On the Issues

Local government shouldn't just be accountable and transparent, it should do the most good for its citizens, for the least cost. That's why I'm the only candidate who has estimated the costs and savings of my entire platform.

My plans should pay for themselves over 10 years while putting millions in the pockets of working people and protecting our future.

See for yourself.

Outlaw pay discrimination

We made good steps by passing a non-discrimination ordinance. Now we need to make it illegal to systematically pay differently based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Makes employers think twice about their hiring and pay practices and provides a legal avenue for accountability for victims.

Go energy independent by 2029

Build on successfully tested pilot projects to scale to complete renewable energy, in partnership with local utilities, by 2029. Work on creating an "island" distributed grid backed up by the traditional grid.

Cost:

Impossible to estimate now.

Benefit:

If successful, long-term energy security and reductions in annual costs, plus massive reductions in emissions.

Ban the box and limit hiring credit checks

Prevent employers from asking about non-violent criminal history (the "box" on applications) during hiring. Limit employers' ability to ask for credit reports as a part of the hiring process to only jobs with a major fiduciary role.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Reduces recidivism and helps those who have paid their debt to society obtain good, long-term employment. Prevents credit mistakes from turning into a poverty trap where the very things needed for improvement are often denied.

Expand historic preservation

Expand historic preservation beyond the near-downtown core to include homes built in the last 50 years.

Cost:

Minimal administrative overhead

Benefit:

Preventing gentrification, reducing carbon emissions, preserving neighborhood character, and keeping housing costs down.

Charter a public bank

Follow the movement happening in 30+ states and charter a bank that can finance housing and infrastructure at low rates, while we keep the profits.

Cost to the city:

$10 million in startup capital. No city funds for operation.

Benefit:

Millions saved for public projects, and millions more for individuals through cheap loans.

A refinancing program to make existing homes affordable

Create a program that moves existing homes into a community land trust, reduces prices over time, and increases financial security for everyone.

Cost to the city:

$100,000/year, spent from the current $300,000 annual housing budget.

Benefits:

Millions saved in mortgage interest payments, financial security for thousands.

Make Bozeman a sanctuary city

Stop city cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Since ICE has become closer to the secret police than a real law enforcement agency, we can protect our vulnerable immigrants and minorities from being targeted by stopping voluntary cooperation.

Tax vacant properties and vacation homes

Increase taxes on seasonally vacant properties and out-of-state owners to incentivize people living and working here, and pay for the impact of those who don't.

Cost to the city:

Minimal administrative overhead

Benefits:

Up to $3.8 million/year plus additional housing

Renewable energy pilot projects

Work with MSU to secure grants and set up on-the-ground innovative energy projects that test the costs and feasibility of regenerative, distributed energy systems in real-world conditions, so we have working models to pitch to utilities.

Cost to the city:

$0 (not launched unless grant-funded)

Benefits:

A political and practical path to energy independence–the only one that the city can get started on right away.

Community housing for all.

Have the City build or buy apartments and small homes and operate them as rentals at zero profit, taking advantage of low-interest financing, no developer fees, and lower overhead. Offer tenants the option to buy under the last trust model, and keep rents permanently tied to actual costs.

Costs

2 bedrooms would cost about $700/month, including utilities. All costs are paid for through rents.

Benefits

Thousands of dollars saved by residents each year, plus more accessible, secure housing.

Lead in developing local food systems

Use city leadership to reach out to producers, distributors, and grocery stores to help develop partnerships and capacity for end-to-end local food production.

Costs to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Satisfies critical need for resilient food security, allows us to pay local farmers and ranchers much more, reducing costs at the checkout stand for consumers, and higher quality nutrition for families.

A 5 year rent freeze

Once we're successful at restoring local powers, set a rent freeze to give renters middle-term relief, cool off the market, and make time to implement permanent solutions like community housing.

Cost to the city:

Minimal administrative overhead

Benefits:

Millions in the pockets of those who need it most, plus financial security and predictability, without too much administrative overhead.

