A trio of luminaries from Montana’s progressive political past, Dorothy Bradley, Thomas Towe and Bob Raney, will discuss the new anthology, To Make a Better Place For This and Future Generations, at Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St., Livingston, on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.
To Make a Better Place was published as a special issue of the University of Montana Law School’s Public Land and Resources Law Review. It contains essays by various key players in the environmental and social justice battles that were fought and won during the late 1960s and 70s, including stream access rights, robust mining reclamation standards, and a state constitution that includes the right to a clean and healthful environment.
Bradley, who edited the collection, writes in her dedication, “The years 1965 to 1980 were a sustained beam of light. … It was a rare moment when the stars really did line up—the right history, the right leadership, the right Montana mindset.”
At the age of 23, Bradley won a seat in the Montana House of Representatives where she served as the only woman in 1971. Serving eight terms, she was known for her leadership on difficult issues and her consensus-building approach. She was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1992, narrowly losing the race after campaigning by riding her horse across the state. She now lives in Clyde Park.
Towe served terms in both the Montana House and Senate, and was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Congress in 1976. Mother Jones named him “one of the 10 best state and local officials in the U.S.,” and the Missoulian listed him as the 26th of the “100 most influential Montanans of the 20th century.” He is the owner of Towe Law Firm in Billings.
Raney, a lifelong Livingston resident, served in the Montana House from 1985 to 2000. Focusing on issues including taxation, waste management, wildlife, and state parks, he passed legislation protecting wild fish populations and primitive and island parks. A trainman for 25 years, he also represented southwest Montana on the Public Service Commission, and is a conservation champion and ardent defender of the Coal Tax Trust Fund.
In an effort to keep our community safe, masks will be required and vaccinations are strongly encouraged. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the door.