Davis: Running for Missoula’s mayor has been a privilege
Hello, Missoula. I’m Andrea Davis, and I’m running to be your next Mayor.
At this point in the campaign cycle, you’ve probably heard me talk about who I am and what I do. You’ve probably heard that I’m a UM Grad, that I’ve called Missoula home for 25 years, and that I’ve spent 22 of those years working to build homes Montanans can afford, with 15 of those years spent as the Executive Director of Homeword.
You’ve also probably heard about the work I do for our city and our state fighting for policy as Chair of the Montana Housing Coalition, advocating for sustainable transportation on the Board of Mountain Line, and creating public-private partnerships as President of NeighborWorks Montana and Executive Director of Homeword. You’ve probably heard me talk about policies and state-wide coalition building, about my expertise juggling large, complex budgets and building a team culture that brings people together.
But what you might not have heard - and what I want to ensure I impart to you today - is why I’m choosing to run for Mayor, now of all times.
When I was asked if I would step up and run for Mayor, I looked at the unprecedented problems our city is facing - skyrocketing housing prices, impending climate disaster, rising property taxes - and realized that with my depth and breadth of experience, and with my positive leadership, I could truly make a difference. That’s why I’m running. I’m running because I believe that I have the tools to make a difference serving our city, and I believe that if you’re someone in a position to give back to your community, you should.
As I’ve run for mayor, I’ve been asking myself: what does it mean to envision a better City? Certainly it means tackling our most pressing crises, like rising property taxes, affordable housing, climate change, childcare, and so much more. We can and must always remain laser-focused on these issues. We cannot let them fundamentally alter what makes our city a wonderful place to live.
But as I’ve been on the campaign trail, I’ve realized that envisioning a better city isn’t just about focusing on problems; it also means believing in all the best our city has to offer. It means uplifting our youth, showcasing our film festivals, helping small business owners get off the ground, experiencing the best music scene in Montana and ensuring public safety and satisfaction. It means listening to diverse perspectives and finding common ground to find inclusive solutions, and fostering a community that stands up for its values. It means uplifting one another to achieve things together that are greater than the sum of their parts.
I am running for mayor because I want to help build a culture at the city level that inspires all of our staff and our citizens. I want to make our government as accessible as we can, and I want to continue making our city shine.
I am certainly running to help solve our most pressing challenges, and I believe that with my expertise, pragmatism and energy, I am the candidate best positioned to do so. But know this: I’m also running to do so much more.
Running to be your mayor has been one of the greatest honors of my life; I am humbled daily by the kindness you’ve shown me, and for all that I’ve learned. Win or lose, I will continue fighting for you and for the Missoula I believe in. Thank you for this opportunity, thank you for your support, thank you for your kindness, and thank you for considering me when you vote on November 7th.