Form a multi-city progressive leader alliance

Forge strong working relationships with active progressive leaders from all of Montana's urban areas, share data, and share policy ideas.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Fills a gap where the Montana League of Cities has failed–providing stronger leadership and political power to help Montana cities carry out the will of their citizens, and provide a check on state government overreach.

A social aid office for workers and renters

Both labor laws and landlord-tenant laws are often only enforceable through costly lawsuits. Provide advice and legal aid for those who have the least power at home and at their jobs: renters and hourly wage workers without a union (many people are both).

Cost to the city:

$200,000 to start + $600,000/year.

Benefits:

Millions in relocation costs and unjust wage theft every year for those who need it most, plus security for our most vulnerable workers and residents.

Set limits on lot sizes

Set a maximum residential lot size closer to the current minimum–4,000 sq. ft–much like the historic district that is so well loved.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Prevents sprawl and maintains cozy neighborhood character without having to move immediately to higher density apartments.

Make local powers the top city lobbying priority

Address the state legislature's habit of stripping essential local powers–in direct opposition to the spirit of the state Constitution–for ideological purposes by waging a small government "deregulation" campaign to put power back in local hands, as close the People as possible.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Gives cities like our many more tools to help our citizens by honing in on a central issue the vast majority of Montanans can get behind, rather than on a single polarizing issue like a sales tax, which has failed repeatedly.

Study the feasibility of local universal childcare.

We were all children once. And like public education, childcare is something we all benefit from at some point in our lives, whether as children or as parents. Yet 70% of families in Bozeman can't get it. A universal childcare program is the best way to pay to ensure everyone has care when they need it, while spreading costs to keep them low. We should study the feasibility of doing so in partnership with Gallatin County.

Cost to the city:

$50,000

Benefits:

If a solution is found, thousands saved by families each year, peace of mind and security for parents,…

A unified Gallatin Valley development plan

Work with Belgrade, Manhattan, Three Forks, and Gallatin County to develop overarching growth principles and targets for the entire area ecosystem so urban growth stays close to Bozeman, and agricultural land and open spaces are kept that way.

Cost to the city:

$0

Benefits:

Prevents sprawl and conflicting development policy, improves our working relationship with overlapping local governments, and simplifies policy across the board.

End homelessness with Housing First

Follow the lead of cities and counties around the world with a program that ends homelessness, improves outcomes, and saves local government money.

Cost to the city:

Loans: $18 million   - grants and sellable tax credits. Operating: $800,000/year + $1.4 million/year combined social services.

Benefits:

Net savings: $1.2 million/year. 120 apartments for the homeless.

Incentives for sustainable manufacturing and business cooperatives

Restrict tax increment finance districts to development in sustainable manufacturing and formation of business cooperatives.

Cost to the city:

Little initially; deferred additional tax revenue over time

Benefits:

Diversify the local economy at a time when it's desperately needed, provide new sectors for high paying jobs, and create greater security for workers of all kinds through proven models.

An easy, reliable transit system custom made for Bozeman

Build a spoke-and-hub system that's easy and simple to use, with stops every 15 minutes, and 1/4 mile away from any destination. Custom design busses to accommodate those with children, disabilities, and Montana's long, snowy winters.

Cost to the city:

Estimated $20 million + $40 in federal grants. $460,000/year operating.

Benefits:

Critical access for the elderly and those with disabilities, net savings for household budgets, financial security and opportunity for the working class, a long-term solution to parking problems, and the possibility of a Main St. promenade.

A local tourism sales tax

Once given taxing flexibility by the state, tax the sales of tourist activities such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, and rental cars.

Cost to the city:

Minimal administrative overhead.

Benefits:

Estimated $7.5 million to the city budget every year.

A minimum wage tied to housing costs

Phase in a local minimum wage tied to the cost of a standard market rate apartment.

Cost to the city:

Minimal administrative overhead

Benefits:

Justice and fairness for the workers our economy depends on. Ensures that those we ask to work here can afford to stay here. Prevents housing costs from favoring the wealthy at the expense of workers.