Resource Library

2021-3-4 HQL Update

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HQ Liaisons,

Hello everyone! As a quick reminder, I’m serving as our interim Organizing and Political Director for the short term, as Lala has transitioned to serve as our new Executive Director. We are firing on all cylinders here at Sister District, preparing some incredibly exciting new programs for you all and gearing up for our first endorsements in Virginia too. Thanks to each of you for being such incredible leaders — we’ve got so much great work ahead to do together!




  1. State Bridges — First Three Events & Updates
  2. Action Network Rollout — What To Expect


  1. BIPOC Working Group – Thu. 3/4
  2. Political Director Call – 3/10
  3. Leader Call – 3/18


  1. 2021 Roadmap
  2. 2021 Recruitment Messaging Memo
  3. Resource Library Corner: Inclusive Partnerships
  4. Mobilize Notes



We are thrilled to announce our first three State Bridges events!

  • April 7 — New Virginia Majority, with Tram Nguyen, co-Executive Director. Sister District CA Peninsula and Sister District NYC will Host. All Co-Hosts welcome!
  • April 29 — Texas Organizing Project, with Michelle Tremillo, Executive Director; Brianna Brown, Deputy Director; and Crystal Zermeno, Electoral Strategy Director
  • May 19 — Florida Rising, with Andrea Mercado, co-Executive Director

All events are 45mins in length and begin at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.

The Mobilize RSVP URL for all events in the series is This means we only have one single URL to use in promotion through August. It also means that you can encourage folks to sign up for multiple events in the series! Go ahead and sign up yourself right now, and please promote widely! Note for Mobilize administrators out there: this “recurring event” with multiple “shifts” is precisely how you will use Mobilize for, say, your weekly phonebank or your (private visibility) monthly leadership meeting.

If you’re not an event Host, there are two ways for you to get involved to help these organizations:

  • Raise money unrelated to, or in addition to, the Event Series. Request your own unique ActBlue link for any and all organizations, and fundraise like you would for a candidate.
  • “Co-Host” any and all of the events by requesting your unique ActBlue link, and raise money along with promoting the event(s) using the Mobilize event URL.

If you’re a Host, want to Co-Host, or want to raise money outside of the event series, please request your ActBlue link now for New Virginia Majority, Texas Organizing Project and/or Florida Rising using our ActBlue Request Form. The link you’ll get back from HQ will have a unique refcode, enabling you to track and count donations that come in.

Up Next:

  • SDAN is working to confirm organizations for May through August, and will reach out to those who indicated an interest in hosting for those states as soon as dates are locked in. We’ll alert all leaders when you can request ActBlue links for the next organizations. If you’d like to Host, please fill out this form. If you have questions, please contact Ore at
  • We will also be launching the program publicly next week with an all-volunteer email and a page on our website that identifies the first of our participant organizations.

For More: See the updated State Bridges program summary. Two clarifications: given interest and capacity, up to two teams might be asked to Host an event. And it’s possible your team may be asked if they’d like to Host a second event!


HQ and all teams are moving to Action Network, a volunteer database with built-in email and texting features. As described in past HQL Updates and on our January Leader Call, this is part of a year-long process by HQ to upgrade our technology infrastructure so that we can better integrate our tools and standardize on industry-standard platforms that will help us grow our organization sustainably, and help us all organize more effectively.

Here’s the plan:

March 17 — Email to HQLs inviting you to your team’s account. This email will include:

  • Links to suggested Action Network video training recordings, tutorials, and guidance.
  • Link to sign up for an Action Network training specifically for Sister District leaders (will be recorded and shared) as well as for their national trainings. You will be able to ask questions at any training, and follow up with the trainers. (A note here: you are seen by Action Network as a client! As part of our contract, please take full advantage of their support staff.)
  • Our Action Network Guide, which will help us adopt and adapt to the platform in a way that matches our intended uses and the functionality we want to focus on
  • Three suggestions for what to focus on first in getting to know your Action Network account

March 18 — Leader Call Action Network Orientation w/ special guest Head of Technology Cat Robinson. See below.

