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My husband and I are raising our four, young children in a neighborhood at the heart of downtown Billings. We love where we live. I regularly walk our children to the library. Our kids broke in the new play equipment at Pioneer Park. Our oldest daughter attends an artfully renovated public school across the street from our home. My husband is able to walk to work each day at a locally based company that not only cares for its employees, but also its community. We walk the same route as a family to church each Sunday.

This is a lifestyle we, and many others in our generation, love. There are so many things we are grateful for in this town.

On the flip side, since moving into our home six years ago, we have lost our go-to spots for both local produce and fresh flowers. We notice increasingly more empty commercial space downtown.

We want to grow old in this city, and our hope and prayer is that our children will have both the desire and ability to raise their children here too. We need to build a city that attracts both businesses and the next generation of young professionals. I believe this starts with a thriving and safe urban core. For this reason, I am urging you to vote for Kendra Shaw for City Council. As a small-business owner and fellow young mom, she understands these issues and will work to make Billings a healthy, livable city.

Jenna Murphy

Billings

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