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A Statement From The Montana Racial Equity Project's Health, Wellness, and Special Projects Coordinator, Rae BirdHat Howe, MS, on the rising COVID cases in Montana.

"More concerning, said Heilman, a former police officer, is the use of the 8 Can’t Wait campaign to guide part of the city’s review...the concept has since been found to be misleading and detracting from real progress, Heilman said. The founders of the campaign have apologized for it. Many big cities, like San Francisco and Chicago, already have all 8 steps in place and police brutality is still a problem in those places.

“You can adopt these things and still be a very problematic police department,”

Heilman said she’s surprised the Montana Racial Equity Project wasn’t asked to help with the review. She said that her team may compile their concerns in a letter to send to the city and will attend during Monday’s commission meeting."

Heilman said it’s impossible to even begin looking at how the city can become a more inclusive place when not a single person from the black, indigenous and people of the color community were consulted in the analysis of how the city is performing so far. Heilman says she appreciates the city of Bozeman recognizing there’s lots of work to be done but says the process must include people from the BIPOC community, from start to finish.