As a feminist, even the thought of writing for E-City Beat makes my skin crawl. However, until we’re able to successfully shut it down, I thought the best, most patriotic thing I could do was drown out the constant stream of negativity with some actual good ideas. Giving me this platform was probably the only decent thing Phil Faccenda has ever done, so thanks, Phil…I guess you’re not a total fascist after all.
Without further ado, here are five things we can do to make Great Falls a more progressive place:
1. Declare Great Falls a sanctuary city.
As usual, us Democrats know what we’re talking about when it comes to immigration. (Is it really THAT hard to not be a raging xenophobe?) Joe Biden said that undocumented migrants “are already American citizens.” Kamala Harris wants Dreamers to work in Congress. If Great Falls is serious about diversity and inclusion, the only logical move is to pursue a formal sanctuary city policy, and pronto.
2. Elect woke city commissioners.
First, we have to rally around Tracy Houck and work to get her re-elected. Who would you rather have representing YOU? Someone like Rick Tryon, who mansplains about “conflicts of interests” and stupid election laws that no one cares about, or an educated woman who’s passionate about the arts? (That was a rhetorical question, for those of you who tend to vote “R.”)
Second, we need another incisive female voice to join forces with Houck and Mary Moe on the commission. How about someone with a proven track record of getting things done? Dona Stebbins might have a handful of vocal, male, Trump-supportin’ critics in this town (gag me), but anyone who pays attention knows she was obviously a great mayor. Some of these same fact-challenged ankle-biters blame Stebbins for Electric City Power and attack her for throwing out a conspiracy theorist from a meeting who was clearly asking for it. These “people” are misogynists. Houck’s re-election coupled with Stebbins’ return to the commission chambers would be a watershed moment for intersectional feminism in our community. #DraftDona
3. Pass a hate speech ordinance.
The city commission did right when it condemned alt-right, white nationalists in Whitefish, but there is still important work to be done to combat hate speech in our own backyard. Advocates of Christopher Columbus should be prosecuted. Reactionaries who question the wisdom of bike lanes should be cited and fined up the wazoo. In the meantime, we should all do our part as individuals to clean up the local discourse by turning in offenders to the social media platforms they pollute with their bigoted,
Republican racist views. In fact, I just reported Joe Briggs to Facebook right now. I’m sure he’s guilty of something. And don’t get me started on Don Petrini.
4. Institute personnel quotas for the City of Great Falls.
How many Muslims work for the City? Is Greg Doyon an Islamophobe? Is the LGBTQ- community adequately represented on the City’s payroll? Inquiring minds want to know. I demand an immediate investigation.
5. Outlaw all casinos within the City limits.
Gambling is a scourge on our community. While technically “legal,” no one can claim that casinos are a good thing. They are the invention of a capitalist-at-all-costs white patriarchy, and thrive on the subjugation of women, particularly single mothers. Worse yet, many casino owners in town are right-wingers, and fought to allow their nicotine-addled customers to blow smoke into their exploited employees faces (many of whom, again, are mothers.) What about their children? Have they not heard of third-hand smoke?
Thankfully, we the people have had an important ally in this fight for many years: City Commissioner Bill Bronson. While a beneficiary of white male privilege, at least Bronson is a partisan Democrat who had the good sense to wield his various positions of power to settle personal political scores against conservatives who were critical of him. He will be missed.
And that’s it, five ways to improve Great Falls! There are plenty more, but don’t worry; I will be here again to impart more wisdom at a later date.
God knows this site needs it.