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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.
Winning Jobs Narrative

A narrative framework for working people across race and place

Progressive policies drive job growth, provide opportunity, and build the middle class. But the Right Wing has held a consistent advantage in trust on jobs and the economy - which are typically among the top priorities for most Americans. That trust advantage appears to be part of what has drawn some working people - across race - to the Right in recent years.

New Resource Guide for State-based Rural Policy
The Blueprint for Rural Policy Action in the States includes policy priorities, example legislation, and the context for how these issues impact people in rural communities.
New Rural Climate Partnership Launches with 3 Initial Grants

The Heartland Fund, Rural Democracy Initiative’s nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, is launching an ambitious Rural Climate Partnership to mobilize rural-led solutions to climate change. This new initiative will help create lasting jobs and build rural communities strong enough for young people to want to make homes there, shifting the narrative about climate in rural America to one of opportunity. 

Helping Rural Schools to Thrive
When regressive forces sought to create anger over COVID protections and curriculum that acknowledges the history of racism, the Wisconsin Public Education Network (WPEN) responded by supporting communities and school districts across the state.
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