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State House District 95

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  • Rebecca Dawson

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    Danny Tenenbaum

Biographical Information

What are the most important challenges facing our state and how do you propose to address them?

Which solutions to climate change do you think are most important and most feasible for Montana?

What, if any, specific steps will you take to address inequalities facing women, especially women in minority populations, in our state?

What should state government do, if anything, to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-K through grade 12?

What should our state do over the long term to ensure healthcare access for all?

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Without a doubt: the affordable housing shortage. Last year, the Legislature passed its first-ever investment in affordable housing. Because of that bill, permanently-affordable apartments are being built across the state. My aim is to double that investment.

But investment alone is not enough. Several cities in Montana cling to zoning regulations that allow wealthy neighborhoods to block multi-family housing development. This red tape forces working-class Montanans to live out of their cars or far from their jobs, with long commutes and excess carbon emissions as byproducts. Affordable housing belongs in every neighborhood. If cities don’t repeal these discriminatory laws, the Legislature should do it for them.
I support the Green New Deal. It's the only plan we have that makes the necessary cuts in carbon emissions to slow the onset of the climate crisis. This means significant investment in wind and solar, a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, and job training so the workers who powered Montana in the past aren’t forgotten in the future. Clinging to fossil fuels isn't just bad for the Earth-- demand (and thus profitability) has plummeted in the past few years.

If your representatives don’t appreciate the magnitude of our climate crisis, vote for someone who does. If your representatives fear backlash for adopting the policies that climate scientists are calling for, vote for someone who’s not afraid. Or run yourself!
It's time for a living wage. The data shows women are disproportionately represented among poverty-wage jobs in the hospitality and healthcare industry. The gender-based wage gap is even more pronounced for Indigenous, Black, and Hispanic women. These are the Montanans who most stand to benefit from raising the minimum wage. These are the Montanans losing thousands of dollars in critical income each year that could otherwise pay for food, rent, and other basic necessities. Paid family and medical leave is also crucial if we want a large and stable workforce.
If we want the next generation of Montanans to stay and raise their families here, we have to give them a public education system that can compete nationally and globally. What are the next steps?

- Establish public pre-K across the State. - Reduce teacher-student ratios and pay teachers a salary that reflects the vital work they do - Eliminate tuition at Montana's vocational programs and public colleges.

"How do we pay for it?" End the sweetheart tax cuts that prior legislatures gifted to large corporations and the hyper-wealthy people who've chosen to live here.
"Liberty and justice for all" won't be realized until every single Montanan has quality healthcare, including vision, dental, and mental health care. The quality of service cannot depend on a person's ability to pay. A nationwide Medicare for All system will get us there but there are steps we can take here in Montana. Pharmaceutical industry lobbyists will descend upon Helena to oppose it, but Montana can and should absolutely cap the cost of insulin and other prescription drugs. We can also increase investment in tribal health and urban Indian health programs, and expand mental health and addiction treatment programs across the state. If we don't invest in treatment now, we'll pay a lot more for jail and prison later.