• "The Democratic Party — indeed, all America — must take heed, and Dirt Road Revival offers us a path forward. This is a wonderful, powerful book — and one of the most hopeful I’ve read about a possible future for American politics."


    Robert B. Reich, former US Secretary of Labor and 

    author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few

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The Democratic Party left rural America behind.

This urgent rallying cry shows how Democrats can win back and empower overlooked communities that have been pushing politics to the right—and why long-term progressive political power depends on it.

Praise for Dirt Road Revival

Book Description

Through 2 successful elections in rural red districts that few thought could be won by a Democrat, twentysomethings Maine state senator Chloe Maxmin (D-District 13) and campaign manager Canyon Woodward saw how the Democratic Party has focused for too long on the interests of elite leaders and big donors, forcing the party to abandon the concerns of rural America—jeopardizing climate justice, racial equity, economic justice, and more. Dirt Road Revival looks at how we got here and lays out a road map for progressive campaigns in rural America to build an inclusive, robust, grassroots politics that fights for equity and justice across our country.

First, Maxmin and Woodward detail how rural America has been left behind. They explore rural healthcare, economic struggle, brain drain, aging communities, whiteness and racism, education access, broadband, Big Agriculture, and more. Drawing on their own experiences, they paint a picture of rural America today and pinpoint the strategic failures of Democrats that have caused the party to lose its rural foothold. 

Next, they tell the story of their successful campaigns in the most rural county in the most rural state in the nation. In 2018, Maxmin became the only Democrat to ever win Maine House District 88 and then unseated the highest-ranking Republican in Maine —the Senate Minority Leader—in 2020, making her the youngest woman senator in Maine’s history.

Finally, Maxmin and Woodward distill their experiences into concrete lessons that can be applied to rural districts across the country to build power from the state and local levels on up. They lay out a new long-term vision for Democrats to rebuild trust and win campaigns in rural America by translating progressive values to a rural context, moving beyond the failed strategies of establishment consultants and utilizing grassroots-movement organizing strategies to effectively engage moderate rural voters.

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Chloe Maxmin

Hailing from rural Maine, Chloe is the youngest woman ever to serve in the Maine State Senate, at 28 years old. She was elected in 2020 after unseating a two-term Republican incumbent and (former) Senate Minority Leader. In 2018, she served in the Maine House of Representatives after becoming the first Democrat to win a rural conservative district. She also received an honors degree from Harvard College, where she co-founded Divest Harvard. She is also the Co-Founder/Advisor at JustME for JustUS, a Maine-based organization focused on rural youth civic engagement and climate justice. She is the Co-Founder, alongside Canyon, of Dirtroad Organizing, a new non-profit dedicated to rural organizing. Chloe runs Begin Again Farm with her partner in Maine.

Canyon Woodward

Canyon was born, raised, and homeschooled in the Appalachian Mountains of rural North Carolina and the North Cascades of Washington. He was the campaign manager for Chloe Maxmin’s successful 2018 and 2020 campaigns. He was previously regional field director for Bernie Sanders 2016, field director for Jane Hipps for NC Senate, and vice chair of the NC District 11 Democrats. He earned an honors degree in social studies from Harvard College, where the bulk of his education took place outside of the classroom co- coordinating (with Chloe) Divest Harvard, a 70,000+person movement that succeeded in pressuring Harvard to divest its $53 billion endowment from fossil fuels. He is also an avid trail runner. He is the Co-Founder of Dirtroad Organizing, a new non profit dedicated to rural organizing.

Rural Runners 

Click HERE to request a screening!

Rural Runners is a short documentary, 28 minutes, and a labor of love created by Canyon's brother, Forest. The film follow Chloe and Canyon's journey as two community organizers. It documents our time on the campaign trail as well as Canyon's burgeoning rise as a champion ultra-distance runner. The film is about re-humanizing our deeply divided political system, offering hope and path toward a healthier democracy.

Rural Runners is now public! You can see the full film here. It premiered at Mountainfilm in Telluride and is a Vimeo Staff Pick.

Join the movement! 

This is where we do the organizing work.

Our organization, Dirtroad Organizing, empowers and reconnects with rural communities through listening, compassion, and respect to build long-term power. 

​We provide rural organizing resources, trainings, leadership development, and coaching to support on-the-ground organizing.
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