Adorable Young Progressive Organizers Come To Missoula To Miss The Point Of What’s Happening Here

by Travis Mateer

Maybe it’s just me, but I REALLY don’t like the secular preachers of community organizing, mostly because I regret my time as a progressive thinking ideas like harm reduction and housing first were worthy of BIG GOVERNMENT support.

Before getting to the Missoulian article that inspired this post, allow me to quote myself from a 2022 post where I describe some of my thoughts on Hyper-Localism:

A few months ago I started thinking of my focus with this blog as hyper-localism because, despite being a big picture thinker, I realized that larger scale forms of organization are more vulnerable to infiltration and co-optation. I also think it’s where one can have more impact.

My disgust for national politics is something young progressives would probably like to fix, since they’re saving the world from climate change and all, so let’s take a look at who this host organization is and what they’re up to. From the Missoulian link (emphasis mine):

Kris Marion was tearful and her earrings jiggled as the Wisconsin agriculture organizer discussed the impact of the Small Town Summit Monday afternoon in Missoula.

The event, hosted by the United Today, Stronger Tomorrow conglomerate of organizations, brought together more than 250 small-town activists over three days in downtown Missoula. With a focus on progressive policy issues in rural locales, the summit offered workshops like: “Getting Men Out of the ‘Problematic’ Pipeline” and “Attacks on Queer People in Our Turf.”

The summit was the first UTST organized, and the leaders selected Missoula for its regional accessibility in the Mountain West. The idea was to guide organizers forward in their work and shift narratives around small, rural places.

Sorry, UTST, I don’t need nationally-trained twerps coming to this town to shift my narrative. But I’m sure the director of this project, Paul Getsos, enjoys winding up organizers and setting them loose to find those poor people who need trained organizers to help them talk well…and then vote Democrat?

One of the things organizations like this can do that’s important is pay people money. Since I’m not immune to the need for money, I’ve been close a few times to doing work like this. I even interviewed for a position at the North Missoula Community Development Corporation.

If this dude and his org are adamant about moving into Montana, I could potentially help them identify some meaningful work to do on the streets. May I suggest a workshop on how to process emotions without stabbing your homeless brethren? Because this is getting ridiculous.

From the link:

The officer asked Doe to describe how the incident started. Doe stated that earlier, near the alleyway on the east side of Hawthorne to the north of Cedar Street, he was speaking with a friend when he was approached by the suspect who engaged him in a hostile verbal conflict. The suspect male made the comment that Doe was the “next to get the knife” or something similar.

The male briefly separated away, but then looped back at which point he pulled out a knife from around his back and began charging at Doe telling him that he was going to kill him. Doe fled on foot to the north falling to the ground in the trees and bushes near the sidewalk just north of the intersection.  

Doe described the suspect as swinging the knife at him in a clear attempt to stab him with it and vocalizing that he was going to kill him. Doe stated that he was on his back kicking at the male to fight him off. The male eventually stopped trying to stab Doe and proceeded to flee east on Pine Street.

How does UTST define the problems facing the “intermountain west”? Here’s a screenshot of their VISION (emphasis mine):

I wonder, are homeless encampments along a river an issue that could be seen as related to clean water? And, if so, would a UTST organizer have been in SUPPORT of Monday’s emergency actions, or against it?

I have come to believe that having political ambitions beyond one’s local community is antithetical to actually helping that local community, and this applies to BOTH political parties in Montana. To exemplify what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at two Attorney Generals.

Did Steve Bullock, when he was Attorney General, abdicate his duty to provide oversight of Lake County in order to get his shot at being Governor? It’s hard to read this old Indy article (PDF) about the Coyote Club and NOT come to that conclusion. Here’s a relevant portion from the article:

This article provides important historical context as ANOTHER Attorney General considers how to sideline justice for families dealing with incompetent or complicit Sheriff Office investigations in order to possibly take a shot at a higher political office.

I hope THIS Attorney General, pictured above, understands there are things I am HOLDING BACK on writing because I’m hoping the state of Montana is taking some cases more seriously than it appears they are. I hope I’m wrong, but people like Andy Yedinak aren’t giving me much to be hopeful for.

I’ll leave it there, for now. If you appreciate my coverage of LOCAL issues, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support me. You can also provide a donation at my about page.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to Adorable Young Progressive Organizers Come To Missoula To Miss The Point Of What’s Happening Here

  1. Jay Putman says:

    Wondering if any of the Small Town Summit attendees stayed at the CitiLodge Value Stay motel on West Broadway?

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