Rural Americans Deserve Better

Rural Texans, like all rural Americans, have been neglected and left behind by both parties for far too long.

Republicans have led the state for the last 29 years, but politicians on both sides of the aisle have dropped the ball when it comes to rural Texas, the folks who supply our food, fuel, fiber.

In order to have a strong Texas, rural Texas HAS to be strong.

Where rural Texas goes, so goes the state economically, politically, and historically. If we don’t have a healthy and strong rural population, Texas runs the risk of failure.

We understand that rural Texans live throughout the state and represent many facets Texas. There is diversity of race, industry, and geography in the different rural parts of Texas.

This Bill of Rights highlights 11 basic rights and accessible principles we believe every rural resident in Texas should have.

1. Right to own land without the threat of private development taking your property

Generational landowners should never be forced to cede property in the name of private development from mega-corporations. No company, no matter how deep their pockets, should ever have more claim to your family’s land in the name of corporate profits than you and your family. Generational landowners should also be protected from unfair taxation that threatens their ability to pass on land, and general rural wealth, to the next generation.

2. Right to accessible healthcare

Every resident of America should live no more than 30 miles from an emergency room or medical clinic and we must invest in our public health infrastructure accordingly. 

3. Right to affordable health insurance

Rural small business owners, their employees and self-employed individuals must have access to affordable health insurance options.

4. Right to healthy food

We must end rural food deserts that are leading to a decline in public health. Every rural community should have access to a grocery store in order to decrease nutrition deficit and increase the availability of fresh food and produce.

5. Right to broadband and cell phone access

Everyone deserves access to broadband internet and reliable cell phone access. We must expand our broadband and cellular infrastructure to ensure that rural communities have better access to the internet, the lifeblood of our modern economy. 

6. Right to protection during national emergencies 

As American infrastructure continues to rely more heavily on cyber technology, our local, state, and federal governments must work together to ensure there is a plan for rural communities in case of a national security threat or a national disaster.  

7. Right to fair prices

In times of disaster or crisis, such as Winter Storm Uri or rampant inflation, consumers must be protected from businesses unreasonably increasing prices in the name of corporate profits.

8. Right to fully funded public schools

We must fully fund Public Schools to provide stability for students, parents, and teachers, and to also establish our schools as hubs in rural communities. They educate our children, but can also be the center of all social services and workforce development opportunities, including certificates and training in craftsmanship and trade skills. Vouchers are of no use in rural Texas when there are no “school choices” and districts are fighting to keep their schools open.

9. Right to strong leadership

We must allocate special investments for rural communities to support new generations of leaders, via management and leadership training programs, in order to shape and develop leadership centered around a vision for a prosperous Rural America.

10. Right to farm 

Our nation’s family farms and small producers deserve a greater share of the food dollars. Currently far too much of all profits are bypassing these communities and going straight to international corporations. The Farm Bill needs to restore fair and open markets for ranchers, strengthen local food systems and the farm safety net while cutting red tape to access resources. Texas ranchers and farmers need to continue being leaders in the production of our nation’s food, fuel, and fiber.  

11. Right to affordable housing

Housing availability and affordability should be prioritized to ensure anyone who is threatened to leave rural communities because of the threat of private development can be protected in their desire to keep and/or afford their home. Corporate profits should never come at the expense of our rural communities' well-being.