public schools and hospitals, and prohibit them from serving on juries or testifying in court. When the Voting Rights Act went into effect, states restricted the Hispanic vote by making voting accessible only in English, and suppressed the Native American vote by, for example, requiring that voters have a mailing address. Today, states continue the legacy of structural racism through a myriad of facially race-neutral policies that have a disproportionately adverse effect on communities of color, such as voter ID laws, lengthy incarceration for non-violent offenses, gerrymandering, and dismantling the social safety net.

To root out structural racism and address the centuries of oppression inflicted on communities of color, Sister District will conduct its programs and operations to make concrete and tangible gains toward racial equity:

  • We will build a portfolio of candidates who are not only running in strategic, winnable races, but also who represent all voices and will fight for progressive change.
  • We will cultivate a community of volunteers who are representative of the nation as a whole, as well as knowledgeable, curious, and intentional about how their work is connected to racial justice.
  • We will seek partnerships with allies who are incorporating equity into their work and holding themselves accountable to it.
  • We will conduct research that advances racial equity.
  • We will seek to achieve racial justice within our organization and create an organizational culture that is welcoming and inclusive. We are committed to viewing our work through a racial equity lens to assess the impact of all our internal policies and practices, including hiring, promotion, staffing, and budgeting.

We will hold ourselves accountable to this statement as we move forward, and we commit to constantly assessing how we can improve our efforts to serve the communities we aim to support.

What is Sister District Action Network (SDAN)?

SDAN is Sister District’s affiliated 501(c)4, that focuses on civic engagement projects like voter registration and education, and experimental research on topics like the efficacy of postcards and social cohesion among grassroots volunteers. SDAN is proud to partner with All On the Line for this book club.

Meet The Team

Executive Director
Co-Founder


GABY GOLDSTEIN
Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives (SDAN)
Co-Founder


LYZZ SCHWEGLER
Director of Communications
Co-Founder

Director of Development

Head of Technology

JARVIS HOUSTON
Organizing and Political Director


MALLORY ROMAN

Associate Director of Research
Sister District Action Network

Head of Organizing

Sarah Headshot

SARAH MERCY
Creative Lead

Operations Manager

Leif Warren Headshot
LEIF WARREN

Organizing Manager

ORE OBIWUMI
Field Manager

TAYLOR HOGELAND
Organizing Manager


ARIANA RODRIGUEZ
Social Media & Content Manager


RITA BOSWORTH
Founder & Special Advisor

Interested in Working for Sister District?

The Sister District Project is a grassroots political startup, and we hire for remote positions. Work to get Democrats elected from anywhere in the country!