I'm a 40-year-old mom, originally from Tennessee. For over seven years I published a weekly newspaper here in Livingston before being elected to serve in the 2013 legislative session in Helena.
I have worked on the Business and Labor and Transportation committees of the Montana State House and currently serve as a member of the State's Water Policy committee with seven fellow senators and representatives.
People in Livingston have continued to let me know they want to be informed about air, water and soil quality in our city, and they want a timely clean-up of the Burlington Northern Superfund site.
In Park county there's a respect for the area's heritage and the unique and beautiful Yellowstone River. Business owners here have let me know that they want to encourage tourism and recreation in the area to stimulate and sustain the economy.
Individuals across the city and the county are also building networks to return the area to a self-supporting island of food production. Many in our community who are working hard to ensure the long-term agricultural and economic security of Park county and Montana have expressed their concerns to me about building resiliency into our agricultural systems.
I have worked hard to take these broad perspectives and the individual views of the citizens of Livingston to a larger audience in Helena in the state legislature and have approached my work in in the Capitol with integrity.
Many liken the information presented and involved in the running of our state government to "drinking from a fire hose," and I found this to be true. One is only able to focus on a few issues at a time while relying on the expertise and leadership of the wisest individuals in their fields to inform discretion on many votes and discussions.
In a citizen-based legislature, serving in the State House can be challenging for the doctors, teachers, ranchers and farmers among the business owners and radio announcers who all work together to uphold the Montana constitution. Many of us completed only a few days of "law school" training by legislative services before jumping right in to practicing democracy.
Many aspects of my job as state representative involve tremendous opportunity to learn. In the Water Policy committee we will soon be reviewing many of the early treaties made with Native Americans in order to fashion a water compact with the tribes. In assessing these treaties, we will need companion law articles on how to interpret mid-1800s treaties.
In my work at the state level, I will continue to do my best to represent the interests of the Livingston community. There will be issues of contention in Livingston as long as people are trying to live together on the banks of the Yellowstone river in a healthy community. We're all going to disagree on issues, but there are many issues we CAN agree on. Let's go forward still trying to work together on the things that benefit us all.
I'm running for office once again to represent Livingston in the State House and I want to know how I can speak for each citizen of my community. Politicians in their natural state do not easily have access to good information about their constituent viewpoint. I encourage those of my district to reach out to me and let me know your concerns.
Contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call or text at (406) 370-1492.
I'm thankful to the citizens of Livingston for the opportunity to serve and hope I may have the honor again in 2015.