The State Bridges program activates Sister District volunteers across the country to fundraise for organizations leading year-round power-building work. Collectively, we can lift each other up and work toward building progressive momentum in future state elections.
We know that progressive victories are possible when we support local power-building organizations and the activists that lead them. This type of work is so important, because it helps foster civic engagement that translates into voter participation. Year-round organizing helps people connect the dots between the issues they care about and the importance of building political power.
That way, when a candidate or campaign comes by asking someone to vote, the voter already feels connected to civic life; they do not have to be persuaded to participate just weeks out from an election, because they already understand their role in building political power and how to wield it in ways that benefit their lives.
The State Bridges program creates a way for the Sister District community to fundraise for select partner organizations doing this work in critical swing states.
With greater resources, our partner organizations on the ground can do more, which will lay the groundwork for our candidates to win on Election Day and to build progressive power in the long term. By building progressive power in state legislatures, we can take decisive actions to combat voter suppression, protect reproductive rights, enact justice reforms, and abolish the death penalty.
This year, Sister District held 6 virtual fundraisers to support 12 State Bridges partners. Each event was hosted by Sister District volunteer teams and featured special guests from our partner organizations. The interaction during State Bridges events gives us an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening on the ground in these critical states. Check out the recordings of our 2023 State Bridges events below!
We evaluate organizations for inclusion in our State Bridges program in consultation with leaders and activists on the ground. To be featured in this program, organizations must be organizing year round in a Sister District target state. We prioritize organizations that organize and advocate at the state legislative level, and that are led by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), women and/or young people.
While the State Bridges program partners with a select few organizations every year, our Affiliates program is always looking for progressive organizations interested in supporting Sister District’s progressive candidates.
Have questions about State Bridges, Sister District Affiliates, or other programs? Please, feel free to contact us using this form.
In 2023, the State Bridges Program supported 8 grassroots organizations who are building sustained progressive power across 5 critical states: Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona. In this blog post, we highlight achievements, testimonials, and goals of the partners we supported this year.
New Virginia Majority was founded in 2007 in response to the failure to pass federal comprehensive immigration reform. Today the organization works to create a powerful multi-issue, multiracial movement to transform Virginia through large-scale civic engagement, issue advocacy, and strategic communications and community organizing. New Virginia Majority organizers have knocked on over 1 million doors, engaging not only immigrant voters, but people of color, women, working class people, and youth. They have grown into a statewide organization with particular focus along Virginia’s urban crescent.
One APIA Nevada is a 501(c)4 grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to uniting and supporting the Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Nevada. They advocate for progressive policies that benefit members of the AAPI community. One APIA’s work includes electoral organizing, voter education, and year-round base-building across Nevada. Their affiliated charity organization, the Asian Community Development Council, offers a wide array of services to help Nevada’s AAPI community thrive, including leadership development, voter registration and education, health clinics, and food clinics.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is dedicated to economic, racial, and environmental justice, and to achieving a Wisconsin and an America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Citizen Action believes that organizing is a critical pathway to unlocking the true potential of democracy to fundamentally transform our society in the human interest and overcome structural racism, sexism, xenophobia, corporate domination, and other forms of oppression. Citizen Action’s theory of building power in Wisconsin is to work on big issues that can be the basis for creating a community of interest across the state. The pathway to progressive power in Wisconsin is multiracial organizing that bridges the urban/rural/suburban divide.
WISDOM is a state-wide grassroots interfaith organization that includes participation from 160 congregations of 19 different religious traditions. Since its founding in 1988, WISDOM has grown to include 13 affiliate organizations across the state of Wisconsin. They work on campaigns fighting for immigrant rights and to correct the narrative around formerly incarcerated individuals, and much more. WISDOM leads the ROC Wisconsin campaign, an effort to end mass incarceration in Wisconsin. Members and local affiliates have also been active in promoting immigrant rights, economic justice, public transit, and health care access.
Pennsylvania Stands Up was founded in 2018 with the goal of building a multiracial movement of working people committed to creating a Pennsylvania that works for everyone. They have allowed for several grassroots organizations and campaigns across the state to combine forces, deepen their involvement, and scale up their work to build people power across Pennsylvania.
Over the past four years, PA Stands Up has made tremendous gains across the state, developing nascent resistance groups into lasting grassroots infrastructure in areas where there had been little to no progressive investment. By investing deeply in membership development and new organizing tactics, PA Stands Up has created one of the strongest independent organizations in the country.
