Monday May 8, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. 
Tuesday May 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

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Monday Night: The Rural Center 
4021 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610 

Tuesday: NC Museum of History 
5 E Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27610

Driving Directions 


John Coggin, director of advocacy 
The Rural Center 

Rural Day 2017 

Join us on Monday, May 8 - Tuesday, May 9, for our first-ever statewide Rural Day. Learn about the issues facing rural North Carolina, meet with state leaders, network with other rural champions, and help put rural North Carolina's best foot forward!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Reel Rural: Documenting Rural Life

The Rural Center (4021 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610)

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Meet and Greet Reception

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m - Film Screening & Discussion

Come to town early and join us at the Rural Center for a conversation with filmmakers about recent depictions of rural North Carolina in documentary films. Featuring:

                          Randolph Benson, Duke Center for Documentary Studies

                                    Erin Cuevas, Producer, The Real Mayberry

                                    Bill Hayes, Director, The Real Mayberry

                                    Ian Kibbie, Producer, Raising Bertie

                                    Ryan Stancil, Bit & Grain

Sponsored by: Twiddy & Company Realtors

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


NC Museum of History (5 E Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601)

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. -  Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Program

Rural Day kicks off with a convocation of rural champions from across the state. Join us for a continental breakfast and conversation with top state leaders about their vision for North Carolina. Then, get some advice from Rural Center staff about how best to engage with legislators and other public officials, and hear some examples of how to tell the "story of rural" from local leaders. Featuring:

          Roy Cooper, Governor of NC

                                    Dan Forest, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

                                    Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore, NC Senate

                                    Tim Moore, Speaker, NC House of Representatives

                                    Steve Troxler, NC Agriculture Commissioner

Sponsored by: East Carolina University

NC Cooperative Extension

Western Carolina University College of Business

Rural Fair

NC Legislative Building (16 W Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601)

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Before you visit your legislators, make sure to visit the Rural Fair, featuring more than 20 organizations from across North Carolina representing various rural issues. Want to learn more about policies affecting education? Health? Infrastructure? Business Development? Chat with experts and get useful information that will help you make a strong case for your interests when you meet with your elected officials. Featuring:

Appalachian Regional Commission

 Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Business Link NC


ECC Technologies, Inc.

East Carolina University

Hinton Rural Life Center


NC Community Health Center Association

NC Cooperative Extension

NC Department of Commerce

NC East Alliance

NC Grange

 NC Growth (Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, UNC Chapel Hill)

NC Hospital Association

NC Regional Councils of Government (COGs)

NC Rural Health Leadership Association

NC Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs)

NC Susainable Energy Association

Rosenwald Center

Vidant Health

...and more!

"In Conversation"

NC Museum of History (5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601)

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m - Session I

Michael Regan, Secretary, NC Department of Environmental Quality

Susi Hamilton, Secretary, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (invited)

1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Session II

James Trogdon, Secretary, NC Department of Transportation

Anthony Copeland, Secretary, NC Department of Commerce (invited)

If you have some time between meetings with legislators, come back to the Museum of History for small-scale, informal conversations with leaders of state executive departments, who will be sharing their plans for rural North Carolina and ready to answer your questions!

Legislative Meetings Debrief

NC Museum of History Auditorium (5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601)

2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

After you finish your meetings with your representatives, stop back by the Auditorium for a debrief session to let us know how they went. We'll compare notes about issues discussed and excting developments before heading to the reception to conclude the day.

Rural Day Reception

NC Executive Mansion (210 N Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27601)

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Celebrate a successful day in the gardens of the Governor's Mansion. Network with rural champions, catch up with old friends, and share your stories from your meetings with state leaders.

Sponsored by: Dominion Energy

NC Electric Cooperatives

Happy Hour

The Raleigh Times (14 E Hargett Street, Raleigh, NC 27601)

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Not ready to go home? Staying for the night? Join the few, the proud, and the lingering at a happy hour at The Raleigh Times. Just join us in the room closest to the Wilmington Street corner. Note: No RSVP needed for this event, where food and drink will be available for purchase.


Plan Your Trip


Monday night's activities take place at the Rural Center (4021 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610). Parking at the Rural Center is free and ample.

