Same Kulla

As we charge down the home stretch of our municipal election cycle, it's crucial to remain forward-facing when addressing the significant issues in our community.

Now is not the time for self-congratulatory remarks or resting on past accomplishments because challenges like affordable housing, homelessness, and community safety will persist and evolve as our city grows. With this forward perspective, we must discuss proactive solutions for the future.

First and foremost, we must safeguard human rights on all fronts to create the foundation for caring for our planet and each other. These issues are interconnected.

Addressing climate change, transportation challenges, and other critical matters is only possible when our basic human needs for housing security and financial sustainability are met. How can we be expected to protect the Earth from further harm and respond appropriately to other serious issues when many within our community are struggling with housing and financial insecurity?

But here's the empowering truth: Missoula is a community brimming with potential and people who care. We have the power to tackle these challenges head-on and create a brighter future. Each of us plays a role in shaping our city, and together, we can make a difference. In this election, some candidates might emphasize their claimed achievements and tout their past successes.

However, the conversations I've had while knocking on doors in Ward 3 have shown that there's still much work to be done. The primary concerns of my neighbors are addressing homelessness, providing affordable housing for the working class, enhancing community safety, respecting property rights, and promoting living wages. Additionally, many Ward 3 residents are concerned about capturing a more appropriate portion of the tourism revenue that flows through Missoula and Montana, which at the moment is falling between our collective fingers like sand.

While I don't claim to have all the solutions, I promise that as your Ward 3 City Council representative, I will work collaboratively and diligently with you, fellow council members, and the mayor to make progress on these pressing issues. I'm committed to a bottom-up approach that values your input over the interests of a select group.

In contrast, my opponent appears to have grown complacent, working primarily with an insulated, upper-class circle. There is also concern about behind-the-scenes planning for a massive, high-impact music festival in Playfair Park. The lack of community outreach and transparency in this process is troubling and exemplifies a top-down approach that doesn't serve our community's best interests. We can do better.

The proposed music festival is a prime example of the need for transparency. Missoula and the surrounding area have multiple excellent venues that can accommodate large events, and we should support these. If our goal is to boost tourism revenue, we should also explore off-peak seasons to avoid overloading our infrastructure during high season.

By using existing venues, we can significantly benefit local businesses without adversely impacting our residential neighborhoods. This "backroom deal" approach highlights the need for a more inclusive and community-driven decision-making process. Missoulians deserve to have their voices heard and their neighborhoods protected.

Your vote for me, Sam Kulla, for Ward 3 City Council, and for other like-minded candidates dedicated to authentic representation shows your commitment to working together for ideas and solutions in these challenging times. It signals your dedication to a future where Missoula addresses its most critical issues with a forward-facing perspective and community-driven solutions.

Together, we can build a better and more inclusive Missoula for all residents. Your vote can be the turning point that makes Missoula the city we all dream it can be.