Guest Post: Dudik Will Lead with Focus, Environmental Justice

Kimberly Dudik, candidate for Montana Attorney General, grew up in Frenchtown. Once a thriving company town, a pulp and paper mill provided hundreds of high-paying, union jobs. When they ditched the town, the company canned workers, upended lives, and changed the fabric of the community. Back taxes kept piling up. The company also left behind 900 acres of unlined ponds containing untreated waste located on the banks of the Clark Fork River. The waste includes some of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind – heavy metals, dioxin, and furans. If this boom-bust-toxic mess scenario sounds familiar, that’s because the pattern has appeared way too often.

If history is our guide, Montana clearly needs an Attorney General like Kimberly, with her demonstrated leadership on public safety and an unwavering commitment to our constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Think, for instance, of our neighbors in Anaconda, Opportunity, East Helena, and Zortman. Or the Glendive-area residents currently demanding that Montana strengthen weak rules on radioactive waste because North Dakota’s oil industry is treating the Yellowstone basin as a dump. Think of the people of Libby still trying to get their health problems addressed, as cases of lung cancer from asbestos continue to be diagnosed. All the while, the people of Frenchtown are wondering if their own town will earn the next Superfund designation.

In this incredible place we call home, far too many Montanans in far too many communities know this pattern all too well. That is why we’re voting for Kimberly Dudik – a woman with an amazing track record as a nurse, a prosecutor, a four-term state legislator, and assistant Attorney General.

Kimberly has a long list of achievements in elected office. For instance, as a legislator, she built a coalition that crossed party lines to stand up to the out-of-state corporation and get them to pay their share of taxes and cleanup costs in Frenchtown. Dudik is also a fierce protector of public safety. She has a long record of achievements, standing up for the most vulnerable among us, including children and indigenous women suffering abuse. For these reasons and more, we are confident that Kimberly will stand up for our people, the land, and justice.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though. In her four sessions in Montana’s House of Representatives, Kimberly earned a 100% voting record from Northern Plains Resource Council, highlighting her dedication to supporting rural livelihoods and resources. Her lifetime score from Montana Conservation Voters is 98% over the four terms. Kimberly also has a proven record of safeguarding the rights of workers and women, as demonstrated by her many endorsements from labor unions and Carol’s list, which works to increase the voices of women in politics.

We urge you to join us and voters from all across Montana in electing Kimberly Dudik as Montana’s next Attorney General.

Neva Hassanein and Molly Galusha

Note: This piece was updated on May 13 to reflect changes sent in by the authors.

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