Tuesday's activities take place in and around the State Government Complex. Parking is available at three visitor lots for $2.00/hour. Paid street parking is also available in the vicinity for two-hour increments. Please see the map (oriented with North to the left) for most convenient parking to our activities at the NC Museum of History, the Legislative Building, and the Executive Mansion (located in the block above the NC Archives and to the left of the Bus Parking lot).

For more information, please visit the State Parking website.


The Rural Center will be providing hors d'ouevres at Monday night's event, continental breakfast on Tuesday morning at the Convocation, and light refreshments Tuesday afternoon at the reception at the Executive Mansion.

Because attendees will be scheduling meetings with their legislators throughout the lunchtime hours, we suggest finding lunch on your own at a time that fits your schedule. There are many options for lunch (and dinner afterwards) in downtown Raleigh. The Legislative Building itself offers both a cafeteria and a snack bar in the basement. Please see our list of these and other restaurants, organized by proximity to the Legislative Building. Asterisks on this map indicate restaurants that offer counter service and may be able to offer a quicker lunch if your timing around meetings is tight.



If you are visiting from outside the Raleigh area and plan to stay one or more nights, please see this list of hotels in the Raleigh area, organized by proximity to downtown Raleigh and the main events of Rural Day. Please note that while we only listed hotels that received three or more stars on Trip Advisor, a hotel's presence on this list does not indicate a Rural Center recommendation. We suggest doing your own research on any hotel on this list before booking. 


Schedule Legislative Meetings 

Once you've registered for the Rural Day event, the next step is to schedule meetings with your legislators. The process is simple:

1) Find out who represents you here: http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx

2) Then, find the contact info for your representatives here:

House: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House
Senate: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=senate
Simply call or email the members' offices (if emailing, you can email the members or their Legislative Assistants), let them know you will be in town on Tuesday, May 9, and ask for short meetings that fit their schedules.

3) Once you have scheduled your meetings, please fill out this form to let us know when they will be: https://goo.gl/forms/8EibrF4a7t95JG6T2

Not sure what to say in a request to meet? Here's a helpful script for you to adapt to your own voice:

Hello Senator/Representative INSERT:

Thank you for representing District INSERT. I am your constituent, and I will be in Raleigh on Tuesday, May 9, as part of the first-ever Rural Day.

Do you have availability between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on May 9 for a short meeting? I would like to talk with you about my commitment to economic development in INSERT TOWN OR COUNTY and some ideas about how you can support our efforts at the state level.

Also, I would like to invite you to a reception hosted by the Rural Center at the Executive Mansion that afternoon from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., which is being hosted by the Rural Center.

I look forward to seeing you in Raleigh in May. Thank you for your time and service to our community.



Learn About the Issues

You've got meetings scheduled with your legislators...now what do you say?

Start by reading through the 10 Rural Counts Strategies. After spending time listening to rural communities across the state, the Rural Center found that 10 themes rose to the surface as major issues facing most rural places. We believe that if we can work together, both locally and as a state, to tackle these 10 areas, rural communities will be primed to succeed in today's economy. 

Do any issues stand out as most important to you or your community? Read about them more in-depth. Talk with other people in your community about them. What stories emerge as powerful examples of what's working - and what's not - in your hometown? These stories, more so than endless facts and figures or detailed policy proposals, will be the recipe for a successful meeting with your legislator.

Want to know about specific policies relating to your favorite issue area? Read the Rural Center's 2017 Advocacy Priorities to learn about what we're focusing on this year. And check out our Bill Tracker, updated each week to reflect which bills are being considered by the General Assembly this session and their progress toward passage.

Then, make sure to join us for our training webinar on Wednesday, May 3, at 3:00 p.m. You can choose to register automatically for this webinar as part of your registration for Rural Day. Or, you can regsiter directly. Can't make the webinar? The video will be available on Thursday, May 4, on the Rural Center website for you to view before coming to Raleigh. 

Finally, plan to spend some time at the Rural Fair in the Legislative Building on May 9. More than 20 organizations from around the state will have informational booths set up between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. that you can visit to learn more about specific issues or locations. They will have in-depth information you can use in your meetings, or take home to share with your friends and colleagues.