Groundbreaking Rural and Small-Town Organizing

People's Action's work to build an enduring multiracial and progressive democracy

Relief, Recovery, and Reimagination

A Federal Policy Agenda to Meet This Moment in Rural and Small-Town America

We see the potential that exists in our communities, and it’s time for candidates for every level of office to see it too. But a quick campaign stop or scenic rural photo-op is not enough to meet the moment rural communities and small towns face – and neither is promising a return to the pre-pandemic status quo. Rural communities need candidates who will work with us on a new approach, based on our vision for what our communities can be: anchored by thriving small towns with diversified economies, strong safety nets that meet people’s needs, a family farm food system, a plan to rapidly transition to a renewable energy future and a jobs guarantee that invests in us to rebuild our communities and take care of each other.

Read the report.

Building a Bigger We

People’s Action recently announced the dramatic results of an organizing experiment in small-town America, revealing that a new “deep canvassing” model can effectively counter the right’s use of strategic racism. The study took place among white, working-class voters in rural Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and showed a dramatic shift in support for including undocumented immigrants in expanded social safety net programs.

Read the report.

Media Coverage

"Can Millions of Deep Conversations With Total Strangers Beat Trump — and Heal America?" by Andy Kroll, Rolling Stone.

"‘We Get There First or White Supremacists Do’: How These Rural Canvassers Disrupt Racist Narratives," by Jordan Green, In These Times.

Win Rural: Building a Progressive Political Movement in Rural America

Our report, "Win Rural: How to Build a Progressive Populist Political Movement in Rural and Small-Town America," provides a path towards a new “great majority” -- multiracial, working class communities across rural, small-town, suburban and urban areas.

Media Coverage: In These Times

"One of the gifts of the People's Action report is that it is based on more than 115,000 conversations in 15 states with actual rural voters...[R]ural voters emerge a bit from the haze of caricature and turn out to be a rather complex, diverse and politically-moveable lot."

Read the full story at In These Times.

Record, Report, Reach Out: Fighting Disinformation in Rural America

As the largest protest wave in U.S. history continues, the work of local activists is under attack by malicious outsiders who do not want people standing together in defense of Black lives. From President Trump to white nationalist groups, bad actors may try to smear your efforts on social media or with fliers and other material.

Here is a quick guide on how to respond if you find your efforts under attack.

The Promise of a Progressive Populist Movement

People's Action released a report in 2018 on rural and small town politics. We believe there is a moral and strategic imperative to invest in building people’s organizations in these communities. It is urgent to address the pain and suffering in these communities and critical to shifting the balance of power at both the state and federal level.

Our aim is to advance a multiracial, race-conscious populist movement that will change the course of our democracy.

Read the report.

Watch a recording of our report rollout at the National Press Club

"If Progressives Don't Try to Win Over Rural Areas, Guess Who Will"

People's Action President George Goehl wrote an op-ed recently published in The New York Times that carried a warning for organizers on the left:

"I’ve been out there organizing for 20 years. I have never seen this level of public activity by white supremacist groups."

Read the article.