Growing, Giving Thanks, and Getting Ready to Govern in 2020

December 2019 in , , ,

As we approach the holidays, we at SiX want to thank our incredible network of state legislators. Serving as a state legislator is no easy task, and we are grateful for the dedication and courage they bring to the job.

Since our founding in 2014, legislators have relied on SiX to provide customized policy support, trainings, research, communications support, and connections with grassroots and national partners. We’ve grown to an organization of almost 30 passionate and talented staff members.

This year, we focused on year-round support and in-state, regional, and international trainings. In 2020, we are deepening this approach to better tailor our support to our expanding and diversifying network of legislators.

Here’s just some of what we’ve been up to in the last year:

  • We hosted 89 trainings, reaching 1,352 legislators
  • Our research team tracked 3,612 bills across 100 policy areas and developed 91 unique, in-depth research policy memos;
  • Our Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council (RFLC) grew to 419 legislators across 46 states
  • Our Democracy Project launched with members from every single state and hosted eight trainings; 
  • We unveiled our  Agriculture Program! The program visited four states and provided strategic and technical advice with legislators who are looking to cultivate just and healthy economies through local food and ecologically responsible agriculture;
  • We collaborated with legislators to host 33 tele-town halls reaching 130,345 Americans; and
  • We helped gain earned media for state legislators and progressive issues in 103 stories in local and national media outlets. 

We also launched the Progressive Governance Academy (PGA)!

The PGA is a joint project between Local Progress, SiX, and re:power to build and develop the leadership and governance skills of progressive state and local elected officials across the country. Trainings cover a range of topics including: developing a policy agenda, tools for accomplishing their goals, and navigating complex challenges of governing as an elected official. Email john@stateinnovation.org to find out more. 

Here are some more highlights on how we’re growing and changing to better support progressive state legislators:

State Director Model

Two years ago we started our new State Director model based on what we’ve heard from state legislators: they don’t need a national organization that parachutes in and offers one-time resources that don’t reflect the unique and ever-changing dynamics on the ground in their state. To make sure support is ongoing, tailored to each state, and builds over time, we currently have State Directors in AZ, CO, FL, MD, ME, MI, NC, NV, PA, VA, and WA. This model has proved to be hugely impactful in these states and we hope to be able to grow and expand into more states in the coming years. By focusing resources on-the-ground in state capitols rather than in Washington, D.C., SiX is bringing essential tools and supports where we know legislators need them most.

For states where we do not yet have an in-state presence, our issue programs and central staff continue to offer services including communications support, research, and trainings.

Issue Programs

Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council

The Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council (RFLC) is a cohort of over 400 state legislators from around the country standing up for a bold vision of abortion rights and access. Members of the RFLC gain access to skills-building events and opportunities both on-the-ground and online, and are part of a national network engaging in cross-state learning and amplification. Contact reproductiverights@stateinnovation.org for more information.

Democracy Project

The Democracy Project empowers and emboldens state legislators to be dynamic advocates for a powerful, inclusive and participatory democracy. The project unites state legislators and grassroots movements behind a bold platform of reforms and deepens legislative impact in state legislatures across America. To learn more, reach out to democracy@stateinnovation.org.

Agriculture Program

The SiX Agriculture Program supports policies that promote thriving rural communities through ecologically and socially responsible agriculture and local food systems. The program provides resources and strategy advice to state legislators who know that the production of our food doesn’t have to come at the expense of our water and air-or healthy conditions for workers or neighbors. Contact kendra@stateinnovation.org.

Legislators and partners are welcome to reach out to helpdesk@stateinnovation.org at any time. We welcome partnership, collaboration and ideas as we move forward.