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Photo Credit: Allison Iafrate - Humboldt

To increase visibility and understanding of challenges rural communities face, Rural Advancement Institute. (RAI) facilitates educational activities and research throughout rural California. These activities touch a range of topics, ranging from forest resiliency to housing, helping to increase both the breadth and depth of knowledge on key priority issues.



Educational Activities


Rural Advancement Institute organizes educational tours to rural counties to fostering greater awareness and comprehension of the challenges faced by rural regions among California lawmakers and other significant stakeholders. These immersive visits will provide participants with a unique opportunity to witness the direct impact of current California policies on rural communities. Participants can gain insights into the specific challenges these communities face and develop a more profound understanding of their experiences in addressing these hurdles.

2024 Education Priority Policy Areas

  • Agriculture/Food

  • Climate Change

  • Forest Resiliency

  • Housing

  • Insurability

  • Illegal Cannabis Enforcement

  • Land Use/Development

  • Landfills/SB 1383

  • Prison Closures

  • Recreation

  • Rural Homelessness

  • Rural Urban Connect

  • Water (drought, floods, sites reservoir, water storage, upper watershed, infrastructure)

  • Wildfire/Rebuild

  • Workforce Development

  • ZEV Infrastructure


Academic Research

Rural Advancement Institute collaborates with research institutions to develop high quality, data-driven research regarding the impacts of federal and state policymaking on rural communities, with particular emphasis on factors that distinguish rural from urban communities. This collaborative effort allows for a comprehensive exploration of these challenges, enabling the development and advocacy of evidence-based solutions that effectively address the needs of rural communities. 


For 2024, the Board of Directors has identified the issue of capacity challenges in fire and emergency medical services within rural communities as the focus for Rural Advancement Institute sponsored research project. Work is currently underway to define the research scope.

Find RAI's past reports below.  


2024 Research Priority Policy Areas

  • Agriculture Food

  • Air Quality

  • Biomass

  • De-Energization

  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure/ Preparedness

  • Emergency Disaster Preparedness

  • Health Access/ Behavioral Health

  • Housing

  • Insurance 

  • Quality of Life in Rural California

  • Rural Economies (Community Economic Resilience Fund, project financing, innovation funds)

  • Water

  • Wildfire Resilience

  • Williamson Act/PILT

  • Workforce development

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