In The Hill, Sarah Jaynes calls for policies that support the small businesses, farmers, workers, and caregivers that drive our economy. The recently published Rural Policy Action Report focuses on our economic well being, particularly those that promote higher incomes and lower costs, generate growth — not policies prioritizing the rich and giant corporations.
A national collaborative of rural policy and advocacy organizations released their 2023 Rural Action Policy Report, outlining specific investments, policy improvements, and regulatory reforms to provide the tools rural people need to succeed. The report highlights the ongoing challenges people in rural communities face, the numerous policy successes since the publication of the previous report in 2021, and recommends federal policies that will continue to improve the economy, infrastructure, and resources for these communities.
In late April 2023, Rural Democracy Initiative met with over fifty rural advocates in Omaha, Nebraska to identify key federal and state policies designed to support rural people and the places they live. It was incredibly invigorating to spend time with these remarkable leaders from around the country.
The saying goes, “As Texas goes, so goes the nation.” The state has been a testing ground for extreme bills attacking voting rights, reproductive justice, and immigration. We also see another dynamic: As rural goes, so goes the state. Rural communities can take bold action to improve people’s lives, and that policy can transform the state.
RDI grantees, partners, and donors participated in a lively and fast-paced discussion on the 2023 Farm Bill. This important legislation is passed every five years, making its impact long-ranging and critical to bring resources to our rural communities. Our dynamic panelists shared how the Farm Bill impacts all of us, and avenues for action to ensure this year’s Farm Bill supports healthy food, a clean environment, and all rural people.
There are no off years for Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI). Joined by our funders and supporters, RDI hosted a Kickoff Webinar to start the year. We welcomed two guest speakers from our grantee network, Davis Hammet from Loud Light and Valerie Rawls from EcoWomanist, as well as new RDI programs Rural Youth Voter Fund and Resource Rural. In an inspiring and lively conversation, we shared recent successes and highlighted our priorities for the year.