Pennsylvania United, formerly known as Pittsburgh United, is a grassroots organization with member-led chapters that build power for working-class families in Western PA. They believe the only way to combat division is to rebuild progressive organizing infrastructure in the communities that have experienced historic disinvestment from both economic opportunities and organizing resources. They work every day to develop long-term organizing relationships that reconnect working-class people to power, and to build a multiracial working-class movement for statewide change. They organize with people by connecting issues with politics and building a multiracial, working class movement for long-term change.
Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) is a membership-led, grassroots organization that builds power with Arizona’s working families to advance social, racial and economic justice for all. Through grassroots campaigns, leadership development, advocacy and civic engagement, they work to create an Arizona in which every person enjoys equal rights, opportunities and protections. LUCHA engages in voter registration and education, and advocates for progressive policy at all levels of government. They also provide empowerment services to immigrant communities, including citizenship classes, English classes, and the tools needed to navigate the immigration system.
Rural Arizona Action (RAZA) seeks to create more equitable and just systems through advocacy, accountability and leadership training in rural Arizona communities. RAZA was founded as a response to the lack of resources and year-round civic engagement opportunities available in rural Arizona. RAZA and Rural Arizona Engage, their affiliated 501(c)3 organization, educate, advocate and coordinate in rural communities to build communities of educated, empowered and engaged voters. RAZA develops long-term organizing capacity and creates professional development opportunities for rural organizers.
New Virginia Majority
Sister District was proud to hold a fundraiser in Janaury 2023 to support the work of New Virginia Majority to build progressive power in Virginia. The event was hosted by Sister District MA-RI and Sister District Yolo and featured Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority, and Joshua Cole, former Virginia Delegate.
Citizen Action & WISDOM
Sister District was proud to hold a fundraiser in February 2023 to support the work of Citizen Action & WISDOM to build progressive power in Wisconsin. The event was hosted by Sister District Greater Chicago and Sister District Portland and featured WISDOM’s Executive Director David Liners, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Executive Director Robert Kraig & Movement Politics Director Priscilla Bort.
PA Stands Up and PA United
Sister District was proud to hold a fundraiser in February 2023 to support the work of PA Stands Up and PA United to build progressive power in Pennsylvania. The event was hosted by Sister District CA PEN, Sister District MA-RI, and Sister District South Bay and featured Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy, Managing Director of PA United, and Carrie Santoro, Executive Director of PA Stands Up.
One APIA Nevada
Sister District was proud to hold a fundraiser in March 2023 to support the work of One APIA Nevada to build progressive power in Nevada. The event was hosted by Sister District Sacramento, Sister District Yolo and featured Eric Jeng, Deputy Director of One APIA Nevada, and Lestian McNeal, West Coast Regional Political Director at EMILY’s List.
LUCHA & RAZA
Sister District was proud to hold a fundraiser in March 2023 to support the work of LUCHA and RAZA to build progressive power in Arizona. The event was hosted by Sister District Sacramento, Sister District Marin, Sister District San Francisco and featured Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director of LUCHA, and Natalí Fierros-Bock, co-Executive Director of RAZA.
Our 2022 State Bridges partners:
LUCHA, RAZA, We The People, Mothering Justice, Pennsylvania Stands Up, Pennsylvania United, Citizen Action, WISDOM, The NC A. Philip Randolph Education Fund, Carolina Federation, One APIA Nevada, PLAN Action
Our 2021 State Bridges partners:
The New Virginia Majority (NVM), the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), Florida Rising, Living United for Change Arizona (LUCHA), Citizen Action of Wisconsin, The North Carolina A. Phillip Randolph Education Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, Pennsylvania Stands up, Mothering Justice, and We the People Action Fund
Below you’ll find past recordings of 2021 and 2022 events. Also check out our Instagram for updates on these organizations!
|State Bridges Organization(s)||Date of Event||Recording||Transcript|
|One APIA Nevada and PLAN Action||April 20th, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|The NC A. Philip Randolph Education Fund & Carolina Federation||April 13th, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|Citizen Action and WISDOM||March 30th, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|Pennsylvania Stands Up and Pennsylvania United||March 16th, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|We The People and Mothering Justice||March 2nd, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|LUCHA and RAZA||February 2nd, 2022||Video||Transcript|
|Mothering Justice and We the People||August 12th, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|Pennsylvania Stands Up||August 3rd, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|The New Georgia Project Action Fund||July 20th, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Education Fund||July 1st, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|Citizen Action of Wisconsin||June 14th, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|LUCHA||June 1st, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|Florida Rising||May 19th, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|Texas Organizing Project||April 29th, 2021||Video||Transcript|
|New Virginia Majority||April 7th, 2021||Video||Transcript|