One of the great pleasures of my book tour is getting to spend some quality time with great organizers and activists outside of DC that I haven't known well. One of those people is Deb Kozikowski, who I have been hanging out with while in the Amherst/NoHo area.
Deb is a longtime Democratic Party organizer who has been on the DNC representing Massachusetts for many years, and who in 2007, with her longtime friend and fellow rural activist Matt Barron, cofounded an organization called RuralVotes. RuralVotes is one of those really important niche organizations that works on issues that matter to rural and small-town people, but does it from a progressive perspective. One of their most important strategies is to focus on doing small-town radio ads, which are incredibly cheap but reach a lot of voters in rural areas because people spend a lot of time on the road in small-town America. These ads also get a lot of buzz in small-town newspapers.
Right now, they are doing an advertising campaign in the special election for Kirsten Gilibrand's old seat, NY-20. The Albany Project did a nice piece on it here. As I have written before, Democrats don't have to win a majority of voters in rural America to win most elections, but they sure do have to win a higher percentage than Al Gore and John Kerry did. RuralVotes is making a strong contribution to making that happen.