State Bridges Program

Building Bridges for Progressive Power

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 Democratic 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 our 2022 target states.

The strategy is clear

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 is holding 6 virtual fundraisers to support 12 State Bridges partners. Each event will be hosted by Sister District volunteer teams, feature a special guest or two from two partner organizations, and include opportunities for volunteers and attendees to ask questions. The interaction during State Bridges gives us an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening on the ground in these critical states.

How do we choose the organizations we support?

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 Democratic candidates. 

Have questions about State Bridges, Sister District Affiliates, or other programs? Please, feel free to contact us using this form.

2022 Event Series

Wednesday, February 2, 2022: Arizona – Living United for Change in Arizona and Rural Arizona Action. Featuring special guests: LUCHA’s Co-Executive Director Alejandra Gomez, RAZA’s Co-Executive Director Pablo Correa, and Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Charles Fisher.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Michigan – Mothering Justice and We the People. Featuring special Guests: Mothering Justice’s Executive Director Danielle Atkinson and We the People’s Executive Director Art Reyes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022: Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Stands Up and Pennsylvania United. Featuring special Guests: Pennsylvania Stands Up’s Executive Director Carrie Santoro and Pennsylvania United’s Managing Director Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy

All events begin 5pm PT / 8pm ET by Zoom and last 1 hour. Additional dates will be added, so please check back and sign up for more events!.

Current State Bridges Partners

LUCHA logo of a Luchador's or Mexican wrestler's mask in blue and while

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.

We The People Michigan logo of a fist inside a four-sided diamond outline

We the People Action Fund works to build long-term deep organizing infrastructure focused on local and regional issues that impact communities across Michigan. They work to keep elected officials and corporate and elite actors accountable for the roles they play in shaping policy landscapes. They work to foster stable, long-lasting alliances across urban, suburban, and rural communities that are explicitly multi-racial with a racial justice lens. They facilitate space for relationships, dialogue, and shared strategies across diverse communities

We the People Action Fund’s organizing principle is that we all deserve a decent life, and that in order to ensure that all Michigan families and communities can thrive, we must embrace our shared belonging and demand prosperity for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

Mother Justice logo with "mothering" in purple with the outline of a pregnant woman in place of the "o"

Mothering Justice is dedicated to returning decision making power to the ones affected by these decisions the most. By empowering mothers to influence policy on behalf of themselves and their families, Mothering Justice hopes to change the future of families in Michigan for the better. Their goal is to empower a well-organized group of mothers that can engage fellow mothers and law makers around a variety of issues that affect working families.

When women with children are not able to advocate for solutions to the problems they care about, a vital voice is missing from the discussion. Through advocacy, leadership development, voter empowerment, and promoting family-friendly advocacy, Mothering Justice will raise the voices of mothers and help them become policy makers and shapers.

Pennsylvania Stands Up logo in orange with two hands of different shades shaking hands

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 multi-racial working-class movement for statewide change. They organize with people by connecting issues with politics and building a multi-racial, working class movement for long-term change.

New Georgia Project Action Fund logo with a peach drawing with shades of green and peach

The New Georgia Project Action Fund’s (NGPAF) mission is to increase civic participation of underrepresented and underserved communities of colors in Georgia by building grassroots political power in support of progressive candidates, policies, and issues. To meet the changing demographics of Georgia, harness the unheard voices of Georgia’s underrepresented communities, and position the state for leadership in the South and across the country, NGPAF is laser-focused on engaging and mobilizing the New Georgia Majority–voters of color, young voters, and first-time voters.

The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Education Fund is an organization of Black trade unionists and community activists fighting for racial equality and economic justice for all Americans. They work to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged families by providing the necessary resources that improve their standard of living and foster self improvement, self empowerment, and self sufficiency. The Institute is named for A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, who were preeminent African American labor leaders and fathers of the modern American civil rights movement. They believed the fight for workers’ rights and civil rights were inseparable.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin logo with three human stick-figures in blue with arms raised in victory

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.

Florida Rising logo in orange with an orange sunrise with bright beams

Florida Rising is a merger of New Florida Majority and Organize Florida, two of the state’s largest and longest standing grassroots, progressive power-building organizations. They organize multi-racial movements to win elections, change laws, and create a state where everyone can be safe, happy, healthy and whole.

Texas organizing Project logo with "TOP" in teal in color with the Texas state outline in the O

Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is a progressive grassroots organization that has helped lead direct-action organizing, grassroots lobbying, and electoral organizing in Dallas, Harris, and Bexar counties since its founding in 2009. Their goal is to transform Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. TOP “fights with two fists.” They organize around issue-based campaigns, and they mobilize their members and supporters around electoral campaigns.

New Virginia Majority logo with an orange circle with a sunrise outline inside

New Virginia Majority (NVM) 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, multi-racial 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 progressive organization with particular focus along Virginia’s urban crescent.

2021 Event series

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 events.  Also check out our Instagram for updates on these organizations!

State Bridges Organization(s)Date of EventRecordingTranscript
New Virginia Majority April 7th, 2021 VideoTranscript
Texas Organizing ProjectApril 29th, 2021VideoTranscript
Florida RisingMay 19th, 2021VideoTranscript
LUCHAJune 1st, 2021VideoTranscript
Citizen Action of WisconsinJune 14th, 2021VideoTranscript
The North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Education FundJuly 1st, 2021VideoTranscript
The New Georgia Project Action FundJuly 20th, 2021VideoTranscript
Pennsylvania Stands UpAugust 3rd, 2021VideoTranscript
Mothering Justice and We the PeopleAugust 12th, 2021VideoTranscript