The Top 5 Ways To Make Great Falls More Progressive

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.

Posted by Janice Penberthy

Janice Penberthy is a progressive, feminist author who believes in all things #Resistance.

Reader interactions

13 Replies to “The Top 5 Ways To Make Great Falls More Progressive”

  1. As a feminist, I say NO to the first 4 items. Tracy Hauck is not a voice for me. Donna – I would be happy to see in another capacity within our city or county government. Find new, younger women to join our community leaders as well.

    Absolutely get rid of the casinos. Limit the number and size of car lots along 10th.


  2. I can see why anyone would consider this article unfit for print.


  3. Seriously and in the most respectful way possible, is this a real article or a belated April Fools joke?


  4. If E-City Beat wanted to publish a satirical or “April Fools” post, that is their choice. However, I find it alarming that a news blog is so blatantly dishonest in its content. Social media and Google searches don’t produce anyone living in Great Falls who goes by the name Janice Penberthy, and a reverse image search of her profile picture takes you to Shutterstock. Democracy relies on an honest (and alternative) press; for a alternative news source to go out of its way to lie to its readers is simply depressing.


    1. So, you suggest that the piece is satire (aka made up), but then in the next breath you bellyache when the person and picture turn out to be made up? Really?

      And stop it already with the whole “Democracy relies on …” high horse stuff. Blah blah blah!!!!!


  5. Are you serious? This article, laughable at best, is an insult to practically everyone who wastes their time reading it! I also question whether or not Janice Penberthy is a real person. If she is, it appears that she either has one hell of a sense of humor, or she’s a complete idiot!


  6. I’m curious what you’re trying to accomplish here Rick. You should contact a health professional.


    1. I not only deny the allegation, I resent the alligator! 🙂


  7. Lol, great falls is already a sanctuary city for every crack head and criminal in our country do to its inability to hold them all in jail or arrest enough of them to make a difference. If they passed a hate speech ordinance half of our elected officials would be imprisoned if they were actually required to follow the same laws as us peasants.


  8. Stephen Barton April 5, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    After reading this article I understand why Blgs, Bozeman, and even Msla are growing and Great Falls is stagnating. The only thing she had to say that is worthwhile ia getting rid of all the casinos. All I can say is thank GOD I live in Black Eagle


  9. This “article” has Rick Tyron’s snarky little fingerprints all over it. You know one of the many reasons Great Falls doesn’t attract new business? It’s snide attitudes like this. Apparently, Rick with his trite “how can we help you” catchphrase actually means “how can we help you conservatives”?
    The qualities young families are looking for in a town are good schools, nice parks, good restaurants (and for you GF natives, that is not Chick Fil A or The Red Lobster), some sort of a nightlife other than square dancing at MRM and the grim, sad casino scene, and a demographic that can support a business. GF doesn’t have any of those things and doesn’t care to support them either. Great Falls is also hindered by its lack of a state university. The barely accredited, way too expensive, private university means when kids reach university age they leave, they then experience living in towns with the positive qualities mentioned above. That’s why most don’t return. Did I mention the refinery? It smells like Satan’s toilet in the middle of town.
    Tryron has a high opinion of himself and obviously thinks his mean-spiritedness is funny and charming but actually, it’s off-putting. Articles like this chase away new business and young families. People are sick of the “us or them” attitude. Nobody will ever convince Rick inclusiveness is more attractive than division or that he’s part of the problem, but for those of us who have lived in beautiful, inclusive, successful, “vibrant” towns, it’s crystal clear. Good luck with your slaughterhouse GF, with publications like this paper in general and this article specifically, that’s all you are ever going to attract.


    1. Aww shucks, ma’am, I’m mighty pleased you’re thinkin’ of me, but it weren’t me that writ that.

      Y’all take care now, ya hear. 🙂


    2. Holy cow. After reading your put down of just about every aspect of our community, Catherine, it leads me to believe that if we get any more “inclusive” and “vibrant” people like you here, we might as well close the doors!


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