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Hometown Voices

Vision & Theory of Change

The rural and small-town organizing program, Michigan Hometown Voices, officially launched at Michigan United in 2019. Michigan Hometown Voices envisions a working-class, multiracial, and multigenerational base of thousands of people in rural and small-town areas across the state of Michigan that come together across political ideologies. They identify key problems their communities face and address them through progressive economic justice campaigns. Two theories of change are the basis for planning the campaign:  

  1. Build an engaged, progressive, multiracial base in rural Michigan and grow rural and urban and people of color and white solidarity to counter the racist threats to democracy that are growing in rural areas. 

  2. We can intervene in the divisive and racist politics that are driving people to the far right through “deep canvassing.” 


Strategic Tactics, Outcomes, & Goals

Listening Campaign:  During listening sessions in 2020 at tables at county fairs, and one-on-one outreach via zoom, our members have learned the key issues affecting rural community members. 


2020 Stats:

  • 500 member-led listening conversations

  • 11 listening events

Base Building:  Investing in our supporters & members through one-on-one engagement, committee structure, & regular training is key to building rural community member’s leadership.


2020 Stats:

  • 6 core team members

  • 25 committee members

  • 59 volunteers

  • 400+ supporters


Deep Canvass:  Using race-conscious messaging, non-judgemental listening, and story-sharing, our paid & volunteer team is shifting hearts & minds. 


Presidential Election 2020 Stats:

  • 1.5 million calls

  • 32, 340 Conversations

  • 50.6% movement rate on where their vote lies 

  • 27.4% persuasion rate on where their vote lies

Rural Agenda  

In 2020, our members voted to prioritize these issues based on our listening campaign:

  • Health Care/Mental Health

  • Environment

  • Overdose Crisis

  • Income/Jobs

  • Education & Higher Ed

  • Big Money Influence in Gov’t 

2021 Goals

Create momentum around mental health in education policy wins around HB 4156, collaboration with Michigan Education Justice Coalition as well as advocate for a rural voice around infrastructure. 

Base Building.

Improve the lives of people in rural Michigan by supporting policy wins on one or more issues that were identified in the listening campaign and voted on by members through relationships and community building. 


12 Core Team Members

50 Committee Members

800 Volunteers 

Having relational organizing conversations with impactive, deep canvassing, and one-to-ones

Deep Canvass 2021 Goals

Trainings and phone banks around issues relevant to the campaign discussed in committee meetings & listening efforts:

  • Supporting  MI United issue campaigns

  • Rapid Response 

  • Building alliances with partner organizations

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