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Student Opportunities

Be an Organizing Fellow.

Sister District Organizing Fellows will assist the Organizing Department in supporting the capacity development of our teams nationwide. Fellows will learn and hone vital field organizing skills with the guidance of seasoned campaign operatives with a combined two decades of experience in advocacy and electoral organizing. All work is performed remotely. Time commitment is 12 hours per week, including a one hour team call and a 45 minute training each week. Attendance at two recurring weekly phonebanks is required. Specific work schedule is flexible.

In 2024, there will be two Organizing Fellowship Terms.

Summer Term: April 29th – August 2nd

Fall Term: August 5th – November 5th

“I am currently a Political Science and Sociology major and plan to go into campaign work in the future. This fellowship has been the perfect opportunity to take my first steps in and really solidify my passion for progressive politics.”

Ava Beggs, Organizing Fellow 2023

group of six Sister District volunteers dressed in rainbow clothing while rallying for equal rights

Phonebank Fellowship

Applications due by April 1, 2023 for priority consideration. Interviews will be conducted in mid April. 14-week term begins May 15th and ends August 18th.

About the Phonebank Training Fellow Role:

At 6 hours per week over 14 weeks, Phonebank Training Fellows will assist staff and volunteer phonebank leaders on two virtual phonebanks each week for Sister District’s endorsed state legislative candidates. This program is designed to train and prepare aspiring organizers for staff and volunteer roles on campaigns and electoral-focused field programs. Through trainings, weekly cohort calls, and valuable hands-on experience, Fellows will learn how to be a great phonebank trainer, how to run an excellent phonebank program, and will help elect Democratic candidates in 2023. The specific work schedule is flexible. Pay is $20/hr for a total $1,680 stipend.

Responsibilities

In collaboration with Organizing Department staff, Fellows will:

  • Attend 60-minute orientation & training calls to learn field-proven best practices of the Sister District phonebanking model
  • Attend a 45-minute weekly Phonebank Fellow cohort call with Sister District staff focused on continuous training and improvement
  • Attend a 15 minute one-on-one to track progress and development with Organizing Dept staff every other week
  • Co-host two recurring two-hour virtual phonebanks each week, providing support for the phonebank leader, training and engaging new phonebankers, calling voters, and helping with tech support as needed
  • When ready, Fellow may host their assigned phonebank as the primary leader
  • Track phonebank attendees, follow up and thank volunteers for their participation
  • Follow up with volunteer sign ups who did not attend the phonebank to invite them to the next phonebank
  • Recruit new phonebankers

College and High School Democrat Affiliates

What is a Sister District Affiliate?

A Sister District Affiliate is an independent group like a College or High School Democrats chapter that supports Sister District candidates as a complement to its other progressive activities.

How does being an Affiliate work?

1. Your chapter designates 1-2 of its leaders to be “HQ Liaisons” to interface with Sister District staff and coordinate actions

2. Fill out the Affiliate Interest Form and staff will be in contact

3. Sister District assigns candidates to your chapter to support over the entire election cycle. The amount of that support is up to you. We hope you’ll devote whatever time and energy you can to helping those candidates!

4. Liaisons receive a twice-monthly email newsletter with ideas and resources for actions

5. Your chapter can easily plan and execute actions such as phonebanks or textbanks using Sister District infrastructure and staff support

Sister District’s full array of field and fundraising activities are available to Affiliates, and most activities can be conducted remotely, in line with social distancing during COVID-19. All of our action items are developed in coordination with the campaigns so you know that it’s exactly what the campaigns need.

Why be an Affiliate with Sister District?

With your existing group infrastructure of passionate, enthusiastic and driven student activists, College and High School Democratic chapters are in a position to make an outsized impact for state legislative candidates and drive votes to Democrats up the ballot in elections.

Why do Affiliates with Sister District focus on building progressive power in state legislatures? Because it all starts with states!

  • State legislature make the most direct impact to our daily lives including education, how taxes are invested, state infrastructure, healthcare, minimum wage laws, and law enforcement.
  • Most state legislatures control the voting redistricting process which opens the door for voter suppression and gerrymandering.
  • State and local leaders become national leaders. 22 U.S. presidents started at the state and local level before moving to the federal level.
  • State laws spread across nation, with  potential to become national laws over time. Think same-sex marriage, women’s suffrage, and cannabis legalization.

Maximize Your Impact.

A few thousand calls isn’t even a drop in the bucket on a presidential campaign, but could make the difference in state legislative races sometimes decided by hundreds of votes. And trickle-up voting is very much a thing – if we help get voters to the polls for a down ballot candidate, those votes almost always trickle up. The converse is true to a lesser extent, sadly. That is why your efforts are critical in state level races.

Experience.

If your members are interested in pursuing work in policy or on campaigns, focusing on the state level shows you’re savvy and thinking strategically in paying attention to politics beyond the national level.

As Sister District founders Dr. Gaby Goldstein and Lala Wu told Jonathan Van Ness on his podcast Getting Curious (ep. 220), there is no such thing as an off year for state elections. The work of building progressive power in state legislatures never stops and there is lots to do. We’ll help you every step of the way. Gain experience in organizing, networking, civic engagement, budgeting, voter messaging, and much more! 

Open Up Possibilities.

If your work shines, you could be fast-tracked for consideration to be an Organizing Fellow! This is a selective program that enables Fellows to gain valuable experience and training in highly consequential races. We bring on several Fellows per quarter on a part-time basis; a small stipend is provided.

About Sister District

Our Programs Work To:

  • Win elections
  • Develop Legislators
  • Support Organizers
  • Educate and Empower Communities

Since launching in the wake of the 2016 elections, Sister District has grown to nearly 70,000 volunteers across the country. We have endorsed candidates in 167 races across 18 states, 107 of whom won and have gone on to fight for progressive issues in their state legislatures. We have raised more than $5.3 million in small-dollar donations directly for our candidates and State bridges organizations. Our organizing efforts have reached out to more than 4.1 million voters through phones, texts, postcards, and door knocks. We also partner deeply with our campaigns to provide professional training, advice, and guidance to help candidates and staff build winning campaigns.For a more detailed look at our work, check out our Impact Report.

We’re also proud to be an organization founded and led by women, including women of color. Four out of five of us quit our jobs to be with Sister District full time.

Electoral Program

Our flagship electoral program works to get Democrats elected to strategic state legislative seats by supporting campaigns with grassroots action. We “sister” volunteers from deep blue districts with carefully targeted races in swing districts, where flipping control of the state legislature will advance progressive policy. Our volunteers canvass, phonebank, write postcards, textbank, and fundraise for candidates. We welcome volunteers and candidates of all genders and backgrounds!

We have a strategic, targeted focus on

(1) flipping Republican-held state chambers

(2) holding fragile Democratic majorities in state chambers, and

(3) making blue inroads in badly gerrymandered states.

Read more about our Strategy.