Ravalli Republic / Missoulian
What do you regard as the most urgent problem facing Montana, and how do you propose dealing with it?
What is Montana if not its people?! We have lost sight of each other and are dwelling on ‘hot button’ issues that distract us from seeing Montanans as the most important issue. By focusing on what divides us, we’ve stopped stewarding the things that unite us - clean water, clean food, truth and honesty, human health and good old fashioned neighborliness! We must each refuse to be pulled into contentious debate about hot button issues and instead engage in proactive discussions and activities that put the immediate and long-term health and well-being of our individual Montana citizens and environment first.
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I am running as an Independent for Montana State Senate 43 because I believe in the Power of Community. I promote small, family-owned and cooperative new businesses. I believe we should focus on what actually matters to the well-being of every citizen: healthy food, clean air and water, access to the natural world, a great education and meaningful employment, and opportunity to truly engage and contribute to one’s community. I want to see local foods in local schools, cooperative community investing, and hemp growing across our valley and being processed right here, in the Bitterroot. I want it to be the norm to work cooperatively, because we must work together if we hope to thrive into the future as humans. I believe in the power of my community to meet our challenges through honesty, participation, and generative listening.
As your State Senator, Montana will find me focused on finding proactive ideas, instead of engaging in reactive or partisan ways, to address the issues facing us today. Issues such as healthcare expansion, gun safety, the protection of our natural world, and upholding the Montana Constitution can all be solved using a collaborative approach that I am ready to lead. My work will be to guide us toward a cooperative world that values all humans- above profit.
My leadership in the development of cooperative businesses sets me apart as a candidate. My experiences working with groups is extensive- from giving farm tours to kindergartners to running an annual meeting, or catering a party for 300. I have opened the space for dialogue through the Community Roundtables offered this year as well as through my campaign activities. I have helped to create small business opportunity by leading the project to build the Poultry Processing Facility and commercial kitchen, constructed south of Hamilton and made possible with funding from local donations and state grants. This facility hosts the Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative, as well as three other small food businesses. This project provides an example of the positive impacts working together has for us all, and I want to help us replicate this cooperative spirit across our state!
Thank you for considering me, Laura Garber, for State Senate 43. I believe together we can create a World that Works for Everyone.
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