About Us

November 8, 2016 was a disastrous night for America. With narrow victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Donald Trump was elected President. Enough Republicans were elected to control both Houses of Congress. 

The results have been far worse than we expected. Donald Trump has attacked our free press and our judiciary, promoted alternate realities, gutted federal agencies, disregarded school shootings, assaulted the entire intelligence community, and made harrowing foreign policy choices.Congressional Republicans have not offered any significant opposition to Donald Trump’s policies.

Nor has the Democratic Party seemed ready to respond. After the 2016 elections, a former U.S. Senator offered this pessimistic outlook: with the help of the Koch brothers’ schools, Republicans have developed a pipeline of candidates who have a consistent message. Democrats have a nearly empty pipeline, and their candidates often have a diffuse, unfocused message. If Democrats don’t pull themselves together quickly, we can expect 15 more years of the current right-wing Republican politics in the spirit of Donald Trump.  

In response, we created Rust Belt Rising. Rust Belt Rising will bring the Democratic Party back to its roots as the party of working families by founding a school for candidates to prepare them on the foundational economic issues of working families, education, healthcare and especially jobs. We will focus on the six states bordering on the Great Lakes: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, which were pivotal in that disastrous 2016 Presidential election.

With your help, the Rust Belt will rise again and this region will lead the reemergence of our Democratic Party politics and our nation.

Read More: Bringing the Democratic Party back to its roots


Get Involved

Support the Rust Belt Rising Mission

With your help, the Rust Belt will rise again in this region and will lead the reemergence of our politics and our nation.

Our critical first need is funding. Please donate before June 1st to prepare the inaugural class of candidates in the Rust Belt Rising school.

You can make a safe and secure credit card donation by clicking here. 

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

WeWork c/o Rust Belt Rising 

125 South Clark Street 

Chicago IL 60603

To donate by phone please call Julie Petrick at (708) 320-1541.

Want to hear the latest news from Rust Belt Rising? 

We want to hear from you. Please join the Rust Belt Rising community today by clicking here and we will keep you informed as we move forward. 

Spread the word by sending our website to your family and friends, posting our website to social media, or referring candidates who might be interested.


Our Partners


Our People