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  • Writer's pictureErin Foote Morgan

The Rural Civic Engagement Project is Demystifying Government Processes and Empowering Communities

How can an individual tackle community needs like repairing potholes, building playgrounds and reducing classroom sizes? What’s the protocol and how do you get involved?

Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) is a nonprofit with mission-driven programs that answer those questions for rural residents across the Pacific Northwest. RDI staff work hand-in-hand with rural communities to build networks of rural leaders, revitalize rural economies, and elevate rural voices. Talk about leveraging #civicengagement to maximize #communityimpact 🙌

One way RDI is helping rural communities thrive is through the Rural Civic Engagement Project. They offer virtual and in-person trainings for organizations looking to boost their civic engagement.

This looks like bringing policy experts to your business, organization or community to provide training that helps you 1) define issues that matter to you, 2) create effective candidate and issue campaigns and 3) connect to local and state government.

Poof. Potholes no more.

If this talk about demystifying government processes in order to effect change in your community is giving you butterflies, we get it! You’re our people. And you’re in luck.

RDI is partnering with Portland State University’s Center for Women’s Leadership to host a virtual civic engagement project called Turn Up Your Voice: Taking Action For Change. Funded by The Ford Family Foundation, the program is open to emerging and established rural Oregon women leaders ready to make progress in their communities.

The program will soon be open for registration with sessions running from March 22 through mid-May, including

  • Navigating local and state government

  • Defining and championing community priorities

  • Developing compelling issue and candidate campaigns

  • Creating action plans that make things happen

If this sounds cool but you’re unable to participate–don’t worry, RDI has something for you, too. In 2022, RDI offered a three-part webinar series for rural Pacific Northwest community members interested in learning how to better connect to local government. All three webinars were recorded and are free to the public.

In a state where an awful lot of resources are directed to big cities by default, we’re so grateful to see the intention behind RDI’s programming and hope our rural partners will take advantage of this top-notch programming. Rural Oregon will be better for YOUR leadership.

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