Our Impact

In 2020, Sister District supported 45 races in 9 states. We grew to over 50,000 volunteers across the country, raised over $1.8 million for our candidates, and reached out to over 1.2 million voters in critical swing states.

A Message From The Director

In 2016, we started Sister District because we wanted to activate our communities and engage in strategic civic action. We saw the critical but underappreciated role that state legislatures play in our government, and we knew this was a place we could make a difference.

Four years later, we are reflecting on the incredible progress of this organization. Despite obstacles—including gerrymandered maps, voter suppression, and a global pandemic—we made gains that will serve as the cornerstone of change for years to come.

Since our founding, we have engaged over 50,000 volunteers nationwide, raised $3.6 million for candidates, and made 3.1 million field touches. This year alone, we raised an average of 9.7% of our candidates’ total fundraising and made 34.5% of candidates’ total phone calls, highlighting our capacity for outsized impact. We have flipped chambers blue, created Democratic trifectas, broken Republican supermajorities, and increased civic engagement to help implement independent redistricting commissions and elect progressive governors, supreme court justices, and of course, our next President and Vice President.

As we look ahead to 2021 and 2022, we will redouble our efforts to build progressive power in state legislatures by continuing to uncover every last electoral opportunity that will exist under newly drawn maps. We will also expand our professional support to candidates and alumni, and deepen our partnerships with BIPOC-led and community based organizations.

We have learned first hand that the path to change is not a straight line. But with patience, perseverance, and hope, we continue striving to build the world we want to see. Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers who have made this all possible. Onward to 2021.

With gratitude,

Rita Bosworth
Co-Founder and Executive Director, 2016-2020

2020: A Year in Review

9 STATES
Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida

45 CANDIDATES
40 Sister Races with full field and fundraising support and 5 Sister District alumni seeking reelection.

$1,833,155.88
Raised directly to endorsed candidates

708,573 DIALS
28,343 volunteer hours (25 calls/hr) and 1,073+ phonebanks

254,890 TEXTS
1,699 volunteer hours (150 texts/hr)

318,754 POSTCARDS
31,875 volunteer hours (10 postcards/hr)

66,667 DONATIONS
With an average donation of $28.25

1,283,024 TOUCHES
total field touches from 50,000+ volunteers across the country

76 NEW TEAMS & AFFILIATES
with a total of 177 teams and affiliates in 2020


Among the many national groups that expressed interest in my campaign, only Sister District provided the critical volunteer support with regular phone calls and fundraising… SDP helped build momentum early in a district with underdeveloped campaign infrastructure and this led to further statewide and even national recognition for my race.

-Aleta Borrud, Candidate for Minnesota Senate District 26

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Highlights

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Growth…Lots of Growth!

Across (almost) every metric, Sister District grew by leaps and bounds in 2020. We supported more candidates than ever before, reached out to more voters, raised more money, and engaged more volunteers. The notable exception was canvassing – we knocked a few doors for our special election candidate Howie Hayes in February, but otherwise, we stayed home!

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Phonebanking Superstars

Our biggest field program in 2020 was phonebanking – at 708,573 phone calls to voters, we more than tripled our 2019 dials! We know that after canvassing, phone calls are the best way to reach voters. That’s why we invested considerable resources in terms of coaching, training, and content to promote volunteer participation in our phonebanking program. In fact, our average phonebanking support per candidate grew by 65.05% in 2020.

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Expanding Campaign Services

Since our founding, Sister District has worked closely with the candidates we support. But in 2020, we significantly expanded our candidates services program, including completing over 60 special projects for our campaigns, meeting regularly with campaign staff on an advisory level, launching a weekly newsletter, and assisting with vendor relationships, communications and digital strategy, finance planning, field strategy and general consulting.

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COVID-related Research

In 2020, we continued to grow our voter and volunteer research program, which is lead by our 501(c)(4) affiliate, Sister District Action Network. But we also responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, and launched two important research projects to help understand its impact. One was a randomized controlled trial conducted in partnership with researchers at the University of Michigan to determine how the pandemic affected people’s feelings about in-person voting. The other was a survey to understand how the pandemic was impacting volunteer capacity and interest (spoiler alert: volunteers were more engaged than ever!).


