Uncommon Ground

People’s Constitution

Together we are stronger. Lean on others. Find the way forward. 

By Mike Jopek

Let your friends across the valley know about the gravity of the situation and get involved in the fix. A lot of people feel these unnerving times in America. It’s in the news and on the streets of our nation. The cost of living is out of control in Montana. A working person needs a break.

The U.S. Supreme Court repealed a constitutional right. That’s big, troubling and hard to believe. Shocking, really. Those running the show in Helena have plans to do the same thing in Montana after November. Count on it.

How do I know? Look toward what they did a year ago. The last Legislature repealed a Whitefish worker housing program that modestly required big-development to include a small number of places affordable to people who work in the valley. The local ordinance was widely supported by voters and local businesses.

Five times the last Legislature passed laws attacking Montana women’s right to privacy. If Montanans send just two more extremists to Helena this November, they’ll promptly get working to upend the Montana Constitution to repeal rights like privacy and a clean and healthful environment. 

The solution is simple. Focus, send Andrea Getts of Columbia Falls to Helena. Put her to work representing the people in her district. Earlier this year many people across the valley helped fund her campaign. Here’s her website, www.andreagetts.com. 

If you donated once, do it again. It matters now more than ever. It costs a lot to run a winning campaign, even in a small district like Columbia Falls. I know, I ran multiple successful campaigns here in Whitefish. Luckily, hundreds of kind people always helped. This is not a time to sit back or watch the show. The people’s Constitution, your rights, are on the line here in Montana. 

The State repealed Whitefish’s effective housing program. They created a housing crisis in our small resort town. Today’s rent is way out of control and opportunities for workers to purchase the American Dream in Whitefish vanished due to the state. Ask any worker what happened to rent and housing prices in Columbia Falls over the past couple years. Montana is not helping.

Montanans have grit. We’ve been in tough spots before. We know through hard work, strong community values, kindness in relationships and a bit of luck, things get better. This is your time.

Andrea Getts grew up in Columbia Falls. After graduating college in Utah, she headed back to her hometown to work. Her family has lived there for a long time. She’s a part of the community.

Andrea works with Land to Hand Montana in Columbia Falls. They help kids access food, learn about cooking and provide nourishment to the community via the Kid’s Backpack Programs, Senior Rx, and Senior Coupons. They’ve partnered with the Columbian Falls school district to provide comprehensive farm to school education for kids and families. 

Tell your friends and neighbors to support people like Andrea Getts who’s running to represent the Columbia Falls area in the upcoming state Legislature. I believe she’ll work hard to assure working people and retirees get a better opportunity to succeed in today’s very expensive world. Andrea Getts is your best new hope. 

The vote is up to the Columbia Falls area. The rest of us can help by volunteering and sending some of your hard-earned wages her way. You clearly don’t want to look back less than a year from now to realize that extremists in Helena are tearing down society, one library, one personal right at a time while doing nothing about housing costs or inflation.

Our solutions are interwoven in our trust of others, our ability to overcome adversity to find common values and relations. Together we are stronger. Lean on others. Find the way forward. 

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