Dems Conduct Listening Tour At Indian Days
Senate Minority Whip Shannon O’Brien (D-Missoula) and Rep. Mary Caferro (District 81) held a Legislative Listening Town Hall along with the Fort Peck Democratic Tribal Committee’s Honoring Our Voters event during Poplar Indian Days Sept. 2.
Lance FourStar, vice chair of the Fort Peck Democratic Tribal Committee and treasurer for MDP, was assisted in organizing the event by Caferro, college Democrats, party staffers, Fort Peck Tribal committee chair Maria Vega and treasurer Joetta All-Runner FourStar.
A community feed was held and attendees at American Legion Park were able to meet and speak with an array of candidates and representatives, including Rep. Frank Smith, District 31; Jesse James Mullen, candidate for Secretary of State; Kev Hamm, candidate for MT02; O’Brien; Ming Cabrera, candidate for MT02; Sheila Hogan, executive director of the MDP; FourStar; and Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies.
In front of a small crowd at American Legion Park, Caferro followed FourStar in introducing O’Brien, Windy Boy and Smith before taking questions from the audience.
“It’s important for us to understand what’s happening in rural areas and it’s really important to understand what’s happening with you,” Caferro said.
The tour kicked off in August and legislators have met with communities across the state.
“We are here, we are listening, you are at the forefront,” Windy Boy said.
An audience member asked about the highlights of the Montana American Indian Caucus from the last legislative session. Windy Boy spoke about his “big three” bills establishing the Montana Indian Child Welfare Act (HB 317), strengthening Indian education (HB 338) and expanding Indian language preservation (HB 287).
Candidates were recognized throughout the weekend during grand entries.