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I grew up in a hardworking blue collar family in Belgrade. I graduated from MSU during the pandemic. I am the first in my family to graduate from college.

I have been deeply involved in this community since childhood — youth groups, 4H, choir concerts, farmers market. As I got older, Hyalite trips, volunteering at the food bank, and art. Art clubs, art shows, posters, performance, art is my sustenance.

During my junior year I became stuck. I could no longer make art, no longer sleep.

I still lie awake at night, sick to my stomach thinking about the climate crisis and what it means for my future, for my little sisters' futures.

Ten years younger than me, what will they see when they are 25? Will the Bridgers have burned once more? Twice, three times? Will they have finished college? Live in Bozeman? Will there be affordable housing? Will they have access to good paying jobs? Will they have health care, clean air, clean water?

Organizing with the Sunrise Movement gives me hope there are steps we can take if we join together to make change. Alone I can do nothing but together we are movement, we are force, we are community, we are neighbors.

Senate Democrats just announced that they plan to spend $3.5 trillion on the second infrastructure package — the one my peers and I are counting on to deliver huge climate investments that match the scale of this crisis.

But we know — and science supports — the need for a much, much bigger investment than this. That’s why we’ve been pushing Congress to invest $10 trillion over the next decade to create good jobs and curb the climate crisis. And it’s why we’re going to keep demanding they fight for more money.

Katie Meyer

Bozeman

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