March 23 through April 2 — Action Network trainings, Action Network staff on hand by email/chat to help you learn the system & your Sister District Organizing Manager at the ready to compliment Action Network materials and support

How to think about the timing as it relates to organizing:

  • Race rollout for our first wave of Virginia candidates mid-April. We encourage you to dig into Action Network right away on March 17 and see the three weeks to a month until you get your candidates as time to learn, test, explore, and get the support you need so that you’re comfortable sending emails by the time you have your candidates!
  • As mentioned above, our first State Bridges event with New Virginia Majority (!) is April 7. We encourage you to send emails promoting that event through Action Network – it’s a good opportunity to test out the system!



We have relaunched our monthly BIPOC volunteer meeting as a working group to help Sister District achieve a more inclusive and equitable organization. Our next convening will be on Thursday, March 4 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET — please note the new time.

If you identify as BIPOC, we hope that you’ll join us! Please register here, and feel free to share this with fellow leaders and volunteers.


Our next Political Director Call will be on Tuesday, March 10th 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.


Please join us March 18th at 5pm PT / 8pm ET! We’re going to talk about our new email + volunteer database + texting platform Action Network. This will be an orientation, not a demo. We’ll walk through our Action Network Guide to help orient us, sign up for trainings run by Action Network, talk about Action Network help desk support, and lay out three first steps to take to start getting to know the new system. We’ll be joined by Sister District’s Head of Technology Cat Robinson!

Register for the Volunteer Leader Calls here. Add these calls to your Google Calendar or Outlook. These calls will continue to be held on the third Thursday of each month. They are open to all leaders of teams and affiliates and are recorded. Find past recordings and notes in the Resource Library.



To aid organizers in planning, scheduling, and preparing for the election cycle, the Organizing Department has released two versions of the 2021 Roadmap. 2021 Roadmap – Visual provides a full-cycle month-by-month chart broken into tactics related to Power Building, Fundraising, and Voter Contact. As a companion to the visual representation, the long-form 2021 Roadmap: February-May provides greater detail on the first four months of the 2021 cycle, Feb-May, to help us get our leadership teams, organizing programming, and processes off the ground.


We have an exciting year ahead of us! How do we approach making compelling and effective invitations to fire people up and loop them in? What particular messages about our programming in 2021 might resonate? In addition to our 2021/2022 Strategy, this 2021 Recruitment Messaging Memo is a good place to start. We also encourage you to review the video of Anat Shanker-Osorio’s Summit keynote session on messaging, as well as the memo On Recruiting & Inviting, newly added to the Resource Library.


At Sister District, we know that we can accomplish more when we work together. We also recognize that our work to build progressive power in state legislatures is inextricably linked to our vision for racial equity and justice in America. This understanding shapes everything that we do, including how we develop relationships with other organizations at a national level. The recently-added How-To: Inclusive Partnerships provides guidance on how to develop inclusive and effective partnerships, coalitions, and collaborations at the local level.


Kudos to all leaders who are testing out Mobilize and getting to know the functionality and advantages of our new RSVP platform. Two things have been brought to the attention of HQ recently that are worth mentioning here. Please see our continually-updated How-To: Mobilize guide for more, and we encourage you to use the Mobilize chat widget to ask questions of their excellent support staff as described in the Using Mobilize Support section of the guide.

  1. Turn off “Require Passcode for Participants Joining By Phone” setting in Zoom. Zoom has a new optional security setting that would require that people dialing in to your call by phone punch in the 6-digit passcode in order to join. Recall that our guidance is to always click that “Passcode” security button when creating an event so your link is password-embedded. Ordinarily someone can just click that password-embedded link and join your call. This extra security step for those joining by phone is, in our view, unnecessary. We suggest toggling that setting off.
  2. Yes, use Mobilize for your leadership meetings! In Mobilize, just click the Event Visibility to Private. That means only those who have the link can sign up. The event won’t be searchable.