Rural Policy Action Report

The Rural Policy Action Report outlines policies, priority legislation, and executive action that support working families and strengthen rural communities. The report also highlights the numerous policy successes related to the report and the ongoing challenges people in rural communities face.

Report Cover

A Road Map to Rural Progress

We joined more than 50 organizations and local elected officials from across the country to identify the most pressing and popular policies to create tangible improvements in our communities.

A Rural Democracy Project

September 2023

Lift Up Our Top Priorities

The report shows that diverse rural regions across the country share many of the same priorities, and we all need state and federal action to make these solutions a reality. Our partners use the report as a tool to highlight their key issues and communicate with their members. Those members have, in turn, reached out to their elected officials, spurring substantial change in rural communities across the country. Other groups are using the report to highlight their priorities in local media coverage. The report highlights 27 issues vital to rural areas. These priorities include environmental justice, labor protections, equitable rights, fair taxes, healthcare, child care, limiting corporate power, accountability for pollution, preserving public lands, and building a renewable energy future.

Policy Menu

Use the report as a menu of policy priorities to explore many of the most popular federal policy solutions. It’s a valuable resource for elected leaders, candidates, groups, and donors to learn about a variety of pressing topics that impact rural people. The report reflects the engagement of many diverse partners, and the hopes, needs, and challenges facing their communities.

People pull up a tower
Hoopa Valley Tribe installs broadband with Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Rural Policy Action Report helps show how daily economic concerns are connected to rural folks having the power to make decisions that impact their lives.

Project History

First published in 2021, the Rural Policy Action Report identified key policies at the state and federal level designed to support rural people in the places where we live. The following year, through a partnership with the State Innovation Exchange, the 2022 Blueprint for Policy Action in the States was released, focusing on policies that benefit our communities at the state level. The momentum continued into 2023 with the release of the latest report, which highlights policy successes and helps define the trajectory for further policy advancements that benefit our rural areas and small cities. The insight for these reports came from two Rural Policy Action Summits held in 2021 and 2023, in addition to more than 50 regular meetings with partners to determine which policies and actions are benefiting rural America.

Policy Progress

There’s more to do, but our country is making progress on critical priorities for working families everywhere, including rural communities: rebuilding our economy as we emerged from the pandemic, lowering costs, securing and rebuilding supply chains, promoting competition and more equitable opportunity, building healthier and more sustainable communities, and investing in the foundational infrastructure that all communities — especially rural communities — need to live, work, and thrive. The Rural Policy Action Report highlights policies that work for rural communities and raises the voices of those who work with policy at every level.


Your generous donation supports Rural Democracy to create tools and resources to help continue the momentum for policies that benefit rural communities.