by Travis Mateer
If you watched the documentary I released on January 5th of this year, titled Engen’s Missoula, then you learned quite a lot about Tax Increment Financing at the beginning of 2022, and that’s a good thing because PROTECTING this TIF tool is one of the big priorities for our illuminated leaders during the upcoming legislative session. From the link (emphasis mine):
Other city priorities include protecting Tax Increment Financing and aligning it with the state’s new definition of workforce housing. Renewable energy also is included, as the city looks to tap into the resources offered by the recent bipartisan infrastructure bill from Congress.
After releasing my documentary in January, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency responded the following month with a MAKE ELLEN BUCHANAN SPEAK GOODER campaign. I’m not sure how one measures the results of the THOUSANDS of dollars that have been spent on just developing communication plans for MRA, but I can tell you how I measure MY results, and that’s with the stats function on my wordpress dashboard.
Before getting to the numbers, allow me to share the one-word strategy that I credit with producing my results: consistency. Sure, it helps to be a talented writer with a unique perspective derived from actual experiences, but the thing that actually expands an audience is doing something consistently, which is something I’ve heard Adam Curry of the No Agenda podcast say numerous times, most recently on a Grimerica episode.
The following graphs show what can happen when you post content consistently, Monday through Friday, at 7am, and Sundays at 8am. The first graph is the numbers for 2021:
And here are the numbers for 2022:
If these numbers are getting you excited to toss some monetary numbers in my direction, then my about page is the place to make donations. That’s another thing I learned from Adam Curry: you have to ASK if you want the chance to receive. Simple shit, but it works.
While every donation is deeply appreciated–like the recent $50 dollar donation that came at a time I was feeling particularly dejected about the personal costs of being a truth teller–the sporadic nature of the donations isn’t a sustainable model for me. What that means for 2023, I can’t say for sure, but some things I DO know for sure are costs are going up for me like they are for everyone.
The victory of defeating the poorly planned Crisis Mill Levy at the polls in November accelerated my departure from an affordable lease, so I’m looking at a higher rent, in addition to other costs. I really don’t like doing the bellyaching over money issues, but it IS an important part of how we fight back against the narrative control of authoritarians and predators.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, in the middle of writing this post I got a text from the mother of Rebekah Barsotti because today is her daughter’s birthday, a day of celebration that has been transformed into a day of unimaginable grief because her daughter is dead, and the narrative controllers within the criminal injustice system have worked VERY HARD from the very beginning to make sure her abusive husband was never investigated as a suspect in her “river accident”.
Another case that could see some light soon is so explosive, it could reverberate all the way up to the Governor’s office. That case, and the one that started it for me (the death of Sean Stevenson) are a few reasons it’s going to be important for me to have a presence in Helena when the Legislative session begins on January 2nd.
I’m excited for what’s on the horizon for 2023, even though the opportunities are emerging from some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with in my 44 years of living. For those who have stuck with me during this tumultuous time, thank you.
And stay tuned, because there is SO MUCH MORE to come!
Thanks for reading!