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Our Agenda to Rebuild Rural America

Please note that the following agenda is a rough-draft proposal and we'd love to hear your feedback on it. You can submit your feedback on the following agenda by clicking here.

Small towns and rural communities are vital contributors to our national political and civic life, and we, demand more from candidates seeking elected office in 2020.

We believe that the small town way of life is worth fighting for and that no one should have to choose between leaving their hometown and providing their family with opportunity, healthcare, and financial security.

We see how Wall Street and agribusiness monopolies are rigging the system  in rural communities, and as a result, wages have stagnated, well paying jobs are harder to come by, and access to higher education and technical training programs as well as quality healthcare are increasingly scarce.

We are supporting  candidates who promote policies that ensure resilient, safe, and welcoming small towns and rural communities for generations to come.

These candidates will:

  • have specific plans to increase wages in rural America

  • have specific plans to decrease daily expenses that keep too many rural families living paycheck to

  • fight to defend the rural way

Our 2020 Rural Agenda

1. Increase Wages for Rural Americans

Prioritize  small, local businesses

  • Make it easier to start or run a small business or family farm through increased capital and credit availability targeting rural small business startups and family farms

  • Break up rural agricultural monopolies that suppress wages and take rural agricultural revenues out of the community only to benefit Wall Street corporate shareholders

  • Increase small business tax incentives and build support systems for rural entrepreneurs

  • Leverage tax dollars for rural development over corporate, extractive agriculture subsidies

Incentivize American construction and manufacturing

  • Increase high paying manufacturing, construction, “trade” jobs (that pay 40-50k+) through the use of tax incentives, credits, and abatements for domestic manufacturing of green/renewable energy infrastructure

  • Invest in just and rapid transitions to renewable energy and biofuels

  • Pass a long-term spending plan to repair and rebuild national infrastructure

Fight for rural workers

  • Provide realistic transition plans, workforce and continuing education training, and job placement services for people living in former factory towns and coal and other extractive communities

  • Raise the minimum wage

  • Ensure rural Americans can fully participate in the labor market by offering  universal free community and technical college

  • Eliminate the gender pay gap

  • Protect veteran job benefits

  • Ensure immigrant farm workers have access to citizenship so they can fully participate in their communities and the economy

  • Protect family farmers and support  the Farmers Bill of Rights

2. Decrease Daily Expenses for Rural Americans

Reduce the cost of health, child, and elderly care

  • Fight to keep rural hospitals and nursing homes open

  • Expand Medicare to cover all Americans

  • Create a healthcare safety net for farmers and small business owners

  • Promote and fund technologies that expand small town access to health care service providers

  • Support and expand clinics and community health centers in rural areas

  • Incentivize high skilled doctors and nurses to live and work in  rural communities

  • Expand CMS reimbursement and access to Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Expand access to affordable housing

  • Increase funding for the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program

  • Reject and reverse cuts to USDA Rural Development programs

  • Increase access to mortgage credit in rural communities

  • Support programs to build quality farm labor housing

  • Back critical programs like HOME Investment Partnerships  and Community Development Block Grants

Increase investments in transportation and connectivity

  • Expand access to public transportation in small towns and rural communities

  • Accelerate efforts to create affordable, distributed renewable and carbon-neutral energy sources

  • Ensure all rural residents have access to affordable high speed internet and emerging 5G technologies

  • Support increased funding for rail transportation improvement and access

3. Defend and Improve the Rural Way of Life

Promote resilient, safe, and welcoming small towns and rural communities

  • Protect and grow vital services like grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies, and clinics

  • Prevent privatization of post offices and ensure every small town has postal service

  • Ensure all rural residents - regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, and status as a disabled veteran - are protected from discrimination by federal, state, or local policies

  • Further advance ideals of inclusive citizenship that encourage voter participation among all community members and limit the influence of money in politics

  • Support funding for rural fire protection and law enforcement and ensure all residents have equitable access to their protective services

Invest in rural education

  • Give kids a head start and support working families by passing universal and free Pre-K

  • Make community and technical college free for local residents

  • Stop school consolidation in small towns and rural communities

Promote outdoor recreation and protect the environment

  • Support smart wildlife and hunting management and natural resource conservation policies

  • Protect public lands

  • Protect rural water from industry and agricultural waste

  • Ensure local towns and municipalities receive tax revenues for hosting both extractive and renewable energy development

  • Use the power of the publicly owned institutions, land grant universities, extension services, FSA, etc. to implement regenerative agricultural practices

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