We are all concerned about the increasing violence in our city and around the nation. These senseless acts break our hearts and tear at the fabric of what it means to be American.
There is no single cause. The breakdown of family, mental illness, guns, drugs, video games—you name it. They all play a part, and there are no simple solutions. We need action from government, businesses, churches, schools, and other community organizations.
As local government officials, we feel that a good starting point is to bring back the tight-knit communities that many of us grew up with, and that starts with building strong neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are where we make friends and build connections. Neighbors are more than just people who happen to live nearby. They are a support system in times of need.
To help our community build neighborly connections we encourage all Billings neighborhoods to do one small thing this summer. Organize a neighborhood BBQ! Gather for a night and enjoy the company of old friends. Shoot the breeze with the family across the street and connect with the folks who live next door. It will be great for you and great for our community.
And we can help. If you would like to organize a BBQ for your neighborhood but finances are tight, let us know. We commit to connecting you with an individual or organization that will purchase the hot dogs or provide other assistance so your event is a success. If scheduling allows, we welcome the chance to help cook, serve, or clean up!
We know that a neighborhood BBQ will not solve all our community’s problems, but the longest journey begins with a single step. Billings is special. Let’s keep it that way – one neighborhood at a time.
If you would like to organize a neighborhood BBQ and need help, or want to support others who do, please contact any of the city council members below to get started.
Mayor Bill Cole
Councilmember Ed Gulick – Ward 1
Councilmember Kendra Shaw – Ward 1
Councilmember Danny Choriki – Ward 3
Councilmember Denise Joy – Ward 3
Councilmember Mike Boyett – Ward 5
Councilmember Tom Rupsis – Ward 5