In the News

Big Relief Groups Take Donations, Grassroots Groups Do the Hard Work - The Macon Telegraph

Big relief groups come in and take donations after disasters, leaving grassroots groups to do the hard work of recovery after they’re gone — but local groups often don’t have what they need to help people recover. That’s why Hometown Action set up the Rural Disaster Recovery Network, to help local nonprofits connect with skilled volunteers.

Autopsy Report: Alabama Democrats On What Went Wrong in 2018

Hometown Action is focusing on progressive causes in rural Alabama. KC Vick, a community organizer for Hometown Action, said they aren’t deterred by Democratic losses on Tuesday.

“I’m optimistic about Hometown Action and other frontline groups building collective power to take back our state and build communities where we can all thrive. We do that work every day. Not only in an election year.”

Progressives Try a New Kind of Campaigning in Alabama The New Yorker

Over the weekend, around a dozen progressive volunteers fanned out in the tiny Alabama town of Wetumpka to do last-minute polling before the midterm elections. They had been gathered together by the organization Hometown Action, a nonpartisan group founded by a community organizer named Justin Vest, which canvasses and registers potential voters in the state’s rural areas. Two young organizers, Dana Sweeney and K. C. Vick, were in light fall jackets as they passed out flyers and cards promoting the three candidates, all female, whom Hometown Action was endorsing: the Democrats Kari Powell and Cara McClure, for the state Public Service Commission, which regulates local utilities, and the Democrat Tabitha Isner, for Congress. 

Why Alabama is the Future of the Progressive Movement - Common Dreams

As someone who’s been oppressed due to my skin color and veteran status, I do my best to serve my country in the name of social justice through organizations such as Hometown Action—a local grassroots group through which I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors to ask what the biggest problems are for my fellow Alabamians. What I’ve found is that top voter concerns in Alabama revolve around everyday struggles like keeping the lights on and affording medicine. 

Hometown Action Endorses Isner - Alabama Political Reporter

“There is so much at stake for Alabama in these midterm elections.” said Hometown Action Executive Director Justin Vest. “We are looking for bold, progressive candidates who will stand up for Alabama’s working families, and our members in District 2 enthusiastically endorse Tabitha Isner for Congress.”

“Empowering local communities around the issues which matter to them is critical to re-establishing a functional democracy in the region,” said Isner.

Don't Exploit Rural America
 - The Youngstown Vindicator

Volunteers with Hometown Action, a new group organizing a multiracial constituency of working-class people in small towns and rural communities, have knocked on thousands of doors throughout Alabama. They’re asking about which issues matter most to local residents, and who they believe is responsible for their problems.

Even in the most conservative counties, we found that most people don’t blame immigrants for their problems – even if politicians do.

The Growing Grassroots Movement to Make the South Safer for LGBT PeopleBuzzFeed News

“There’s almost an element of defiance for me in claiming my home,” Dana Sweeney, 23, told me. I met him and two other young queer volunteers from Hometown Action at K.C. Vick’s house in Montgomery on a sticky Sunday night.

The organizers I spoke to at Vick’s apartment are door-knocking and phone-banking and taking selfies on the state Capitol steps with a mixture of fearlessness and realism. “We don’t have a choice.”

Poverty and Proficiency: MPS' Biggest Obstacle May Lie Outside the School System - The Montgomery Advertiser

Hometown Action member Beth Cox spoke of the difficulty of being a single mom in Montgomery while working two jobs and helping her daughter earn a seat in "one of the best elementary schools in the state," an outcome that ultimately relied on pure chance. 

"I’ve sweated over late projects, lack of field trip money. I’ve washed uniforms in the sink, dried them with a hairdryer and hoped that would be good enough for the next morning." 

No One Really Understands the South - The New York Times

Dana Sweeney, a young organizer in Montgomery with Hometown Action, which does nonpartisan canvassing in small towns and rural areas, said the group’s priorities of racial justice, gender equity, access to health care and environmental justice weren’t out of place in those communities. 

New Social Action Group Forms in Montevallo - Shelby County Reporter

Justin Vest, Hometown Action’s founder and executive director, is one of those University of Montevallo products who left town after he left school but was drawn back by the magnetism of this little college town. Vest came back with a mission.