Mission & Strategy

Our Mission

The biggest problem facing the Democratic Party and our small d “democracy” is how badly we, as Democrats, are getting overtaken at the local level, especially in non-urban areas, by Republicans and the radical right. Over the last twenty years, we’ve been outspent and out organized in non-urban communities.
We’re leaving nearly 100,000 elections uncontested every year, which has huge implications on everything we care about as progressives. And the folks on the front-lines of this problem - rural Democratic county parties or progressive organizers - don’t have the support they need to win.

What's At Stake

The Health of our Democracy

Whether we have open, fair, and free elections is on the line. GOP efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and stage a violent coup represent an ongoing threat. We recruit local election clerks and municipal and county officials who oversee elections to fight back and protect our democracy.

Abortion Access

Amidst state level abortion bans in red states, Democratic cities find ways around abortion bans. How we fight back against the radical Supreme Court and ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible is on the line.

Young People's Lives

Whether we have inclusive schools that teach the full breadth of our history and equip all students, no matter their gender, race, or zip code to succeed depends on who sits on school boards across the county. We recruit school board candidates who will stand up for racial equity, advocate for adequate school funding and ensure schools are safe places for students of all backgrounds to learn and grow.

Racial Justice

Local DAs and sheriffs wield immense power over how communities are policied and how police are held accountable, and county and city leaders can work for racial justice and equity across schools, social programs, housing, and more.

Climate Change

Cities, counties and soil and water districts make decisions every day that can help us combat the climate crisis. Whether we reduce emissions and build resilient communities is in part all about who sits in city council, county commissioner and soil and water district boards.

Our Strategy


Build the pipeline of candidates fighting back at the local level who can run for higher level office.


Build long term organizing infrastructure to help those candidates win.


Drive additional Dem vote share through the reverse coattail effect & voter mobilization driven by our investment.

Our History

In 2018, local rural Democratic leaders asked Movement Labs to recruit candidates for a single rural election that wouldn’t otherwise have had a Democrat running. We saw massive interest in running when asked, and since then we’ve worked in almost every state and recruited over 7,000 to file and build a community of over 200,000 additional local leaders interested in running for first-time office.
In 2021, Movement Labs came to those same rural Democratic leaders - county party chairs - and asked them what they needed to succeed. That pilot program, the Rural Power Lab, provided small grants, training and unlimited volunteer text recruitment - if those county party teams met basic monthly organizing goals. Almost all of our pilot teams succeeded in meeting their goals in 2022, knocking on over 160,000 rural doors. Yale and Columbia researcher’s best guess is that this work generated a 3 point boost to Congressional Democrats vote margins compared to control counties.