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Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Outlines Plan To Revitalize Rural Communities In South Carolina

June 06, 2007

Discusses Rural Recovery Plan, which would restore economic fairness and help struggling towns

Florence, South Carolina – Senator John Edwards visits South Carolina today to discuss his plan to revitalize rural South Carolina communities through his Rural Recovery Plan. Edwards will speak at the Florence County Democratic Party's "First Monday Breakfast Club" Lunch, and then take a walking tour of Bishopville—a rural South Carolina community—with State Representatives Leon Howard and Grady Brown and actor Danny Glover. Edwards will meet with South Carolinians to discuss the challenges facing rural communities and to discuss his plan to restore economic fairness and create new jobs and businesses in rural areas across America, help struggling counties and towns and protect the rural way of life.

"Growing up in mill towns, I didn't have much, but through hard work and with the support of my family and community, I was able to go to college and get ahead," said Edwards. "Today, too many Americans are separated from the same opportunities I had. Across America and here in South Carolina, many rural communities are struggling. We need to help small towns and rural communities create and keep new businesses and good jobs, and we need a president who will make sure all our communities have good schools, good health care and the support systems they need."

Born in Seneca, Edwards knows the struggles of rural South Carolina families. He believes that America cannot turn its back on rural communities that are the keepers of American values like family, work, community, and freedom. Today, many rural areas are struggling: rural families in South Carolina earn 13 percent less than other families and the ten poorest counties in the state are rural. Rural manufacturing has been hit particularly hard by international trade, outsourcing, and automation. Edwards has laid out a Rural Recovery Plan to lift up rural communities.

Edwards' Rural Recovery Plan would:

  • Restore economic fairness to rural America by helping small businesses thrive and grow. Edwards will create the Rural Economic Advancement Challenge (REACH) Fund to bring capital and management expertise to small town America.
  • Create a new energy economy in rural America by establishing the New Energy Economy Fund to jumpstart renewable energies. Edwards will create new markets for ethanol, invest in renewable energy research, support locally owned biorefineries and require 25 percent of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Strengthen rural schools by improving pay for teachers in rural and other hard-to-staff schools to help attract quality new and experienced teachers, and by creating digital learning opportunities.
  • Improve health care in rural America by rewriting the unfair Medicare and Medicaid funding formulas that punish rural states and communities, and supporting investments in telemedicine. Additionally, Edwards' plan for universal health care will cover the 9 million rural Americans that lack insurance and establish a nationwide network of safety net clinics and public hospitals.
  • Rid rural America of methamphetamines by investing in the enforcement of drug laws in rural areas, help states make meth ingredients more difficult to get and expand programs that successfully treat addicts.

For more details on Edwards' plan, please see the fact sheet by clicking here.

John Edwards, Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Outlines Plan To Revitalize Rural Communities In South Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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