About Us

Train. Run. Win.

“I have been inspired and informed by Rust Belt Rising.  It can strengthen and enlighten candidates of all calibers. I promise it will be worth your time.” -Ohio St. Senator Kent Smith 

Rust Belt Rising exists to reconnect the Democratic Party to its base of working families by training candidates to lead on foundational economic issues. We work with Democratic candidates in the six states bordering the Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) to transform their values into persuasive economic messages. Through down-ballot work in these six states, we build a pipeline of qualified candidates and strengthen Democratic infrastructure in the Rust Belt.

We are committed to advancing a Democratic Party whose leadership reflects our diverse coalition and are proud to offer all of our services free of charge.

More than 1,200 Midwest leaders have taken part in courses and we have helped win 123 campaigns. 

Additionally, we provide training for local and state Democratic organizations and partners on improving messaging and strategies to win voters. We generate research and messaging via our Messaging Committee of Midwest comms veterans for our network of regional leaders. 

“Rust Belt Rising spoke with our county party’s members to help us hone our messaging and to inspire us to inspire others. Our audience ate it up! We are so hungry to understand the best way to message and reach others and we were sated! Thank you! RBR is such an asset to our cause, our party, our national experiment!”
—Keira Duvernoy, Benzie, MI County Democrats

Read our 2022 cycle report about how we have helped win 101 campaigns and trained 839 leaders in our courses. 

Learn about our work during the 2020 election cycle

Learn how we helped Wisconsin and Michigan residents register to vote in the 2020 and 2022 election years

“Rust Belt Rising gave an incredibly motivating and helpful presentation and discussion with our volunteers and leaders in Oakland County. We were thrilled with the ideas that were generated and the participants’ enthusiasm for canvassing following the presentation. The best part of the presentation and discussion was how RBR put people’s minds at ease for talking to “less receptive” voters. RBR helps to prepare us to share stories, identify values, and find the common path with voters in our conversations. It gave people the confidence to persuade and get out the vote.”
—Laurie Evans, Oakland, MI County Democrats

Get Involved

Support the Rust Belt Rising mission

Our work strengthens the Democratic Party in a critical region of the country. We are proud to offer our services free of charge to candidates to encourage a diverse pool of applicants. 

Make a donation to help elect Rust Belt Democrats here.

Donations by check can be made out to Rust Belt Rising and mailed to

Rust Belt Rising
318 West Adams St, Suite #1600
Chicago, IL 60606

Want to hear the latest news from Rust Belt Rising? 

Please join the Rust Belt Rising community and spread the word. 

Our Partners

Our People