One Country Project October 8, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

October 8, 2021 

CONTACT: [email protected] 

One Country Project Hosts Inaugural Rural Progress Summit

Speakers and Panelists to Discuss the Key Role Rural Communities Play in the Political Future of America

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, One Country Project (OCP) announced the inaugural Rural Progress Summit, which will take place virtually from October 13-15, 2021.

Recent research by FiveThirtyEight indicates that due to the rural skew of the Senate, the importance of rural voters in the American political system is clearer than ever. At the same time, research from the Brookings Institution highlights rural America has experienced rapid demographic changes, becoming increasingly more racially and ethnically diverse over the last decade. As an evolving rural America continues to play a key role in deciding who controls the agenda in Washington, the Rural Progress Summit offers an opportunity to bring together political leaders, issue experts, and rural advocates to discuss the policies and issues that are important to rural communities and how those priorities can be elevated on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail.

“Over the last few election cycles, we’ve seen the important role rural America plays in determining who controls the agenda at the national, state, and local levels,” said OCP founder Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “However, our rural communities have been left behind by lawmakers for decades. That’s why we’re hosting the first Rural Progress Summit to provide a forum for rural stakeholders across the country to discuss policy priorities for those who live in America’s small towns. From providing better rural health care to combatting disinformation in the media and online to running a Democratic campaign in rural communities, the Rural Progress Summit promises to have the conversations that will position rural America to be a leader in the future of this country.”

The three-day conference will be hosted by the OCP Board of Directors, which consists of former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, former Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, North Carolina State Representative Ashton Clemmons, and former Iowa Congressional Candidate J.D. Scholten.

The conference will highlight the key issue areas of rural health care, the future of work, building consensus in American policy, and disinformation in rural America. Speakers and panelists for the conference include:

  • David Axelrod, former chief strategist for President Obama
  • Sister Simone Campbell, religious advocate and former Executive Director of NETWORK, on the role of faith in reinvigorating rural communities;
  • Mittie Cannon, founder of the Power Up workforce training program in Alabama, on the future of work in rural America;
  • David Daley, author of Ratfucked and Unrigged, on the future of American politics;
  • Governor John Kitzhaber, former Governor of Oregon, on rural health care; and
  • Hannah Love, Research Associate at the Brookings Institution, on the changing demographics of rural America.

To view the full event schedule and register to attend, click here.

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About One Country Project  

The One Country Project, led by former Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, is working to promote greater opportunities for rural communities and ensure leaders earn their support. One Country is reengaging with rural Americans, serving as a clearinghouse of research and information for rural Americans, and working to ensure leaders regain trust by fighting for these communities. To learn more, visit the website, OneCountryProject.org. 

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