Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes


Addressing Obesity in Nebraska’s Youth: Water Consumption in Schools

Due to the time young people spend there, schools are a natural location for proactive, cost-effective interventions to reduce obesity. Policy options to do so include more access to no-cost drinking water, education, promotion of water as a substitute for sugary beverages, and inclusion of water fountains and/or water bottle filling stations in new school buildings.

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Apoyo Político 101

Las políticas estatales y nacionales tienen un impacto directo en nuestras vidas diarias. Entonces, ¿qué puedo hacer yo para afectar la política? Nuestros representantes son elegidos para actuar en representación nuestra para darle forma a las políticas que nos afectan. Se puede interactuar con representantes electos a través de el apoyo político. Comprender el apoyo político y a lo que se refiere ser un defensor de las formulaciones​ de las políticas es muy clave en tener conocimiento de nuestro sistema político y hacer oír nuestras voces.

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SB 157 undercuts local control

Local citizens deserve a chance to be fully informed and weigh in on proposed development in their communities.

Senate Bill 157, brought at the request of Gov. Noem and advanced in the Senate, erodes local control by restructuring the county zoning and appeals process in a way that removes the requirement of a public hearing for projects with special permitted use. Public hearings are one of the few avenues stakeholders have to provide comments to local officials on proposed projects, and they need to be preserved.

Iowa Legislative update - Feb. 25, 2020

Last week was the first funnel deadline in the Legislature, which means bills must have moved from House and Senate committees to the full floor for debate or they cannot move forward this session. Appropriations bills and Ways and Means Committee bills are not subject to these deadlines, as well as bills that moved through the funnel last year. A few of the bills we are monitoring failed to move forward. In all, we have registered for, against, or undecided on more than two-dozen bills which relate to water quality, renewable energy, economic development, and more.

Nebraska Unicameral Update- Feb. 25, 2020

The Nebraska Legislature has hit the half-way mark in its “short,” 60 day session. Lawmakers are tentatively scheduled to adjourn on April 23, 2020. Hearings for 482 new bills introduced during the second year of the biennium will wrap up later this week.