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  • Writer's pictureKristal Kuykendall

Rural Caucus re-launch: We're looking for ways to serve rural Arkansas, and for friends to serve with us

Howdy!


The Rural Caucus of Arkansas is back in action! 


Following nine months of minimal activity — hey, life is hectic for all of us! — the Rural Caucus executive committee has reconciled all our regulatory and financial documents and recommitted to the mission of connecting Arkansans across rural counties and meeting local needs wherever possible. We are officially in re-launch mode — and we sure hope you’ll join us as we ramp up efforts to serve rural Arkansas. 


First off: All Rural Caucus members must complete a new membership form for 2024.

We really hope you will take 30 seconds to complete this form and confirm your membership for this year! If you don’t have $15 for annual dues, that’s OK. We still want you to join and participate! 


Secondly: You may have asked “what local needs are y’all talking about?”

That is a big question with a long answer that changes often. 


The short answer is: Our members help decide where we focus our efforts. After you update your membership for 2024 please tell us a little about the needs you’re seeing in your community and how you’d like the Rural Caucus to serve Arkansas, through this Members’ Survey form


April meeting: New officers elected; vacancies; finance updates

At our meeting on April 11, new leaders were elected and vacancies identified. 

Amanda Bradley is our new chair — congrats Amanda! Thank you for being willing to serve. Amanda previously served as secretary and vice chair for us; her election to the chair position was unanimous.


Amanda has worked her tail off the past 7 weeks to file all the required documentation with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, and she’s also rectified the inadvertent omissions from last year’s reporting. The Rural Caucus is a registered PAC as of March 2024 and thanks to Amanda’s work to file all current and past due financial reports, the Rural Caucus is fully compliant with the Secretary of State. 


(FYI: Most PACs and other political groups rely on a contracted compliance expert to handle these tasks, as it’s not a simple process, and it’s more complex due to recent changes in the reporting and oversight process. We are lucky that Amanda is on our board and that she's capable of handling the compliance work and willing to do it for us!)


Other newly elected officers:

Outgoing chair and group co-founder Steve Grappe was elected to the vice chair position; and Kristal Kuykendall was elected as secretary, departing the communications chair role. Kate McCarty has stepped down as treasurer, and we are grateful for her service the past year and a half.  


Vacancies we now are seeking to fill:

  • Treasurer

  • Communications chair — managing social and blog updates and publicizing Rural Caucus events and efforts

  • Helpers of all kinds for future projects are also needed; if you want to get involved and not sure how, holler at us!


Please email chair@arkansasruralcaucus.com if you’re interested in helping or serving in one of these roles. 


Financial update recap from the April meeting: The Rural Caucus’ monthly expenses have been reduced to about $71, following consolidation of software and subscriptions, eliminating two unused subscriptions, and board members’ volunteering to use their personal software and emails as much as possible. Annual expenses for the Rural Caucus are limited to the operation of our public website.

  

What’s next for the Rural Caucus?


We meet via Google Meet (or you can phone in) on the second Thursday of every month from 6:30pm to 8pm. All Rural Caucus members will get an email reminder with the meeting link each month. Not getting our emails? Make sure you add chair@arkansasruralcaucus.com to your email contacts, and if you can’t find our emails, check your spam folder first, and then message us.


At our next meeting on May 9, we will review everyone’s input on the member survey to discuss and decide the programs, campaigns, and service projects for the rest of 2024. If we have any applicants or nominations for the vacant positions on the executive committee, we’ll also vote on those. We’ll also discuss fundraising ideas and the final distribution of funds collected last April for tornado relief efforts. If you’d like to get on the agenda for the May meeting, email Amanda your request.   


Thank you for your interest in the Rural Caucus and commitment to improving Arkansas’ rural communities and growing opportunities in our rural counties. 


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