The following is a statement by Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.
Damn! What a week. We’ve made more progress in Rural America during President Joe Biden’s first week in office than any other seven day period in recent memory.
With the appointment of national rural development experts in key positions within the administration, President Biden is assembling the team to build back better in rural America, and with swift executive action, he is beginning to correct the course on climate change, the failing rural economy, immigration, and of course, the pandemic.
As we celebrate these recent wins for small towns and rural communities, we were thrilled that the President named Kelliann Blazek, who ran the Wisconsin Office of Rural Prosperity, as Special Assistant for Agriculture and Rural Affairs. We look forward to working with her and others in the administration to implement the Biden administration’s national strategy to uplift rural communities. And, we will continue to advocate for a “National Office of Rural Prosperity” modeled on those in Wisconsin and Kansas. We will also continue to push both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to expand federal rural programs that benefit rural workers, their communities, and their families.
The coronavirus pandemic exposed countless structural vulnerabilities that have been festering in small towns and rural communities over the last several decades. So many of the actions Washington is now taking to combat an extended economic recession and improve access to healthcare and a vaccine are long overdue and must stay in place after we beat back Covid-19. We strongly encourage Senate Democrats to move as quickly as possible to pass the Biden administration’s package intact. Their constituents need the help.
Actions President Joe Biden took during his first week in office to benefit Americans living in small towns and rural communities.
Announced that long time rural development advocate, Katharine Ferguson, would serve as chief of staff at USDA ensuring rural prosperity programs will have strong representation within USDA leadership
The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.