Force Multiplier’s Rural Victory Fund Portfolio from the Rural Democracy Initiative

Arizona

  • RAZE - Rural Arizona Engagement builds power by sharing power. Focusing on Pinal county, the rural area between Phoenix and Tucson, they are building an enthusiastic grassroots base. RAZE’s leadership program supports young people to have power and gives Black and Brown youth the skills to organize effectively and self-advocate. Youth leaders drive RAZE’s campaigns and were key to mobilizing thousands of new voters in 2020 and ongoing work to hold their elected officials accountable.

 

  • Chispa - Chispa Arizona is a program of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), working to build power within the Latino community to advocate for local environmental priorities and hold elected officials and corporate polluters accountable. Through their organizing and civic engagement efforts they invigorate the environmental justice movement with new leaders at all levels of government, increase voter participation, and hold officials accountable in between election cycles. 

 

Georgia

  • Black Male Voter Project - Created to reach and mobilize the roughly 50% of registered black male voters who have not voted in the last five consecutive elections, their premise is that there isn’t a voter registration problem with Black men, there is a voter engagement and turnout problem. Black Male Voter project engages Black men year round on their terms, starting with listening. BMVP is committed to overcoming the skepticism Black males justifiably feel about politics, which is the result of historical voter suppression, felony disenfranchisement and disinformation campaigns targeted at Black men. All of their work is consistent with their commitment to eradicate the transactional nature that currently exists in political and policy spaces that only show up around elections, and rarely if ever, effectively move Black men. Their approach utilizes culturally competent communication that centers the lived experiences of Black men and builds trust and goodwill over the course of several interactions.

 

  • Faith in Public Life GA - There are two places where people gather — in schools and in church. Progressives have not participated in the latter, missing a significant opportunity to educate, organize and turn out voters. And when it comes to the attack on voting rights, faith leaders are trusted messengers organizing and protesting to protect this sacred right. Faith in Public Life supports a Georgia network of 2,500 faith leaders. Through this network, Faith in Public Life registers and mobilizes voters, engages with congregations, and brings a progressive faith voice to statewide coalitions. 

 

North Carolina

  • Down Home North Carolina - We Are Down Home is a People’s Action affiliate in rural North Carolina. They are built from local chapters led by the people living within the community. They are focused on building multi-racial power for poor and working families throughout rural NC, with a focus on fighting for Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, and raising the minimum wage. In rural red Alamance County, Down Home helped to mobilize voters around important policies such as ending cash bail. Rural incarceration rates disproportionately affect people of color, resulting in the further disenfranchisement of the Black community.

 

  • Poder - This new organization founded by Latinas in small towns throughout the state, is a collaborative group dedicated to uniting North Carolina young people and community organizations around Latinx issues and priorities. In addition to in-person organizing, they have a creative and far reaching social media strategy, are pro-Black, pro-Latinx, pro-LGBTQ and pro-Choice. Their mandate is to invest in issue-education for current and future elected leaders, elect Latinx leaders across North Carolina, and partner with other NC organizations who share their progressive values.

 

Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin Farmers Union - The most groundbreaking farmers union in the country, this members-driven organization is committed to enhancing economic prosperity that supports family farmers and rural communities — including farm workers, meat processors and grocery workers. They are fighting the monopoly power of Big Ag which has continued to consolidate, to the detriment of farmers. They are the most trusted political messengers, actively working to rebuild the dairy economy for family farms and rural communities. Working with farmer-leaders across the state, they have championed fair districting. Over 70 Wisconsin counties have passed fair maps resolutions and referendums. They also partnered with Voces de la Frontera to win better conditions for meat-packing workers in rural Wisconsin.

 

  • Progress North - This young membership-based organization is the only progressive power building group located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. They have talented, ambitious leadership, and their objective is to bridge the deep divide of race, class, gender and sexual orientation in the rural north. With a commitment to deep canvassing, Progress North is working within communities that share a strong community care-based identity. They aim to bring people together around values of equity, the common good, and a commitment to a fair and inclusive democracy.

 

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Stands Up - People’s Action Affiliate PA Stands Up is a statewide multiracial organization that over the past three years has built up permanent grassroots infrastructure in rural areas, towns and small cities where none existed. They build power at the local level by employing a chapter-based model. Each chapter is dedicated to profound leadership development, making a difference on local issues, and electing local officials whose values and policy positions are shared by their community. As part of People’s Action’s Deep Canvassing project, their organizers and thousands of volunteers have engaged in hundreds of thousands of candid conversations with persuadable voters.

  • PA United - Based in the Pittsburgh area, PA United is a member-led organization that works in close partnership with PA Stands Up to connect communities of color with white working-class communities across Western PA. Their mission is to build a multi-racial, working-class movement around the shared interests of environmental protection, a living minimum wage, unions, and the need for lasting economic investment in their region. Chapters work on local issues in coalition with other grassroots groups in the state. They run their leadership development and deep canvass programs in partnership with PA Stands Up.

 

National Organizations

 

  • GALvanize - GALvanize cracked the code for engaging women in rural and conservative communities. They built a network of 110,000 women, providing multiple online platforms to come together to listen, learn and support each other in voting their values. They have a focus on testing and measurement that has allowed them to learn about and activate this core voter block. Through targeted advertising, deep canvassing, and highly facilitated Facebook groups, they created safe and fun spaces for women to ask questions, learn and respectfully debate issues, change their minds, and gain confidence in talking about political and civic issues with friends and family. In 2022, Galvanize will continue  work across their pilot states of Iowa and Maine, while expanding to states in the heartland and the South. They are currently doing intensive work in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, with additional research & modeling across battleground states, with special attention paid to North Carolina and Georgia.  In addition, they are working to design a partnership training program to truly bring the field along as they test and apply the principles of neuropsych to political persuasion.

  • 1000 Women Strong - Started in November of 2020 by the leadership team from the Stacey Abrams for Governor Campaign. They focused on recruiting, training and mobilizing Black women in majority-Black rural Southwest Georgia. RDI helped fund their nine week rapid response voter registration and mobilization program that was instrumental in turning out tens of thousands of voters who did not vote in the November election, resulting in historic wins for Rev Warnock and Jon Ossoff.  Now they’ve been asked to scale up nationwide and have hired Black women leaders who are alumni of the Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, and Jaime Harrison campaigns.  Pending funding, they hope to expand to NC, PA, VA, Texas and Florida with a goal of 100,000 Black women by 2022.