Bozeman is the place to be. It is objectively one of the fastest growing communities in America according to some metric that I won’t bore you with and subjectively it is one of the best places to live. You can find it ranked at the top of charts in Men’s Journal for best places and it has some of the best schools in the nation according to U.S. News and World Reports. Add that to one of the best ag and engineering schools in the nation with Montana State University and the most beautiful vistas this side of anywhere and you have yourself quite the community…If you can afford to live there.
Bozeman is my hometown so I will try not to delve too deeply into my personal biases on why it is the best or how it could improve, but rather objectively why 2018 is the year of Bozeman.
First, Bozeman has two of the three sitting elected federal officials for Montana in Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte. They are old business pals and it is hard to figure out sometimes who is the boss when it comes to the business and who pushes the other around when it comes to politics.
While Bozeman can have some? pride in the fact that they are the home of these two men, they should also hold some of the blame. These two men do not represent Bozeman well and it is up to Bozeman to expose them for what they are. Daines and Gianforte are extremists who do not represent my hometown or the city with the some of the best schools in the country. My hometown supports a women’s right to decide what is right for her body. Daines and Gianforte want to take this right away from women.
Bozeman schools teach science, especially the fact that the earth is not 6,000 years old, that’s why they are the best, well not really, but it’s definitely one reason. Both Daines and Gianforte push and fund groups that disseminate these dangerous and radical ideas. They have no place in governance without a basic understanding of science that any Bozeman student is taught at a young age.
Luckily, Bozeman has stepped up and pitted one of its own, Kathleen Williams, against the frightening non-representative that Greg Gianforte has become. Bozeman propelled Kathleen Williams to a victory with a massive win in votes in Gallatin County as well as a good chunk of donations from the generous folks of Bozeman.
So, keep at it Bozeman and all of Montana. If you haven’t donated to Kathleen join me with a donation today: DONATE
Sadly, Bozeman is quickly turning into a city for the few, not the many, and these out-of-state tech guru giant types like Daines and Gianforte are partially to blame.
I mentioned above that while Bozeman is objectively and subjectively one of the finest places to live in America and arguably the world the real question is can everyone live there? The answer today is absolutely not. Bozeman has gone from being a blue-collar ag and college town when I was a 90’s kid growing up there to one of the fastest growing communities for tech growth and business in the state. This has led to increased housing costs and truly a lack of places to live for the working class in Bozeman.
I love Bozeman and the reasons are simple, the memories, the mountains and the people. I have known the former mayor of Bozeman, Carson Taylor, since 5th grade when his son Jack invited me to spend the night at his house. I also sat on the Bozeman School Board as the student representative of the high school students with Carson when I was a senior at Bozeman high.
Carson has fought to address the affordable housing crisis with all the tools at his disposal. The current mayor, Cyndy Andrus is following in his footsteps, that’s why I supported her candidacy in 2015 and current deputy mayor Chris Mehl is on board too.
They don’t have all the answers though and they can’t do it alone, they need you. They have invested in building more affordable housing in Bozeman for the working class, but that’s just a start. The next step is to guarantee better wages for the working class. Spearheaded by The Gallatin Progressive Action Network, Bozeman DSA and Our Revolution-Bozeman are backing the efforts of City Commissioner Terry Cunningham to raise the wage in Bozeman for city workers to $15 an hour.
This is an unprecedented step for a city in Montana and to succeed we all need to stand with the city workers of Bozeman for a fair wage. The meeting is tomorrow night, Monday June 18th at 6pm at the Bozeman City Hall – Commission Room at 121 N Rouse Ave.
Paying our city employees would keep public jobs competitive with the private sector. Monday we have a unique opportunity. We have the opportunity to demand this critical issue be put on the agenda and up for a vote before the budget deadline of July 1st.
Come tell the Bozeman City Commission your story and why you support a $15 an hour minimum wage for city employees.