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The Great Battlefield Podcast Interview

Learn how to build progressive power in rural communities, the challenges facing the movement, and the critical importance of rural organizing. Listen to Nathaniel G. Pearlman's conversation with Rural Democracy Initiative Director Sarah Jaynes on The Great Battlefield.


2021: Highlights, Lessons, and Challenges

It’s been a momentous, often stressful, and exciting year. The year began with thrilling wins in the Georgia special election that transformed the US Senate. Just weeks later, the anti-democracy faction fueled a deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol. We’re ending the year with historic infrastructure funding and a promising increase in new jobs. While COVID and new variants are a continued threat, hospitalizations due to COVID are significantly down compared to the start of the year.

Report: Investing in Rural and Small-Town Voters
The report, created by political analyst Mike Lux, reviews voting trends to establish the importance of rural voters and strategies for funding rural civic engagement.
Racial Justice in Rural Communities
Groups around the country are leading powerful racial justice organizing in rural communities. At Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI) we’re celebrating this important work by sharing six stories from groups we fund.
Federal Assistance To Fund Rural Solar

Park County, Montana is using Federal funding to partner with Yellowstone Bend Citizens Council (YBCC) to launch a new solar project. New solar arrays will reduce energy costs for low-income residents, a public school, and a county fairgrounds exhibit building. In addition to cost savings, it also reduces greenhouses emissions and is a critical component to avoiding the most devastating impacts of climate change.

Winning Jobs Narrative

A framework for working people across race and place

Progressive policies drive job growth, provide opportunity, and build the middle class. However, progressive advocates are getting out-messaged. We are losing with the public on jobs and the economy.

Working people place a high value on hard work, responsibility, and independence. However, they often feel that progressives and our policies don’t recognize those values. This contributes to a lack of trust and support.

Rural Policy Action Report

Rural advocates from across the country have united around common values and shared challenges. The Rural Policy Action Report outlines the most significant and urgent challenges facing rural people today. The call to action makes practical and actionable recommendations to pursue immediately. With your support, the call to action will change policy, spark conversation, and empower progressive leaders.

Read the Report


RDI's COVID-19 Response

The intense challenges posed by COVID-19 to our rural partners have spurred us to quickly provide additional assistance to organizations rapidly adjusting their programming because of the outbreak. RDI is uniquely positioned to be responsive to organizational needs related to COVID, and we're in continuous contact with grantees.

These Progressive Women Are Reshaping The Politics Of The Northern Plains 
LEAD has an effective model for strategic progressive change in rural America, and they're ready to expand. It was Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and Donald Trump had just won the election. Susan Kroger, Carmen Toft and Carrie Johnson gathered to commiserate over the election and a political landscape in South Dakota that didn’t support their values. The group knew that the political moment was an opportunity to recruit new volunteers, motivated by the results of the 2016 election, into on-going advocacy efforts in their state with little or no progressive infrastructure.
Farmers, Ranchers, And Rural Communities Rally Against Corporate Power And The Monopolization Of The Farm And Food Industry
In 2019, Family Farm Action and their allies rallied farmers, ranchers, and rural communities against corporate power and their monopolization of the farm and food industry. 
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