RuralOrganizing.org And RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund Launch National Campaign to Build Back Better in Rural America Ahead of Key Infrastructure Votes
Columbus, OH — Today, RuralOrganizing.org and RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund launch a two-year national campaign focused on 1) passing local, state, and federal legislation that promote rural prosperity among traditionally marginalized communities; and 2) building lasting rural civic infrastructure that insures rural progressives play a significant role in their local stimulus allocation processes.
As much as $60 billion in rural aid could be available based on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the upcoming reconciliation package, which draws on President Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Thanks in part to the work of many advocates, including RuralOrganizing.org’s national lobbying efforts, tens of billions of dollars for homegrown rural prosperity programs are currently on the table.
The debate and votes on the bipartisan and reconciliation mark the beginning of an aggressive long term campaign by RuralOrganizing.org and RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund to ensure local rural experts have the tools they need to lead local rural prosperity efforts at the city, county and state level.
The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.Org & RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund:
Local rural leaders are getting organized and pushing Congress for what could be the biggest investment in rural America in decades. The American Rescue Plan laid a strong foundation for building back better in Rural America. Now some of the provisions currently being debated in Congress as part of the jobs package, such as a new Rural Prosperity Partnership (RPP) program, would mark a new, more strategic and locally-led approach to bringing jobs and opportunity to many communities experiencing economic distress. We are calling for $60 billion dollars to be invested in America’s small towns and rural areas including $5 billion dollars to be specifically allocated for $5 billion to local rural experts through RPP to make sure they have the money they need to bring jobs and economic prosperity back to their communities. It's a federal program that understands rural people are best positioned to solve the challenges facing rural communities and ensure that tax dollars earmarked for rural communities stay rural.
The following is a statement from Sylvia C. Brown, Director, Strategic Operations of RuralOrganizing.Org & RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund:
The effectiveness of the programs contained in each of the emerging infrastructure bills is critical, not just to Democrats’ prospects in key rural battleground elections, but to the survival of rural communities in the 21st Century. RuralOrganizing.org and RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund have three distinct roles to play at the local level in realizing the progressive vision put forth by this administration. First, we must help electeds navigate the federal guidance and inform them about support resources. Second, we must help grassroots advocates achieve transparency and inclusion in local allocation processes while centering both the needs and assets of traditionally marginalized communities. Third, we must identify capacity gaps for implementation that both audiences can solve collaboratively. These three roles coincide with and stand to strengthen the rural advocates and activists who can make these vital programs successful for their communities.
The following is a statement from Kellon Patey, Lead Organizer at RuralOrganizing.Org & RuralOrganizing.org Education Fund:
For too long, we have overlooked the need for both infrastructure and support for our residents. This can be life-changing, if done properly. And, it can also feel overwhelming. But, we all agree this must be done properly and effectively. Rural advocates need to be ready to help steer these programs and assist in their implementation. That’s why I am so excited about this campaign to equip and educate local organizations. This can be transformative and it must be.
“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.”