2000 On The Issues
"I believe that at this unique moment in our nation's history, we have the opportunity to create a renaissance in rural America. As President I will fight for continued economic prosperity and offer policies to improve the quality of life in our Nation's rural communities." - Al Gore
Al Gore has a long record of leadership on agricultural issues. He understands that supporting family farming and rural communities is essential to maintaining food security and preserving an important part of the American way of life. As a Congressman, Senator and Vice President, he has fought for sound farm policies, including disaster assistance, crop insurance and expanded trade opportunities. As President, Al Gore will shore up the agriculture safety net that protects farmers when crop prices or yields fall unexpectedly; open foreign markets to American livestock and crops; reduce concentration in agribusiness; and expand non-traditional uses for agricultural products, such as ethanol and bio-based energy and products. He will also work to protect farmland and conserve natural resources and environmentally-sensitive land. Al Gore's agenda for our nation's smaller cities and towns goes beyond farming, however, to create opportunity for everyone in rural America, both inside and outside the agricultural economy. Rural Americans deserve the same chance as all Americans to enjoy world-class education and health care, safer communities, efficient transportation and quality, affordable housing.
PROMOTING AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
- Fixing "Freedom to Farm" and Helping Family Farmers: Al Gore will continue his fight for changes in the failed Republican "Freedom to Farm" Act, ensuring greater income stability for family farmers. Gore's plan would:
- Increase counter-cyclical supports to family farmers when crop prices and yields fall unexpectedly, and make crop insurance more effective and affordable.
- Expand opportunities for independent family farmers by working to reduce concentration in agribusiness, and developing ethanol and other new agricultural-based products.
- Expand trade in agriculture on terms that are fair to America's farmers and workers.
- Ensure the long-term security of farmers by supporting incentives for voluntary farmland and natural resource conservation.
- Support the vast potential of biotechnology, in a way that responds to consumers and protects the environment.
- Increase support for on-farm storage to help give family farmers greater control over crop marketing, and make low-interest loans available to help young farmers get started.
- Enhancing Rural Economic Development: Al Gore has a plan to help America's farmers and ranchers and create opportunity for everyone in rural America, both inside and outside the agricultural economy. As President, Gore would:
- Ensure that rural Americans are connected to the world by continuing to fight Republican efforts to sever vital rural transportation links and making sure we continue to build and maintain the infrastructure that rural Americans need to move their goods and themselves.
- Increase rural America's access to information technology and improve access to capital for rural businesses to boost the economy.
- Help rural America tap into the underused sources of economic activity from travel, tourism and recreation by making it easier to find out about rural destinations and easier to reach rural areas.
- Improving the Quality of Rural Life
- Bringing Quality, Affordable Health Care to Rural Americans: Al Gore has proposed a set of steps to bring access to affordable, quality health care to all Americans, ensure that Americans receive the care they are entitled to through a strong, enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights, and protect the Medicare and Medicaid programs on which so many rural Americans depend. Gore also believes we must utilize the Internet as a vast information resource in bringing world-class health care to rural areas.
- Keeping Rural Communities Safe: Gore will also fight to keep rural communities safe by implementing his rural anti-crime agenda, which includes: cracking down on methamphetamine; providing technology to fight rural crime; targeting police to high need, high crime rural areas; providing grants to rural communities to support a faster, firmer, and fairer judicial system; and protecting women and children from domestic violence. In addition, Gore will help keep rural communities safe from fire and weather calamities by providing better weather forecasting and enhancing rural fire protection.
- Improving Education in Rural America: Rural Americans, no less than those in the cities and suburbs, need high-quality pre-school; a 21st Century Teacher Corps to provide incentives and opportunity for talented people to choose a career in teaching; expanded teacher training; better after-school care; and a renewed focus on discipline, character, values and parental involvement in our schools. He will help connect every classroom in rural America to the Internet, helping bring world-class coursework and information through distance learning. And since education cannot end for bright, motivated rural Americans after high school, Gore is fighting to make college and training more affordable.
- Providing Better, Affordable Housing to Rural Americans: Al Gore will lead the fight to provide better affordable housing to rural Americans. As President, Gore will fight to expand homeownership rates in rural America by extending existing programs that are working and creating new programs which leverage existing federal, state, local and private sector housing efforts.
Source: Al Gore for
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