The following is a statement by Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.
Today marks a new beginning for the nation. At RuralOrganizing.org, we look forward to working with the new administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to improve the lives of all Americans, particularly those in rural areas who were left behind by Donald Trump.
We strongly believe that the best way President Biden can ensure small town America benefits from federal programs for years to come is by opening a national office of Rural Prosperity like Governor Kelly did in Kansas and Governor Evers did in Wisconsin.
We encourage the new President to continue to take bold steps through executive actions to undo the harm caused by Donald Trump. Besides being the right thing to do, ending the Muslim Ban will help staff rural hospitals. Ending the assault on immigrants will help rural communities that depend on them. Ending the KXL pipeline will stop the seizure of property from rural landowners and the assault by private industry on tribal lands. And, we strongly support the increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour.
This is the time for bold initiatives and the President’s initial COVID relief package is a great start. Biden’s plan to issue $1,400 per-person checks to working families, extend current unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility until the end of September, and expand the 15 percent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase will ensure stimulus money reaches those who need it most.
President Biden’s plan to provide grants to more than 1 million of the hardest hit small businesses and leverage $175 billion in additional small business lending to save our Main Street communities is absolutely critical because small businesses are the backbone of small towns and rural communities.
Now, we need the package to pass. Republican Senators who block these programs are blocking aid to their constituents who need it most - and many of them live in rural parts of their states.
The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.