After years of screed-ing here about Bozeman growth, development and politics, I’m excited to announce that I’m finally taking the plunge and stepping up to try to take a more active role in defining Bozeman’s growth trajectory. As of last week, I am officially a candidate for Bozeman City Commission in this November’s election.
There’s a long list of things I hope to accomplish as a member of Bozeman’s City Commission, but two, in particular, that are motivating me to run:
1. I’d like to see Bozeman become the premier biking city in the Rocky Mountain West. The car-based development pattern adopted by many American cities has led to communities millions are condemned to spend a significant portion of their waking hours stuck in traffic congestion. Almost every other day someone in Montana dies while driving. Transportation is now the #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Biking, on the other hand, promotes a healthy and active population and creates a more pleasant, livable city. I want Bozeman to be a city where anyone wanting to ride their bike to work or an event feels safe doing so (which benefits drivers, as well, who encounter less traffic congestion).
2. Bozeman has an extremely scary affordable housing crisis unfolding. It takes roughly twice as much income ($103,000 per year, now) to afford a median-priced home now as it did just seven years ago. If this trend continues, it will hollow the Bozeman community out, from the outside in. I love Bozeman because of the passionate, down-to-earth community of people who live here. A crisis is emerging where young people who are passionate about things in life other than the pursuit of money are no longer able to afford to make a life here. On our current trajectory, Bozeman is on track to become another Boulder: those without a trust fund (or proceeds from selling a home in an expensive coastal city) need not apply.
More broadly, I want to see Bozeman take action on climate change (we have to act locally, especially given the abdication of responsibility at the national level), conserve open space (especially by avoiding sprawl), improve our water quality, become a more diverse and inclusive city, figure out a fairer tax system (our current system of 100% property taxes for all things is extremely regressive), develop better transit, and many more items besides.
If elected, I think I have both the policy-wonk chops and the hard-learned leadership skills necessary to be an effective advocate and decision maker to move Bozeman in this direction.
But to get there, first I have to get elected. I’m excited, nervous, but hopeful. It’s a wide-open field and I believe that I can win.
If you’re interested, check out my campaign website: https://www.eggeforbozeman.com
If you’re excited for me, consider making a campaign donation. Montana has some of the most progressive campaign finance laws in the United States, meaning my ability to get my message out this fall is going to be entirely dependent on attracting a large number of individual donations. Thanks!