An open letter to all Montanans:
When the snow started falling all across our state last week, Montanans got to work. We shoveled sidewalks for our neighbors who couldn’t. We pulled out jumper cables for stranded strangers. We helped pull trucks out of ditches.
As Montanans, these actions aren’t new or surprising to any of us.
It’s just what we do.
People here say that Montana is like one small town with a really long Main Street. They’re right. Our connections to one other, Montanan to Montanan, are real and strong. We hold each other, and ourselves, accountable.
Because at the end of the day, Montanans want to be able to look each other in the eye and recognize that we all want many of the same things.
We want good-paying jobs to support our families. We want our sons and our daughters to be treated fairly. We want to feel and be safe in our communities. We want the freedom to worship where and how we choose.
And we want a better future for our children and our grandchildren.
As the year comes to an end, it’s a time for reflection and a time for resolutions. Given some recent acts of division and hatred that have happened in some of our communities, here’s a resolution that all I hope Montanans can agree upon.
We will not tolerate hate against our fellow Montanans.
Not because of their religion. Not because of the color of their skin. Not because of their gender. We will not tolerate hate and intimidation of any kind. Not now. Not ever.
Montanans have a reputation for talking straight. And the differences that we have are small compared to what unites us.
So I ask you – as governor, as a husband, and as a father of three young children – to join me and build on and protect the Montana we know and love. In our communities, in our schools, in our places of work and worship, and in our homes.
To do this we have to stand together.
Act like our kids are watching and learning from the actions we take and the language we use. Geographically we may be a big state – but we are one community. One Montana.
Let’s do everything we can, big and small, to remain one Montana now and for all future generations.