By Bill Stoddart
Technology entrepreneurs from Bozeman and Missoula have launched a project that aims to educate Montana’s electorate on some of the most important issues in this year’s gubernatorial election.
OpenSourceMT is a political committee supporting Governor Bullock’s reelection and emphasizing the economic benefits of diversity and inclusion, public education, infrastructure investment and access to public lands.
While the group was founded by business owners and well known figures in the technology community, OpenSourceMT welcomes everyone who values an inclusive and vibrant economy. By highlighting Governor Bullock’s support for public education, diversity, infrastructure investment and public land access, the organization makes the case that these policies are the “core tenets of successful communities and businesses,” as reflected in Montana’s top ranking in entrepreneurial activity for the fourth consecutive year.
So far over 150 people have signed on to OpenSourceMT’s “Who’s In” page according to the group’s treasurer, Bill Stoddart, “we’re working to get our message across to thousands of Montanans to make them aware of the stark differences between the candidates and the impact their respective policies could have on our quality of life and the technology industry here in Montana.”
One of the group’s founders is Susan Carstensen, the former CFO of RightNow Technologies and a technology entrepreneur who also happens to be a 5th generation Montanan. She said of the group’s efforts, “I currently am involved in the startup community and businesses all across Montana and can say with conviction that there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Montana. I look to the state to support and protect the core things that are what make Montana great place to live and work: public education, environment/access, diversity and infrastructure.”
The purpose of the group is to “educate Montana’s electorate and to advocate for candidates such as Governor Bullock who will promote and protect those qualities that already make Montana the best place to live, raise families and grow our businesses.”