When Grassroots Win
Don’t underestimate the power of grassroots organizing.
Back in July, another incursion of monstrous Exxon/Imperial Oil equipment heading to Alberta’s tar sands was stopped by Judge Ray Dayton of Anaconda. Imagine what would happen if a fire like the Lolo Complex blaze ignited during the transporting of one of these behemoths. I doubt this will be the last we hear of big oil trying to save a few bucks using highway 12, human/environmental costs be damned.
Then, just last month, Westside/Northside residents organized their opposition to the Union Gospel Mission’s relocation; a planned move that caught many residents by surprise. Their persuasive showing at the city council meeting on September 9th led to a 10-1 vote in favor of a retroactive conditional use ordinance that has temporarily stopped the Mission’s planned move.
In today’s Missoulian, Engstrom essentially conceded defeat to the opposition against locating UM’s Missoula College on the South Campus, choosing instead the backup East Broadway location. If Engstrom wasn’t so embattled on other fronts, this decision may have been different, but as it stands, Royce doesn’t have the appetite for the probable lawsuit that would have come.
Grassroots organizing can be effective. It’s good to remember that.