Montana, we are at a crossroads. As I travel the district running for this new seat, I hear how quickly our state is changing in every single town, no matter the size. In a recent study, three out of four Montanans named housing as their top concern.
Twenty-seven percent of Montana adults face medical debt, many forced to forgo medication or treatment because they can’t afford it. And the rising prices of gas, diesel and groceries are forcing working families to visit food banks for the first time. I know exactly what this feels like – these struggles are what my own family faced in the 80s, when I was growing up in Bozeman.
When I was a baby we lost my father to injuries he sustained in a lumber mill accident, and if we had been closer to good care he may have survived. Later my stepfather, a union carpenter, couldn’t find good work any closer than Great Falls — three hours away. We were forced to leave behind the community that raised me to find work elsewhere. I watched my mom and stepdad work hard to make ends meet and provide for my siblings and me.
These experiences shaped me into the person I am today, and I have dedicated my life and career working to ensure other families don’t have to face the same hardships mine did. Over the past 25 years, I have founded and led multiple non-profit organizations that improve health care for rural and underserved communities, spur job creation, and protect our public lands throughout Montana and the country.
I’m running for Congress because we deserve a representative with a personal understanding of what Montana families are facing right now, and one who has the experience and backbone to stand up to Washington and fight for the Montana we love.
From Congress, I will work with my colleagues to preserve and even increase funding for Federal Housing Administration loan programs, and expand public-private partnerships, tax and investment incentives, and USDA rural housing initiatives to ensure we have access to housing we can actually afford.
To address the cost of living – everything from gas prices, to prescription drugs, groceries and more – I will go after price gougers, including putting pressure on the FTC to investigate oil and gas companies’ anti-consumer policies. The invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder of our need to increase domestic energy production, and we can do this by increasing investments in renewable energy infrastructure.
Finally, we have to ensure that our families have access to the good jobs and wages that fuel our towns and main streets. The growth in Montana has to benefit Montanans — our businesses, our workers, and our families — so families who have lived here for just a few years or even generations can afford to stay.
My campaign has the support of Montanans who aren’t the normal political insiders, but whose communities and livelihoods are on the line: Tribal leaders, farmers and ranchers, union leaders, hunters and anglers, health workers, service industry workers and more. Together, we’re building a movement that can win in November.
Because this is about ensuring that families like mine and yours can keep calling the Montana we love home. My husband and I are raising our two teenage children here, surrounded by four generations of family. Montana has everything they could need to build great lives – we just need a leader who is hellbent on ensuring they have access to it. And that’s why I’m running.