Although the Greater Yellowstone region has been thriving in many aspects, opportunity is not equal across the board, and many of our residents face hardship and fear about the future of their beloved home. I’m running because I think it’s critical that our state gives us the proper tools to address our challenges: public education, affordable housing, access to quality healthcare, and the protection of our public lands and open spaces.
Pragmatic success isn’t limited to one side of the political divide. I’ve got a long history of working creatively and collaboratively with stakeholders across the political spectrum. I want to bring that pragmatism and collaborative effort to Helena to create solutions that benefit all Montanans.
LIST OF ISSUES
Not only am I a product of the Montana public school system, I have taught and coached in the system. I’m also a proud parent of two public school students.
The single most important factor in student success is great teachers. I’ll fight to ensure that all of our schools have the means to hire, support, and retain great teachers, and I’ll fight any efforts to undermine our long history of excellent public schools.
I also believe that equal public education must be available to all Montana students regardless of abilities, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or citizenship, and I will fight for inclusivity in our classrooms, sports teams, and clubs.
Nearly every community in Montana is struggling with a shortage of housing for people who live and work there. We need leadership in Helena that understands that housing affordability comes from smart public investments in infrastructure, fair taxation, and by growing good, high paying jobs.
Our Montana Constitution guarantees us with the right to a clean and healthful environment and tasks the legislature with enforcing that right. Our legislature has not been doing its job in protecting that fundamental right.
I’ve spent my career promoting green building, renewable energy, and sustainable community design, despite the roadblocks thrown up by legislators in Helena.
It’s time we start rejecting the misguided notion that we need to choose between a clean environment and a strong economy. At this point, it should be clear that a clean and healthy environment is a necessary condition for economic growth and good jobs, and I intend to be that voice in Helena.
Defending the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion is personal for me. My family has been covered under the ACA since Day 1. It’s hard to overstate how important the ACA has been in getting coverage to employees of small businesses, independent contractors working in construction, farming, and resource extraction, and service workers.
Our country's success depends on access to affordable healthcare, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, comprehensive reproductive health services, and proactive preventative care.
The ACA isn’t perfect, but it has been a game changer for working folks in Montana. In the next legislative session, it is imperative that we defend the ACA from attacks from Washington DC, and build upon the success of the 2018 Medicaid expansion.
One hundred fifty thousand Montanans get their insurance through the ACA: it is critical to protect the investment we’ve made over the last 6 years.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world, it has highlighted how tenuous many of our institutions are. When the Legislature meets in 2020, it will face an unprecedented set of challenges. We are probably going to be faced with a huge budget deficit and skyrocketing expenses as we clean up after the pandemic.
We need steady, experienced leadership that can work with stakeholders across the state and across the political spectrum as we adjust our state and local governments to life after the pandemic.