Small Town Actions for a New Democracy

With 27 days to go until November 3rd, many groups across the ROP network are working hard in the lead up to the election. We know that no one candidate will provide a magic bullet solution, but electing candidates with a vision of safe and welcoming communities for all is one simple way for many of us to participate in advancing democracy. By working together with our neighbors, we can create the future we want. It’s going to mean making sure that we exercise our right to vote in record numbers, making sure that everyone who wants to vote can, and then making sure that every vote is counted.

Like every election, the Small Town Actions for a New Democracy (STAND) Election Guide provides information by and for rural Oregonians about ballot measures, who represent you, and other issues up for a vote this November. This guide also engages community members in a conversation about how to move our communities closer to the thriving rural Oregon that we all want! The digital version of the 2020 STAND Election Guide is now available in both English and Spanish at If you have already ordered paper guides, they will arrive shortly. Haven’t placed your order yet? Reach out to us at (503)-543-8417 or email ASAP because we may run out!

Unlike other elections, this year we are facing a series of overlapping crises: the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires tearing through our communities, attacks on the postal system, massive unemployment, political unrest, and deep polarization in our communities. In conversations across the state, we keep hearing two big questions: Will we still have democracy come January? How do we prepare for escalating violence around the elections?

Want to grapple with these questions together? Join us tomorrow, Thursday, October 8th, from 4-530 PM PST, for the Virtual Teach-In: Youth Activists and Elders Take on Our Political Crisis. Rural Organizing Project and other powerful organizations from across the country will be joining members of The National Council of Elders to engage in conversation about the perils and opportunities of our political moment. We will focus on November 3rd and how we can build solidarity and transformation in the face of crisis, both leading up to and following the election. Register here to join the conversation! For more information about this teach-in, along with other trainings and strategy sessions from ROP, go to

No matter the current context or crisis though, we know that talking with our friends and neighbors, even those that we disagree with, is still our most important work. We may have different politics or philosophies, but we all share common concerns for our homes, health, families, and having a voice in the decisions that affect our lives. How has your group been organizing around the election with the added challenges of COVID-19 and political unrest? What creative ways have you been using to talk to people in your community about the election? Let us know by emailing us at!

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