Montana is a great place to live and work. The Big Sky. Glacier National Park. Flathead Lake. While its natural resources are part of what makes Montana great, so too are the strong, vibrant communities that dot the state. The Partnership for Montana’s Future realizes that the best way to bolster and support its communities is making sound investments in schools, roads, environment, and the other public services.
This idea – of the importance of investing in communities and in people – has animated all the work of this broad-based coalition – from their campaign led by a gnome who highlighted the importance of taxes in Montana to their position on Medicaid expansion.
And, their work has had an impact. In 2011, when over cuts totaling $200 million were considered, lawmakers chose to implement a much smaller cut of $50 million. On April Fools’ Day, the Partnership rallied at the state capitol with 1,500 Montanans who urged lawmakers to “not fool with Montana’s future.” Their persistent support for a responsible budget prepared for the future demands of an evolving economy and changing demographics made a difference and helped to change the tenor of the debate. (See coalition partner, MEA-MFT’s video on this day.)
Public Works had the opportunity to work with the Partnership, both before and during the development of their Partnership. We worked with the larger coalition on big questions, such as developing their broad vision for the coalition, and on more focused initiatives, such as creating videos. Throughout the time we’ve worked with them, Public Works has been and remains a big fan of the Partnership’s ability to stand together as a coalition and to creatively approach the challenge of building support for a strong public sector in their state.