Resource Library

2021-1-21 HQL Update

HQL Update: New Organizing Tools, Racial Equity Training, 2021-2022 Strategy, Update about Virginia Races, and More!

HQ Liaisons,

What a week! We know we still have so much more work to do, but I hope that everyone took a little time to celebrate this new dawn in America.

Lots to cover today, including new tech tools, racial justice trainings, Virginia updates, and a fully revamped Resource Library… so let’s jump right in!




  1. 2021-2022 Strategy
  2. New Organizing Tools on the Way!
  3. Virginia 2021 Update


  1. Anti-Oppression and Racial Equity Training – Mon. 1/25 & Thu. 2/11
  2. SD Summit – Sat. & Sun. 2/6 & 2/7
  3. Mobilize Demo – Wed. 2/10
  4. Political Director Call – Tue. 2/11
  5. BIPOC Happy Hour – Thu. 3/4


  1. 1/21 Leader Call Notes and Recording
  2. Resource Library Corner: The Whole Thing!


  1. 2021-2022 STRATEGY

Our 2021-2022 Strategy is here! Read on to learn more about how Sister District will fill critical gaps at every point in the political life cycle to continue building progressive power in state legislatures over these next two critical years.

  • Win Elections: Provide turnkey field, fundraising, and strategic support to the highest value state legislative races in key states.
  • Support Organizers: Engage out-of-district volunteers to take the most impactful actions, and fund year-round power-building, prioritizing partnerships with organizations led by people of color on the ground.
  • Develop Legislators: Equip today and tomorrow’s leaders with the skills and networks they need to create progressive policy in their communities.
  • Educate and Empower: Advance cutting-edge voter and volunteer engagement tactics through research, training, and civic education about the importance of state legislatures.

To date, we have been cobbling together and pushing the limits of a number of different tech tools that didn’t quite integrate and weren’t optimized for the kind of organizing we do. You’ve been creative and gracious in making the most of the tools on hand.

Now, to grow our organization sustainably and in response to your feedback, we are adopting three new tools that are essentially the industry standard for progressive organizing:

  • Mobilize will replace variety of team-by-team event RSVP systems in early February
  • Action Network will replace Mailchimp (and serve as a centralized volunteer database for your team) in mid-March
  • A new Fundraising Portal will replace current Fundraising Portal in mid-April

These tools will be integrated with each other, expanding our ability to communicate with volunteers, manage our data seamlessly, and build and recruit for events. For a more detailed rundown of the tools, please check out the New Organizing Tools Preview in the notes from yesterday’s Leader Call.

We know that transitions in technology can be trying, which is why we’ve been working diligently for over a year to plan, design, and roll out what we feel are the very best tools for your team’s organizing efforts.

First up is Mobilize! Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Teams and select Affiliates in our system meeting who meet our criteria (i.e., hosted events in 2020 and who we anticipate will be hosting events in 2021) will be offered a Mobilize account.
  2. If you are being offered a Mobilize account, you’ll receive an email on or before February 5. That email will include:
    1. Instructions on how to access your team’s Mobilize account
    2. A high-level Mobilize Guidance document
  3. You’re free to start using Mobilize as soon as you have access! Mobilize is straightforward to use, but if you would like extra support, your Organizing staffers are here for you! You can also join our Mobilize Demo on Wednesday February 10 5pm PT / 8pm ET. Sign up here via Mobilize ;).

If you want to confirm whether you’ll receive a Mobilize account, feel free to reach out to your Organizing staffer.


It is looking increasingly likely that the elections for Virginia’s House of Delegates will be held this year on the current maps, rather than newly redistricted maps. That is because the census data has yet to be delivered to the state, and it is running out of time to redraw maps in time for this year’s elections.

Unless the census data is delivered to the state very quickly, what will likely happen is that elections will be held this year on current maps, special elections will be held next year on the new maps, and then we’ll be back on the regular schedule with elections in 2023 as well.  In other words, it is possible that VA will be holding elections for the next three years in a row.

We don’t know when the final decision will be made, but we expect it soon, and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more. Here is an article describing the current situation.



Our partners at AORTA will be hosting anti-oppression and racial equity trainings specially designed for Sister District leaders. The 2-hour training will be highly interactive, and you’ll need to access Zoom via a computer (not mobile). The goal is to help deepen your fluency with anti-racism, and set you up to translate it into your work at Sister District. Choose from one of two dates:

Mon, Jan 25 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET – RSVP — deadline to sign up is tonight!

Thu, Feb 11 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET – RSVP — newly added date!

In order to provide a high-quality training experience, we are limiting each session to 30 people. If there is surplus demand, then we will add additional trainings.

  1. SD SUMMIT – SAT. & SUN. 2/6 & 2/7

Sister District is thrilled to invite you to the fourth annual Sister District Summit on Saturday and Sunday, February 6 and 7! Join our staff and volunteers from around the country as we celebrate our successes, learn from each other, and strategize for 2021 and 2022. Volunteers and leaders from both teams and affiliates are welcome.

We’re thrilled to announce our keynote speaker, progressive communications expert Anat Shenker-Osorio. We’ll also feature conversations with Sister District alumni and campaign staff, Co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority Tram Nguyen, and many more! More details on our website!

Attendees will have the option to choose which sessions they want to attend, and are not obligated to attend every session (though we hope you will!). Learn more, and register here!

  1. MOBILIZE DEMO – WED. 2/10

Our Mobilize Guide that we’ll be sending out by February 5 will be chock full of information about how to use Mobilize for your Sister District work. Our resident Mobilize expert, Leif Warren, will also be offering a demo on Wednesday, February 10 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET. Sign up here… via Mobilize!


Our next Political Director Call will be on Tuesday, February 11th at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.

Register for the Political Director calls here. Add these calls to your Google Calendar or Outlook. These calls will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month. They are open to all leaders of teams and affiliates but are NOT recorded.


Sister District recognizes that in order to build a truly inclusive organization, it is critically important to create safe spaces for Black, Indigenous, and people of color to connect with each other. In furtherance of this goal, Sister District hosts monthly BIPOC volunteer working groups through Zoom on the first Thursday of each month. (We are reimagining this event as a working group, rather than a happy hour, to reflect the planning and discussion that will take place each month.)

We are skipping the February meeting because of the proximity to the Summit. Our next convening will be on Thursday, March 4 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET — please note the new time.

Please register here, and add these calls to your Google Calendar or Outlook. If you identify as BIPOC, we hope that you’ll join us! Feel free to share this with fellow leaders and volunteers.



Yesterday’s Leader Call had it all! We celebrated our new Federal Trifecta, previewed our exciting new organizing tools (see #1 above), and did a workshop around leadership structure and roles. Call notes include a link to a recording with time markers. Please give us your feedback here.


Every issue, we highlight a different resource in the Resource Library that you might have missed. This week, we’re letting you know that we’ve done a major reorganization of the Resource Library and added lots of new materials. Huge thanks to the Organizing Department — Neal, Leif, and Taylor — who made this happen. You’ll continue to see more materials added over the coming weeks. Join us at the Summit for a full Resource Library Orientation with Leif!

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