DES MOINES, Iowa--How do you know if a politician or reporter has his or her facts straight on rural America? The answer has gotten a lot easier with the launch of the 80-55 Coalition for Rural America's new Web site, www.8055.org.
In particular, www.8055.org contains links to relevant documents, reports, articles and publications by the coalition, its members and numerous federal agencies. Through these consolidated resources, www.8055.org saves visitors time and offers one of the most complete pictures of rural America available in any single place on the Web.
"www.8055.org is a much-needed step toward raising awareness of the fact that issues that affect rural America have an impact on all of us," said Rick Foster, 80-55 spokesperson and vice president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the founding partners of the coalition. "During the 2004 presidential campaign, it is important for America to realize that what affects rural America affects us all."
The 80-55 Coalition is a growing nonpartisan group of advocacy, policy and research organizations dedicated to strengthening rural America. The coalition draws attention to what rural America has in common with the rest of the country, what it contributes and what it needs to remain a vital and contributing part of the nation. Approximately 80 percent of the nation's landmass and 55 million people live in rural America. Depending on the definition of "rural," these estimates can range from 75-80 percent of the land and 48-59 million people.