House 2018 Montana Politics

Getting to know candidate for Congress: Lynda Moss in her own words

By: Lynda Moss
Montana State Senator

I’m a Westerner, born and raised, and a Montanan for the past 35 years. One of my first memories is when my mother told me to be careful when I went outside to play and make sure I wouldn’t be blown by the wind like a tumbleweed. Since then, I’ve learned to stand up to the political winds I’ve experienced as a state Senator and as an advocate for all Montanans.

My father was a terrific example of principled, hard-working man. To support our family he worked two jobs—high school teacher and a coal miner. My mother took care of three sisters, my brother and me. But even with two jobs, it was tough to make ends meet and Dad eventually went to work in the insurance industry.

I know what it is like to struggle as a young family, working minimum wage jobs, paying for college, paying for childcare, getting kids off to school. Mornings could be very stressful and once during breakfast my son announced “Mom! this is a bowl of cat kibbles not cereal”.

In college, I studied art and have a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Montana State University. My professional career spans over 14 years as Executive Director of the Western Heritage Center in Billings and 10 years as Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Vitality.

I have received state and national awards for my innovative, collaborative work at the Western Heritage Center. Under my leadership, the Western Heritage Center received the Governor’s Humanities Award. In addition, I was awarded an Award of Achievement from the Museum Association of Montana, an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History. a National Conservation Hero’s Award from the National Park Service and a Brass Lantern Award from the Montana Wilderness Foundation.

I was one of the founding members of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Association and have served on the boards of the Billings Housing Authority, the Montana Conservation Corps, Friends of Montana Public Television, the Montana Governor’s Tourism Advisory Council.

Today I serve as the Vice-Chair and Investment Committee Chair of the Northwest Area Foundation, funded by James J. Hill who started the Great Northern Railway. I also serve on the Montana State Fund Board and the American Craft Council Board. In 2012 I started my own business, Moss Consulting and I provide facilitation and strategic planning consultation.

I live in Billings with my Bernese Mountain Dog China, a therapy dog and “people magnet”. My daughter Heather Moss lives in Tacoma with her husband Scott Rich, Heather is Director of the Early Learning for the State of Washington and Scott is an administrator for the Tacoma School District. Heather and Scott have two sons, Dustin and Dylan. My son Cris Moss and his wife, Whitney Grubbs live in Portland. Cris is a video artist, college professor and Whitney is an independent education consultant. They have a son, Max, and a daughter Hazel. I have been on my own since 2003 after my late husband and best friend, Tom Moss, died in a tragic one-car accident.

In 2005 I was elected to the Montana Senate and served on the Judiciary, Local Government and Public Health Committees and was appointed to serve on the Legislative Audit Committee and the National Council of State Legislature Economic Development, Trade and Cultural Affairs Committee. In addition to committee assignments, I sponsored and directed legislation that established the Governor’s Historic and Cultural Advisory Council to develop statewide policy recommendations.

I was the Majority Whip in 2007 and successfully guided legislation creating new murals in the Montana Capitol honoring women as community builders. I was also selected to serve as the Senate representative to Reforming States Group focused on national and international healthcare policy, supported by the Milbank Memorial Trust. In addition, I was a Flemming Fellow and a participant in the Emerging State Leadership Program at the University of Virginia.

Today, I’m running to be the next Congresswoman from Montana. I will be a voice for all Montanans and a woman working with Montanans across the state will get the job done.

And the job?? To work at every level—from the grassroots here in Montana to the halls of Congress to get our democracy back on track.

Like so many, I’ve been dismayed and embarrassed by the rude, crude behavior in Washington. It is disgraceful and undermines America’s hard-earned reputation in the world.

Cowardly bullying, ridiculing of people with disabilities, the gutting of our hard-earned laws to protect air and water quality as well as the health of the elderly and our kids. Attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, tax reform- the list is endless. It is disgraceful.

We have been swept into a whirlpool of darkness.

Fear, white supremacy, gender bias, and aggression are dividing us.

As a woman, as an American, and as a Montanan, I’m deeply embarrassed by the behavior of elected officials who brag about assaulting women and by our sole representative who attached a journalist who simply asked him a question—and then claimed the journalist attacked him!

But we need to remember; Eleanor Roosevelt said. “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” So American women lit that candle. In the Women’s March, 5 million people turned out across the nation. I joined 10,000 Montanans in Helena, where we said “ENOUGH!”

I was inspired on that cold, snowy day in Helena. I decided to take a stand.

I’m running for Congress with a bold vision grounded in Montana values and looking to the future. We know the political process is not working. I’m focused on developing community solutions that address real problems.

I have a blueprint for my service as Montana’s Congresswoman. The purpose: recognizing critical issues and seeking community-driven solutions that will benefit workers, families, everyday citizens in cities and rural communities across the state. I will fight for the federal resources we need.

I’ll be traveling across the state and inviting Montanans to help shape my vision and the concept of a “community action network” a collaborative network for critical policies in healthcare, education, workforce, infrastructure, and others important to Montana communities and people.

We have faced dark times before in Montana when greed, corruption, and environmental degradation were impacting the state. What happened was remarkable. Montanans came together, and the result was the Constitutional Convention which produced one of the most inspiring state constitutions in the nation. After the new Montana Constitution passed in 1972, one delegate eloquently stated: “This is the greatest gift for future generations.”

As Montana’s Congresswoman, my work will be guided by the fundamental principles of the Montana Constitution and our U.S. Constitution—the right to a clean and healthy environment, the right of privacy, the right of free speech, the freedom to worship, the right to bear arms. and others like the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.

It is time we got back to making these rights a reality. I look forward to working with Montanans and all Americans. I have the work skills, policy experience and passion we need. As Montana’s Congresswoman, I will stand up to the political winds every day. I will honor our values and focus on a future full of possibilities and opportunities.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.
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