The Reader’s Viewpoint - 9/4/18

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Native led group backs Williams

Montana Native Vote, Montana’s only statewide Native American led grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring Indigenous action, and building Indigenous power has endorsed Kathleen Williams for U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm election on Tuesday, November 6.

Montana Native Vote Board Chair Rhonda Whiteman, a Billings native and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, stated, “As a Montana legislator, Kathleen Williams won the approval of tribes when she worked with them on the compacts that manage one of our most precious resources, water. As Montana’s next Congresswoman, Kathleen Williams will work hard to protect and enhance programs that benefit Native Americans including Indian Health Service and Urban Indian clinics, economic investment opportunities for Native Americans on and off the Reservation, the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and respect for tribal sovereignty.”

Williams won the Democratic nomination in the June 5th primary election and is facing off against the Republican incumbent, Greg Gianforte and the Libertarian Party candidate Elinor Swanson.

Whiteman said much is at stake for Indian Country in this midterm election and Indigenous voters who show up at the polls have the power to elect an advocate for Indian Country. Whiteman said the current administration, which Gianforte supports, continuously attempts to undermine tribal sovereignty and back out of trust responsibilities to tribes regarding healthcare.

Montana Native Vote is the state’s only advocacy group that inspires Indigenous action through community outreach, voter education, and electoral involvement.

Ta’jin J Perez of Montana Native Vote



Contractors’ Assoc. for Stop I-186 effort

The Montana Contractors’ Association announced its support of the Stop I-186 effort, citing concerns that the ballot initiative would be detrimental to the future growth of Montana’s infrastructure and economy.

“Our board of directors came to the conclusion that Montanans just don’t need this extra level of regulation on top of environmental protections that are already stringent,” said Cary Hegreberg, the MCA’s executive director. “As contractors, we want to encourage positive, thoughtful development within our state, and believe I-186 could be a serious roadblock to that effort.”

Hegreberg explained that I-186 could have crippling effects on companies seeking to site rock quarries, which also require hard rock mining permits, to access materials necessary to repair Montana roads and other infrastructure.

In addition, many contractors and supply companies perform regular work for mining companies, and if passed, I-186 could bring about an unnecessary loss of jobs and income in that sector and others.

“The members of the MCA are all about building a strong and sustainable infrastructure for Montana, and that goal supports employment and a healthy, diverse economy,” Hegreberg said. “The passage of I-186 could set into motion a ripple effect that could be devastating. We just don’t see the need for additional oversight for an industry that is already one of the most highly regulated in the world.”

The Montana Contractors’ Association, a chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, is a trade organization representing commercial, industrial and public works construction firms. Learn more at


Carolynn Bright of Montana Contractors’ Association

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