Rural Party Building Program

Apply to join our Democratic Rural Party Building Program

For decades Democrats nationally have disinvested from rural areas. To defeat right-wing radicalization and remain relevant nationally, Democrats have to improve their brand in rural America. We believe that vibrant, local, rural Democratic parties doing highly visible community service can make that happen. Our goal is to show rural voters that Democrats are their neighbors caring for the less well-off, not coastal elites.

This fall and winter we’ll work with a small number of teams in rural WI, KS, MT and VA to pilot a program remediating the Democratic brand via this grassroots organizing and community service. If you or someone you know lives in one of these states and wants to apply, please download the PDF form application and email by the end of Friday August 14th.

A barn in the middle of a field with a US flag on the side.

Program Design Committee Members

Organizational affiliations provided for identification purposes only. 

  • Co-Chair, Secky Fascione, Democracy Alliance
  • Interim Program Director, Lauren Gepford, former ED, MO Democratic Party
  • Advisor, George Goehl, People’s Action

Party Leadership

  • Ken Martin – President, Association of State Democratic Committees; Chair, MN Democratic Party
  • Brad Martin – President, Association of State Democratic Executive Directors; ED, OR Democratic Party
  • Lavora Barnes – Chair, MI Democratic Party
  • Ben Wikler – Chair, WI Democratic Party
  • Tina Podlodowski – Chair, WA Democratic Party
  • Tom Sullivan – former County Party Chair, Author
  • Mary Gonzalez – Rural TX State Rep, Chair of TX Mexican American Caucus
  • Kelly Dietrich & Jocelyn Hunt – National Democratic Training Committee
  • Erik Richardson – Chair, MO Democratic Party Rural Caucus
  • Nate Timm – Chair, WI Democratic Party Rural Caucus
  • Ben Meers – ED, KS Democratic Party
  • Tara Logan – Secretary, MO Democratic Party Rural Caucus; former Rural Director, MO Democratic Party
  • Bill Crawford – Multi-County Coordinator, WI Rural Counties

Progressive & Rural Leadership

  • Sarah Jaynes – Rural Democracy Initiative
  • Wanda Mosely – Field Director, Black Voters Matter
  • Isaac Wright – Rural Voter Institute
  • Stephen Smith & Katey Laurer – West Virginia Can’t Wait
  • Heather Booth & Mike Lux – Democracy Partners

Experimental and Program Design

  • Pete Backof – Camden Strategy
  • Aaron Strauss – OpenLabs, former Analyst Institute Executive Director