Our vision is for a Rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. We are guided by our belief that voters want a more secure future, desire a more positive political process and more proactive government, and are the most capable of solving their own problems.
We believe there is a gap between rural development and political organizing. Rural community development too often neglects effective political organizing that enacts political change. And, progressive political organizing too often fails to fully engage rural communities.
Our approach is to empower and equip rural communities to collaboratively identify challenges and solutions, develop positive political agendas that prioritize their best interests, and mobilize support for legislation and candidates that will deliver sustainable change in their own communities and across the nation.
In small towns and rural communities across the country, authentic relationships are the foundation for community change. Tip O'Neill famously said, “All politics is local,” but we’ve found that rural politics are personal. We believe that communities, causes, and candidates must leverage these relationships to organize and mobilize rural communities toward enduring and sustainable change.
Nearly 7 in 10 rural Americans fear their small town way of life may be dying, yet 90% say this way of life is worth fighting for. And polls show that small town Americans support government programs that benefit their daily lives, such as job training programs, increased investment in infrastructure, more technology, and better schools.
For the last several decades, agricultural policy has dominated rural politics despite the fact that most Rural Americans work in schools, hospitals, or in someone’s home as caregivers—not on the farm. More than 22% of rural Americans are employed in the education and health services industry, while only 9% work on farms.