Change advocates

2020 DC visit staff and board member
RCAC Rural Development Specialist Matt Kennedy, former board member Nancy Brown and Assistant Director Carol Cohen. February 2020 DC fly ins.

Rural advocacy

The RCAC Board of Directors added “advocacy” to our mission statement as one of the services we provide to help make rural communities vibrant, healthy and enduring.  RCAC’s rural advocacy efforts have historically concentrated on federal community development resources for rural areas. Our added focus on rural advocacy will target state governments.

It is clear to our Board and our staff that federal resources alone will not meet the infrastructure needs of the rural communities in the 13 western states RCAC serves. RCAC understands the prospects and unique challenges that rural residents and their communities face; and it is this understanding and experience that makes us particularly well-suited to advocate for resources, regulatory changes and new legislation that will improve the quality of life in rural communities.

Our advocacy efforts will focus on four core issues:

  • The Human Right to Water: Access to safe public drinking water in every community.
  • Regionalization: Promote policies that support collaborations between rural utilities to become more financially sustainable.
  • Indian Housing: Increase access to state administered housing programs in Indigenous communities.
  • State Housing Funding:  Promote state housing trust funds and secure a fair share of resources for rural housing development.
RCAC staff in DC
Former RCAC Policy and Advocacy Specialist Rachel Smith, Iain Hart, RCAC board member, John Sheehan, and Tigran Agdaian. 2019.

Annual DC Fly In

Each year, RCAC participates in a “DC fly in.” During the fly-in, many RCAC staff and board members, along with members from each of the six Rural Community Assistance Partnership regions, fly to Washington
DC to educate members of Congress and the administration about the services that RCAP performs for their rural constituents and remind them of the importance of federal rural development programs.

RCAP Fly Ins are typically held during late February/early March.

Successful advocacy efforts

Senate Bill 974: Senate Bill 974 into law on Sept. 29, 2020. The bill, sponsored by nonprofit organizations Rural Community Assistance Corporation and Self-Help Enterprises, exempts certain small drinking water system projects from the California Environmental Quality Act.

Success Stories: Compilation of success stories and case studies that highlight our impact in rural communities.

Paycheck Protection Program: RCAC accepted and processed the following Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The program ended August 8, 2020.