Kari Rosenleaf is running for office for our children’s future

Deciding to run for office is a different path for all candidates. When I first met Kari, I knew she was a public education teacher but I didn’t know why she wanted to put her neck out there and make change. We talked and bonded over the importance of public education to provide opportunity. Kari is a special education teacher for Great Falls Public Schools and she talked about the challenges and importance of that role in enriching and improving her students’ future. After our discussion, I knew Kari Rosenleaf was the right person to represent House District 26 in Great Falls. She knows the struggles of working families and she wants to support policies that will lessen those struggles. I’m Kari’s campaign treasurer and I wanted to share why I’m voting for Kari and why I think you should too. Below is a summary of a discussion Kari and I had about her candidacy. 

Why did you decide to be a special education teacher? 

Public education has always been important to me. I received all of my K-12 public education here in Great Falls. When I moved out of state and was attending college, I saw how much better prepared I was than my peers. That comes from an investment in education. And that’s why it is so important to me. I’ve always had an interest in becoming a teacher. When I was growing up, my brother had a health condition that required special education accommodations. I wanted to be a teacher for students like him. 

I’ve been a special education teacher in our school system for a decade, and the great thing about my role is the ability to build relationships with my families and students. I get to have my students for about seven years, unless they switch schools. That consistency and longevity, helps me to more effectively push for their goals. 

What made you decide to run for office?

Well, I’m a member of MFPE, the Montana Federation of Public Employees. MFPE is Montana’s largest union and the country’s most diverse union. During the last legislative session, with a Republican governor and a Republican controlled legislature, we saw so many bills that attacked workers’ rights and public education. Our union helped keep its member informed on these bills and it was so frustrating. We were fighting an up-hill battle. I wanted to be the one in the room voting for what helped people rather than having to try to convince legislators to do the right thing and vote against these damaging bills. 

If you were elected, why would you be a good legislator?

When the Republican state government turns down federal funding for our schools, that directly hurts our local students. When public employees fully fund their pension plan and the state tries to use that money as a piggy bank, that threatens the stability of that fund. 

Everyone is concerned about rising prices and tax increases. While some of those issues have to be addressed at the federal level, we can help at the state level. For one, large companies need to pay their fair share.  They benefit from running their businesses there, they need to help support the infrastructure and people that makes that possible.  

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll stand up for worker’s rights in the legislature. Unions protect workers, raise wages and are good for our state.

Why are unions so important?

When I worked as an ambulance driver and EMT in Great Falls, we voted in a union. The company brought in union busters and the union was never able to get a contract in place. But during that struggle, the company fixed numerous issues that had spurred the union fight including addressing safety issues, raising workers’ wages, and stopping wage theft. Unions pressure companies to do the right thing. 

Thank you for running Kari Rosenleaf!