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By Mark Moran - Producer-Editor, Contact - Supported by/Underwritten

 

Big Sky Connection - Conservation advocates say they're investing in voter education efforts at the local level. Montana Conservation Voters is adding "boots on the ground" around the state. The latest effort is in Billings, where organizers are ramping up door knocking, mail and digital advertising. Comments Molly Bell, political director, Montana Conservation Voter and Jesc Gallegos (JESS-ee guy-AY-gos), lead Billings field organizer, Montana Conservation Voters.

Click on the image above for the audio. Montana consistently reports one of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation, and Montana Conservation Voters is trying to make sure it stays that way, with on-the-ground organizers across the state. (Adobe Stock)

Mark Moran

December 18, 2023 - Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund is upping its education efforts, adding field offices around the state and putting boots on the ground, even in Montana's frigid winter months.

The newest organizing campaign is in Billings.

The Montana Conservation Voters Education Fund has historically focused on issues like public land access and renewable energy. Now, it is expanding efforts to get that message out in Billings.

MCV's political director Molly Bell said it will use its newest field office to start important community conversations about climate and Montana's cherished natural resources.

"Out in the community," said Bell, "talking to neighbors to really launch a conversation in communities between neighbors - about how we can protect our clean air and water, create good paying jobs and lower energy costs."

In addition to knocking on thousands of doors, field organizers will include mail and digital ads focusing on conservation policy in Yellowstone, Gallatin and Flathead Counties.

The state Constitution guarantees Montanans the right to clean land, clean air and clean water.

But critics are convinced recent policy decisions are threatening those rights - and MCV's new Billings field organizer, Jesc Gallegos, said she hears from young Montanans who are worried about the state's future climate.

"Because we're living in such a confusing environment for young people," said Gallegos. "They're not necessarily sure who or what to believe, because they're just worried about, 'If I have a family, what is our world going to look like?' And that's a question that I get a lot."

Gallegos said being on the ground in local communities also makes field organizers uniquely positioned to deliver a compelling case to Montanans about the positive local impacts of recent federal legislation and investments.

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