In mid-September, Helena’s Mayor Jim Smith posted a message that he stands against all forms of “violent extremism.” This is a curious statement since at the end of March 2016, Mayor Smith addressed ACT! for America. This organization has similar position statements and membership to the White Nationalists who have grown more and more brazen in the past year. As a lifelong politician, he must have known that.

Mayor Smith, 16 years in office, may speak for some Helena residents by appearing before and making promises to a racist group. But I hope a vast majority of Helena rejects this hatred and opts for more progress in our future. Wilmont Collins, a veteran and Liberian refugee, seeks to bring about such good change for us and we should support him.

We should surround him with a council of like-minded people who have led with dignity and honesty, like Andres Haladay, or who understand how to use the budget to bring economic justice for everyone, like Heather O’Loughlin. This is the future of our great city. Make your voices heard.

Joshua Manning

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