I have been absolutely blown away by the commitment and generosity of the Sister District network. As a newcomer to running for office, I’ve learned so much over the past year, and your partnership in helping us through every step of the way – and commitment to the real boots-on-the-ground work that it takes to run a successful campaign – has meant the world.

-Judy Schwiebert, Representative-elect for Arizona Legislative District 20

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Who We Supported

In 2020, we were able to support a whopping 40 candidates with full field and fundraising support, more than 2.5 times the amount of candidates we supported during our first cycle in 2017. Even compared to 2018, when we supported our previous record amount of Sister Races (25), we supported 15 more Sister Races in 2020, an increase of 60%.

These candidates were demographically and geographically diverse, reflecting our commitment to helping build a democracy that looks like the people it represents.

Sister District considers increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in our state elected bodies to be one of its core missions. This includes but is not limited to women, people of color, and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.

All-Candidates-+-PAM-AND-PADMA
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77.5%
WOMEN
CANDIDATES
(12.79% increase from 2019)

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47.5%
CANDIDATES
OF COLOR
(6.32% increase from 2019)

Rainbow-icon

10%
LGBTQIA+
CANDIDATES
(4x increase from 2019)

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47.5%
FIRST TIME
LEG. CANDIDATES
(12.21% increase from 2019)

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35%
40 AND UNDER
CANDIDATES
(.29% decrease from 2019)

Icons-10

77.5%
WOMEN
CANDIDATES
(12.79% increase from 2019)

Icons-09

47.5%
CANDIDATES
OF COLOR
(6.32% increase from 2019)

Rainbow-icon

10%
LGBTQIA+
CANDIDATES
(4x increase from 2019)

Icons-07

47.5%
FIRST TIME
LEG. CANDIDATES
(12.21% increase from 2019)

Icons-06

35%
40 AND UNDER
CANDIDATES
(.29% decrease from 2019)

Historic Firsts

Padma-Kuppa

Padma Kuppa
(MI HD-41)
First Indian immigrant and Hindu ever elected AND reelected to MI legislature.

Ricky-Hurtado

Ricky Hurtado
(NC HD-63)
First Latino Democrat elected to NC State House, and the only Latinx member of NC legislature.

Ann-Johnson

Ann Johnson
(TX HD-134)
First openly LGBTQ+ representative for district.


Camaraderie. I know that our election cycle was a bit different because of the pandemic. However, I was able to hold large, innovative fundraisers through SD… I got to pop into Zooms while volunteers from all over made calls. It was great. I met people who I consider friends- and it was unexpected and wonderful.

-Amanda White Eagle, Candidate for Wisconsin Assembly District 92

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Slim Vote Margins

Many of our 2020 races were incredibly close, underscoring that every vote counts.

Slim Margins-01

Laurie Pohutsky
237 Votes
(<1%)

Slim Margins-02

Shea Roberts
377 Votes
(<2%)

Slim Margins-05

Frances Jackson
703 Votes
(<2%)

Slim Margins-04

Ricky Hurtado
477 Votes
(<2%)

Anton-Andrew

Anton Andrew
612 Votes

(<2%)

Slim Margins-01

Laurie Pohutsky
237 Votes
(<1%)

Slim Margins-02

Shea Roberts
377 Votes
(<2%)

Slim Margins-05

Frances Jackson
703 Votes
(<2%)

Slim Margins-04

Ricky Hurtado
477 Votes
(<2%)

Anton-Andrew

Anton Andrew
612 Votes

(<2%)

THANK YOU!

From all of us at Sister District, thank you for dedicating your time to save our democracy, for believing in our candidates, and for working toward a brighter future. As a grassroots organization, we know we are nothing without your endless support and hard work.

Whether you’ve been here since the beginning, donated a dollar here or there, or joined a phonebank this year-we want to thank you! Thank you for dedicating your time to save our democracy, for believing in our candidates, and for working toward a brighter future. Onward to 2021!

2020 SDP Summit Group Photo