Photo of Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand Campaign Press Release - Gillibrand Unveils New Sweeping Agenda to Create a National Partnership with Rural America, Empower Local Communities

August 07, 2019

Gillibrand's "Rebuilding Rural America for Our Future" agenda puts power back in the hands of rural Americans tadvance solutions tdrive our economy, tackle climate change, and fix our broken health care system

Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced her "Rebuilding Rural America for Our Future" agenda as she travels tIowa for a five-day RV trip across the state. Senator Gillibrand's innovative plan will work tbuild a rural America that can thrive for the next 100 years and beyond.

Full details of the plan are HERE.

"Our rural communities harness our nation's natural resources that supply our food, energy, and clean water. These communities reflect the diversity that makes America strong and are full of innovators and problem solvers ready tlead our country intthe future. It's time we uplift rural Americans and treat these communities like the national assets they are," said Senator Gillibrand.

"The American people deserve a president whfights for every inch of this country, and rural America is nexception. As president, I will always value the contributions of rural communities, and invest in their grit and ingenuity trebuild a partnership for our shared future," Gillibrand continued.

First reported by the Des Moines Register, Gillibrand's new plan earned the praise of Tom Vilsack, former Iowa Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, whsaid: "Unique ther plan is how she has woven the element of partnership intevery aspect of a comprehensive vision for a powerful rural economy and an improved quality of community life."

Senator Gillibrand's plan would provide rural communities with the support they deserve treinvigorate economies that have been left behind, make sure that farmers are recognized for their role in our national security and prioritize the health, safety, and opportunity for Americans living in rural communities.

Rebuilding Rural America for Our Future would:

  • Establish a $50 billion Rural Future Partnership Fund at the USDA tbuild resilient rural regions through a multi-year, flexible, formula block grants tempower local leaders tdevelop and implement comprehensive revitalization strategies, putting the power tcreate change intthe hands of the communities themselves — like Storm Lake and Mason City, Iowa, Laconia and Claremont, New Hampshire, Ogdensburg and Batavia, New York and their surrounding rural areas. This funding could be used for comprehensive investment in community needs like water lines, affordable housing, child care services, public education and job training, long-term care, and health care, including mental health and addiction treatment.
  • Launch a cooperative business initiative twork with communities, business owners, and workers taddress gaps in community services and economic opportunity through the proven value of co-ops.
    • Co-ops can build local wealth and quality of life by enabling rural Americans taddress challenges like inadequate child care, homecare, housing, and high-speed internet service or keeping local grocery stores open.
    • Gillibrand would create a White House Council on a Cooperative Economy tensure all federal loan, contracting, and technical assistance programs are accessible by cooperatives and will significantly increase support tcooperative development by fully funding the Rural Cooperative Development Program at $40 million per year.
  • Invest in an entrepreneurial, creative economy tenergize a new generation of rural innovators.
    • Work with the Farm Credit system tscale the number of Rural Business Investment Companies.
    • Create a Rural RISE initiative tprovide capital, mentorship, and networking smore entrepreneurs can turn an idea inta company.
    • Create a new $250 million Partnership for Creative Rural Economies ttap intthe tremendous economic development potential of rural arts, food, and cultural heritage tmake our rural communities places young people want tlive.
  • Invest $60 billion tconnect all rural Americans thigh-speed Internet, including next generation gigabit systems.
    • Create a Digital Extension Service tadvise and assist farmers, rural entrepreneurs, and community leaders in adopting digital technologies for precision agriculture, e-commerce, telemedicine, high-tech manufacturing, and opportunities for attracting remote workers as new residents.
  • Create a $750 million Rural Tech Skills initiative tfund training partnerships between community colleges, community-based and labor organizations, and employers tprepare the rural workforce for tech jobs across industries like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and health IT.

Farmers and Rural Communities Will Build the New Green Sustainable Economy the Nation Requires

  • Put farmers and rural communities in the driver's seat tlead the nation's climate action.
    • Farmers should receive support from USDA tdevelop new practices that put carbon back inttheir soils, reduce inputs, and limit nutrient loss.

New insurance protections

Improved CSP and EQIP program funding and options -

Scientists partnering with farmers

Bio-based manufacturing

New energy infrastructure tpower farms

Sustainable forest management

  • Prioritize the interests of our farmers ahead of agribusinesses.
    • Maintain and expand access tmarkets here at home and abroad for producers of all sizes.
    • Helping farmers whwant tdiversify tbetter serve regional markets and minimize volatility caused by export centered production.
    • Prioritize making the Farmers' Bill of Rights a reality. Corporate influence and money have corrupted our nation's farm and food policies for tolong.

Protecting the Health of Rural America

  • Invest in rural health infrastructure like hospitals and clinics and build capacity with innovative delivery systems that best meet the needs of rural communities - like basic transportation, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring.
    • Empower healthcare professionals in rural health clinics tpractice tthe top of their license in areas like telehealth and mental health services.
    • Rural health clinics would be designated as distant site providers for telehealth services under Medicare tallow for more health professionals tuse this important healthcare tool.
  • Lift up and empower rural communities ttailor home and community-based approaches thealth and wellness that puts control back in the individual's hands, not with insurance companies and healthcare corporations.
    • Prioritize preparing our healthcare networks and providers from the ground up tmeet the needs of rural populations.
    • Align training and education systems around informing health professionals by putting them directly intrural communities.
  • Invest in community-based grant programs aimed towards promoting rural healthcare services, such as the Rural Health Outreach Grant Program.
    • This is the only federal rural health care program that allows communities tuse these funds based on their community needs.
    • Rural communities alsdeal with racial and ethnic health disparities, and in some cases you find even greater disparities within rural populations.
  • Modernize payment structures for rural hospitals and health clinics.
    • Reform rural healthcare workforce policies with more flexibility for health professionals in rural settings and make health professionals eligible for reimbursement for those services as well.

Kirsten Gillibrand, Gillibrand Campaign Press Release - Gillibrand Unveils New Sweeping Agenda to Create a National Partnership with Rural America, Empower Local Communities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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