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Leading Advocacy Voice for Rural North Carolina

Since its founding in 1987, the NC Rural Center has been a leading advocacy voice for rural North Carolina at the state level. Our efforts to build thriving rural communities hinges on the diverse perspectives and experience of our rural people. We strive to engage grassroots and grasstops leaders to inform our local, state and federal advocacy efforts. We believe that to be the best advocate for our state’s rural people and places, we must promote sound public policy. Our positions are informed by leading-edge, unbiased research and data, and by the wisdom and expertise of the people who call rural North Carolina home.



The mission of our legislative advocacy program is to research, develop, and advocate for innovative nonpartisan policy solutions to rural North Carolina’s biggest economic development challenges. Our advocacy program provides a platform for rural advocates to be heard, connect across differences, and engage with their elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels to affect public policy change. We conduct our work using the following tactics:


Convening and Connecting

  • Advancing the rural narrative
  • Uniting rural voices

Engaging and Equipping

  • Providing information and resources
  • Training and empowering advocates

Educating and Advocating

  • Developing sound policies
  • Connecting with policymakers and elected officials

Our advocacy program uses the following approaches

Public Information Resource: Serving as a timely, trusted go-to source for data and research, information, resources and connections.

Advocacy Network: Coordinating advocacy opportunities, community mobilization, training and information services, and capacity building for our advocacy network.

Policymaker Education and Engagement: Developing and maintaining strong, trusted working relationships with legislative, executive, and judicial staff and leadership at the state and federal levels; informing and advising policymakers on preferred courses of legislative and regulatory advocacy and action.

2024 Advocacy Priorities

RC-Priority-Icons-2024_web_small biz

Advocacy Toolkit

Use the Advocacy Toolkit to learn the basics about how to engage with your elected officials, view webinars and other training materials, and explore our theory of change. Most importantly, plan how you can take your own action to improve our state's rural communities.

Legislative Advocacy

2024 Advocacy Platform

North Carolina’s New Small Business Plan

Advocacy Resources

North Carolina Advocacy

Not sure what you’re allowed to do when talking with your elected officials? Read up on North Carolina’s lobbying law.

Legislative Glossary

This glossary defines terms that will help you as you navigate our legislative tracker.

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Watch informational video

Elected Job Descriptions

Job descriptions for elected officials

Resources for Meeting with Policymakers

How to be an effective storyteller

Want to learn more?

Torie Keeton

Torie Keeton View Biography

Director of Policy and Government Affairs

Policy wonk. Devoted dog mom. Shoe enthusiast. Alto/Mezzo. Can be counted on to have a question.