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Recent posts by Brian Depew

Aligning Capital and Justice

In 2015, the Center for Rural Affairs will reach the $12 million mark in small business loans. Aligning loan capital with our values of widespread ownership, control, and opportunity is a core strategy for our work.

How did we get here?

In 1977, the Center published Where Have All the Bankers Gone?, reporting on changes in the ownership structure of banking. Banks were consolidating. When small-town banks joined a consolidated chain, more of their customers’ cash holdings went to big-city banks in the chain.

Rural America: It's Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, widely believed, narratives about rural America. The national media narrative, with roots in the 1980’s farm crisis, is fatalistic. Rural places are dying. It lives on at the Brookings Institute and the New York Times, fueled by demographics that show decades of population decline across much of rural America.
 
The other narrative is woven by small town boosters. They point to new demographic data showing 30-49 year olds returning to small towns. They talk with passion about new businesses and housing shortages.
 

Remembering Hank Rohling

A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, Hank Rohling, passed away unexpectedly on October 24, 2014. In his two years at the Center, Hank crisscrossed the country visiting with Center donors in nearly every state.

Since his passing, many of you have written to share your memories of visiting with him. One Center supporter wrote, “Hank visited our home, and we had such rich conversation. Hank was so real, and it was wonderful to have the Center reach into our home.”

Remembering a Dear Friend and Colleague

I have to share some tragic and very sad news with you. A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, and a friend and acquaintance to many of you, Hank Rohling, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 24. 

I know many of you - Center donors across the country - had the opportunity to visit with Hank, our major gifts development officer, over the past two years. 

Rural America: It’s Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, and widely believed, narratives about rural America. The narrative in the national media is a fatalist one. Rural places are dying. The people are leaving.

This narrative has roots in the farm crisis. It lives on strong at the Brookings Institute and on the pages of The New York Times. It is fueled by demographic trends that show decades of population decline across many areas of the nation.

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