For years, working people across rural America have felt forgotten by their elected officials. Progressive leaders have too often dismissed rural concerns, leaving space for right-wing extremists to use rural communities as laboratories for anti-democratic ideology and rhetoric.
State legislators have an opportunity to turn the tide, by championing rural issues based on shared values and with bold progressive solutions. When legislators take the time to listen, speak to rural values and priorities, and take concrete action, it benefits not only rural communities, but makes our whole democracy stronger. These toolkits provide practical tools to help you do just that.
We partnered with Cornbread and Collards to develop tools to help you speak authentically about progressive issues in a way that centers rural working families and speaks to values we all share. Drawing on learnings from the Working Jobs Narrative, Race Class Narrative, Samara Collective, elected leaders, and grassroots partners, these toolkits join policy and communications best practices to support you in the hard work of leading and legislating in your communities.
- Growing Equitable Food Systems
- Promoting Environmental Stewardship
- Building Rural Infrastructure
- Reining in Corporate Monopolies
- Promoting Fair Economic Competition
- Investing in Rural Livability
- Advancing Rural America’s Freedom to Vote
- Access to Rural Economic Opportunity
- Providing Healthcare for All
- Investing in Sustainable Rural Development
How to Use
Uniting shared values and centering working people are the cornerstones of effectively communicating complex topics to diverse audiences. These toolkits aim to support policymakers in crafting their own authentic messages to advance progressive policies in and with rural communities. As with any starting point, they are not prescriptive, but aim to guide you on shared values and approaches to open the door to an ongoing conversation.
The toolkits each demonstrate a values-based framework and include sample talking points, media examples of successful uses of the framework, and more. To illustrate the flexibility of the framework and the values, we collected the issue areas of the Blueprint into themes, with each toolkit covering one to four issue areas.