I’m a fourth-generation Montanan born in Livingston and raised in Shepherd. I graduated from Skyview High School in 2014.
Even though I am only 21 years of age, I have been active in this community since I was a freshman in high school. I was on the Teen Advisory Group designing and organizing the teen Space for the Billings Public Library. I served on the ExxonMobil Advisory Committee, which provided feedback regarding community support and the needs of our city. I also started the Gay Straight Alliance at Skyview High School and have worked with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for over six years. This year I am on the planning committee for the Yellowstone Valley Out-of-the-Darkness Walk.
After graduating from high school, I moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to attend the University of Baltimore majoring in public policy. While in Baltimore I fell in love and got engaged to Erick Santiago. Erick and I soon decided to move to Denver, Colorado. In Denver I attended the University of Colorado majoring in political science.
July 16, 2016, is one of the happiest days of my life, as I was privileged and honored to marry my best friend, Erick, in a religious ceremony. Shortly after our wedding, my husband and I discussed moving to Billings. Many things drew us here, one being my ailing grandmother and her fight with Parkinson's disease. She passed away soon after we moved. It has been extremely hard, but I am happy we decided to make Billings our home.
I am not one to sit around. As soon as we settled down, I was ready to get involved with different organizations around town. I am currently involved in Showing up for Racial Justice, Big Sky Rising, Sanctuary Rising, Come Together Billings, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I have also proudly protested Wells Fargo's involvement in DAPL, stood with Audemio Orozco-Ramirez and his family, and recently helped organize a public prayer vigil in response to recent displays of hate and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
I want to raise my children in a city that I can be proud of — a city that is diverse and inclusive, a city that has economic opportunities, and a city that takes pride in protecting the environment.
If you elect me to the City Council I will fight to pass a non-discrimination ordinance, I will enact city-wide recycling, I will ensure that businesses are started and continue to thrive in our community. I also will promote mental health care and rehabilitation facilities in our city that provide services to our growing transient, addicted, and mentally-ill neighbors. I will even go a step further to ensure that there are programs offered by local businesses that will provide opportunities and trainings for employees after they have completed treatment. Finally, I am excited to announce that I will be finishing my bachelor's degree in political science at MSUB.
If you believe in the vision I have presented, I ask that you vote Tyler Starkweather for City Council Ward 3.