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.
With the Midterm Elections just one month away, RDI held a briefing for our funding partners. The event featured three grantees: Siembra NC, RuralOrganizing.org 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.
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.
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 win, implement, defend, enforce, and sustain progressive policies and programs.
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.