First, I am so incredibly grateful and PROUD of our community. You all showed up when it mattered and made your voice heard. When you do that, it serves to empower our entire community.
Last night we took a stand and refused to be marginalized and ignored by our Senator. Last night we made clear that we will not try and chase him down and ambush him with a Town Hall. Rather, we set a date and time when we knew he was on recess and knew he was physically in our area. We invited him and gave him notice. We set ground rules of civility and intentionality. We asked our questions in a direct and fact-based manner. I am SO proud of our community. We are driven by respect and love for our State and each other. We are not willing to watch our unique state be co-opted by a Senator who will not even listen to his constituents. We don’t have footage of an “angry mob Town Hall.” We have footage of articulate, passionate, direct and concerned Montanans. The Senator cannot point to our Town Hall and say “see, THIS is why I wouldn’t meet with them.”
Thank you to the Town Hall co-hosts, Missoula Area Central Labor Council, Montana Conservation Voters and Indivisible MT. And especially to our panelists – you brought insight, facts, reason and ACTION to the conversation. This is what community looks like. Pam Boyd, Amy Carter, Rebecca Weston, Grace Decker, Josh Manning, Teather Balter-Schroth, and Laura Terrill, thank you for donating your time, insight and expertise to our panel.
Here is the ACTION ITEM I’m asking of you: Start writing Letters to Editor letting our State know how you feel about Senator Daines ignoring your requests to engage in dialogue. How you feel about him not even acknowledging our requests to attend, but rather participating in a private fundraiser the next day with Donald Trump, Jr. Spread your voice out into the community. Submit to the Missoulian, Independent, Missoula Current, the Ravalli Republic, the Lake County Leader. Let your Senator know through the media how you feel about last night. When you are published – post in our group. Spread the word on Big Sky Rising – get our State behind this.
Our credibility hinges on our actions. We talked last night about being intentional with our words. We are frustrated with our Senator is reckless with his, so show him how it should be done. Go get it team!! Flash those Green Cards!! 😉 #RisingStrong #StrongerTogether#EmpowermentThroughLove
–Erin M. Erickson