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More than 40 rural and small-town leaders form across the People’s Action network are building a shared path to defeat the rise of white supremacy and corporate power in rural communities.

More than 40 People’s Action rural and small-town leaders from across our network gathered virtually on May 15 to create a shared strategy to defeat the rise of white supremacy and corporate control over agriculture, health care and other issues that affect the lives of rural people.

Building on the success of their rural strategy retreat in April, these leaders from Iowa CCI, Down Home North Carolina, the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, Pennsylvania United, Pennsylvania Stands Up, VOCAL-KY, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the Maine People’s Alliance dug in to understand how the right has leveraged the historic imbalance between people’s votes – such as in the House of Representatives, where population is represented proportionately – and “land” votes, as in the U.S. Senate, where each state hast two votes, regardless of population – to advance corporate interests, even as they disregard the actual needs of rural people.

People’s Action rural organizer Kellon Patey led a presentation on “How The Right Took Power through Rural America,” explaining the planks of the “Southern Strategy” followed by Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, through the strategies of Lee Atwater and Ronald Reagan, up through efforts to redraw voting districts nationwide and even call for a redraft of the U.S. Constitution to lock in economic privileges for the one percent.

These rural leaders also shared their own stories of how these strategies have affected their communities and families, and how to build power where they live to defeat this conservative-corporate agenda.

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