Alliance for a Just Society affiliate The Montana Organizing Project (MOP) is a collaboration of diverse community, civic, labor, faith groups, and community members. Located in Missoula and Billings, MOP works on economic, racial and social justice issues, with the mission of promoting the dignity and empowerment of people with low and middle incomes who voices haven’t been heard in their communities. Led by Project Director Molly Moody and Eastern Montana organizer Sheena Rice, MOP is a statewide organization that primarilyrepresents Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, rural Eastern MT towns- Baker, Glendive, including communities on the frontier, Havre and Great Falls.
Among their many accomplishments in the past few years, here are some highlights:
• Successfully lobbied Montana legislators to defeat legislation that would have ended the unemployment appeal process, protecting the rights of hundreds of low-wage workers to challenge abusive labor practices. Montana has more than 57,000 minimum wage workers in the state.
• Set up rural organizing projects in 7 communities and held 22 listening sessions, giving more than 225 Montanans a voice in the decisions affecting their communities.
• Along with partner organizations, turned out 2,000 people from all over the state, including critical rural communities like Rocky Boy Indian Reservation, to budget rally at state capitol. The rally mobilized Montanans to voice their opposition of the proposed budget cuts the state budget and to pressure legislators to restore many of the proposed cuts. The strong showing of public opposition gave Governor Schweitzer the political backing he needed, and he was able to veto the proposal and restore 75% of those cuts.
To learn more about MOP’s important work, and to find out how you can support them, please visit their website: montanaorganizingproject.org.