On the heels of a New York Times/Sienna poll and last week’s election results, Blue Tent notes that voters are deeply concerned about the economy. Blue Tent encourages donors to support Rural Democracy Initiative and other organizations that are creating a shared vision for an economy that works for everyone.
In the November ’23 elections, voters in Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky protected core freedoms like reproductive choice, education, and democracy itself. Rural Americans elected leaders who support clean energy, climate progress, and racial justice to city and county government, school and water boards, and as sheriffs and district attorneys. These leaders will determine whether rural Americans have senior care, child care, and adequate school funding.
In April and May, Rural Democracy Initiative’s (RDI) 501c3 Heartland Fund and 501c4 Rural Victory Fund committed over $2.4 million in grants to 37 groups to build on the momentum of our network’s 2022 rural wins. These groups are defending against emboldened attacks on democracy, healthcare, core freedoms, and economic security, and also maximizing opportunities with new state governing majorities, cross-partisan partnerships, and federal funding.
In 2022 Michigan won sweeping victories at the state and local level. Ballot propositions to advance voting rights and enshrine reproductive freedom in the state constitution passed with strong support. Voters also re-elected a progressive Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General, and pro-democracy majorities in the State Senate and State House, gaining the first trifecta in almost 40 years, and the mandate to govern.
Last week we celebrated a tremendous win in Wisconsin for democracy, reproductive rights and other core freedoms. It was a team effort — demonstrating the power of a disciplined, well-resourced, aligned civic infrastructure going all in together on a smart strategy. With the addition of Justice Protasiewicz, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will have a 4-3 pro-democracy majority, enabling them to finally take on gerrymandered election districts and voting rights, an outdated 1849 abortion ban, workers rights and more.
Loud Light organizers know the dangers of extremism. As children, they grappled with the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita. As they reached voting age, they saw extremists place deliberate barriers to voting.
So, in 2022, when Kansans’ constitutional right to abortion care was threatened by a radical ballot measure, Loud Light was ready. For seven years, Loud Light had engaged young voters, and RDI’s flexible support enabled Loud Light to shift their programs and try new ideas.
Rural communities depend on public schools so that students can acquire the skills and knowledge to become critical thinkers ready to seize their future. But these valuable tools are threatened by reactionary forces seeking to cut funding and give it to private schools.