On June 15, the Center and Wallowa Resources sent a letter to Congress with 122 signatures urging our elected leaders to improve federal programs and policies to better serve rural and tribal communities in future federal COVID-19 response and recovery action.

The letter was addressed to leadership of both parties in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. Signatories to the letter included 88 organizations and 34 individuals, originating in the South (41), Northeast (31), West (30), Midwest (17) and Indian country (2).

Northern Initiatives, a private nonprofit community development financial institution based in Marquette, Michigan, sent a similar letter with 105 signatures to the Trump Administration's U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The letters are products of the Rural Development Innovation Group (RDIG) — a collaborative of rural development practitioners working to advance rural community and economic development around the U.S. The Center co-founded and has helped lead the collaborative since 2015.

The recommendations are informed by priorities in the Northern Forest region and similar perspectives from rural practitioners here and across the country. The message is simple: More must be done, and in smarter ways, to ensure rural and tribal communities have the resources and flexibility they need both to respond to the immediate crisis and to build back better in the longer run recovery.

The Center is proud to have helped deliver this strong message to Congress and the Administration urging changes in federal programs and policies to benefit rural communities. Click the PDFs below to see each letter and its signatories.

Policy Letter to Congress

Policy Letter to Office of Management and Budget