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2022 Election Analysis

This year, our network of over 100 groups and leaders engaged hundreds of thousands of people in rural areas, small towns, and small cities. We changed electoral outcomes and built political power that will endure past the election. The 2022 Midterm Election had many hopeful and bright spots, along with surprises, many incredible learning opportunities, and of course some tough disappointments.

Stories from the Field

With the Midterm Elections just one month away, RDI held a briefing for our funding partners. The event featured three grantees: Siembra in Ohio, and We the People Michigan. They shared what they’re hearing at the doors and vividly described how winning or losing in November will impact people’s everyday lives in their states.


Engaging Working Families in the Midterm Elections

To create policies that give people the tools to improve their lives and their communities, we need to be able to unite majorities and build coalitions that share common cause. And majorities cannot be achieved without a strong, resilient working-class base that builds power across rural, urban, and suburban communities.

Co-Governance in Action

RDI grantee Faith in Indiana has replicated its co-governance model in Gary, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Indianapolis. Co-Governance starts with a simple idea; it’s up to us to take responsibility to create the conditions required to winimplementdefendenforce, and sustain progressive policies and programs.

Key Policy Progress
The 2021 Rural Policy Action Report provides a roadmap to ensure all working families, no matter where they live or the color of their skin, have the opportunity and tools to build a good life and strengthen their communities. Advocates created the report by working directly with rural communities, and they have shared the report widely with policy makers, elected officials, and key decision makers in the Biden Administration. Our leaders have responded, through Executive and Congressional action, to enact key recommendations from the report and make the most significant investments in rural America in our lifetimes.
Kansas Community Health Center Provides Civic Health Services
Vot-ER envisions hospitals and community health clinics as central touchpoints in communities, where neighbors consider their civic health as well as their physical and mental health.
Building Grantee Capacity

This summer we’re piloting two new programs to increase our impact. First, we’re partnering with Bluebonnet Data to connect highly trained data experts as volunteer fellows to support our grantees’ strategic projects. Second, we’re helping several RDI grantees add staff capacity with a summer youth fellow. We’re working with Progressive Pipeline, which is providing recruitment, training, mentorship, and leadership development for six summer fellows.

Rural Climate Partnership Published in The Hill
In a recent editorial in The Hill, Rural Climate Partnership Director Josh Ewing argues the Inflation Reduction Act has the potential to be a real economic winner for rural America.
Grants From RDI Support Rural Leaders to Mobilize Voters Ahead of 2022 Elections
In the last three months, Rural Democracy Initiative approved $3.4 million to 56 creative, effective groups engaging rural voters, shaping policy, and building support. Working with the Tides Foundation, we advised another $3.1 million for civic engagement and communications in rural areas and small cities. With this round of grantmaking and our first quarter grants, we have committed close to $10M and advised an additional $6M total in 2022. Thanks to our generous donors, these funds support organizations at a critical moment to defend democracy, secure policy victories, and build momentum ahead of the 2022 elections.
Rural Voters Surge to Polls - Elect Progressive Leader in Enfield, NC
Voters in Enfield, North Carolina elected Mondale Robinson, a progressive champion and founder of the Black Male Voter Project. The election results show how rural leadership rooted in community relationships leads to progressive victories.
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