LYNNETTE GREY BULL
My name is Lynnette Grey Bull. My home is the Wind River Indian Reservation in the heart of Wyoming.
I stand before you today, a full-blooded Native American woman, a Northern Arapaho/Hunkpapa Lakota. The statistics that hang over my head are these: I am among the most stalked, raped, murdered, sexually assaulted, and abused of any women in any ethnic group, and I am among those who suffer domestic violence 50 times higher than the national average.
I share this reality with you not to elicit guilt or unease, but so that you will realize that I understand what this moment in America is. For some four hundred years, people of color in this land have been crying, “I can’t breathe.”
Today, there is no turning back. We must hold this truth to be self-evident: “We, The People” must finally become “All The People,” for without that there can never be a more perfect Union.
I seek this nomination to represent the Democratic Party not as a candidate for Native America, but as a proud Native American who aspires to give voice and serve all the people of Wyoming.
My family knows something about Wyoming. Our ancestors hunted mammoths here thousands of years before the founding of the Equality State. It is long overdue that we actually put “equality” in the state – and I refer not just to racial justice, but socio-economic justice; women’s rights; the veteran sleeping in a cardboard box beneath an underpass; the rancher, the farmer, who can’t take their livestock and produce to market because the pandemic has dismantled the system; the energy worker whose job went down with the stock market; the LGBTQ couple who are denied service just because of who they love.
My friends, this is us.
It is not 'I', it is 'WE'
I serve as Vice President of the Global Indigenous Council, and our organization endorsed Vice President Biden the week of the Nevada Caucuses. As the Biden Campaign will tell you, that was a crucial period for the Vice President’s campaign. Our organization has also had the honor to work with Senator Bernie Sanders on several environmental justice and Indigenous Rights issues, including a historic declaration opposing the Keystone-XL Pipeline, and the historic Grizzly/Spiritual and Religious Freedom Treaty.
I support the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce recommendations. If you haven't read them, I urge you to do so. My campaign positions on health care and energy align with the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce.
It is imperative that in addressing the climate change catastrophe we choose science over conspiracy theories and see a just transition from our dependence on fossil fuels to renewable sources. No Wyoming energy industry workers will be left behind. This must be a just transition and one that does not destabilize Wyoming’s economy.
In Wyoming schools, our teachers hold the future of our State in their hands and tend to our most treasured natural resource – our children. It is time to end the travesty of undervaluing the contributions of Wyoming’s educators, and to empower our teachers to have greater input in the administration and delivery of our children’s education. Our teachers need to be unburdened; they should be free to focus on packing creative lesson plans, not guns.
My platform includes bold policy proposals for Wyoming, including a public transportation system. In the wake of COVID-19, in this new Great Depression, public transportation in Wyoming could be crucial to recovering the economy. Consumers need to be able to travel from city to city to stimulate what remains of main street, and you can’t do that if you can’t make car payments or put gas in your tank.
I am grateful to Senator Kamala Harris for crafting a bill that will actually help our small businesses which are on life support at this point of the pandemic. Secretary Mnuchin may consider a small business to be one with 500 employees, but he clearly hasn’t been to Wyoming. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, they are sole traders, store and salon owners who employ fewer than 10 people. Instead of bailing out multi-nationals in a stimulus package, it’s time to offer an open hand to our neighbors so they can make it through this economic disaster. I'm optomistic that the three Wyoming Business Relief Programs will be a step in the right direction.
In the midst of this pandemic, my platform addresses food security to ensure that no Wyoming family will go hungry.
I will advocate for the most expansive public lands policy to date, that allows Wyoming citizens the greatest access they have ever had. If I am your representative, the BLM in Wyoming will cease to be a realtor for multinational corporations.
The opioids crisis has devastated too many families in Wyoming. I believe we must enter the 21st century and decriminalize addiction. Addiction is a disease, not a crime. Instead of locking people up for crimes related to addiction, we should begin a “Treatment to Works Program” that can contribute to the stimulus and recovery we so desperately need.
I believe that law enforcement must look like the communities they are serving across the state, and in Wyoming reform starts there. On the federal level, criminal justice reform must become a reality not an ideal. I find it remarkable that today it’s a struggle to get an anti-lynching bill passed in the US Senate because of Republican opposition.
I will continue to push for federal legislation to address the tragedy of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. I am proud to feature in the most important documentary film yet made on the MMIWG tragedy, Somebody's Daughter. The work I have done on this crisis demonstrates that I will reach across the political aisle: I presented the document to Governor Gordon that created the Wyoming MMIW task force, and I served with Governor Doug Ducey to address human trafficking in Arizona.
For my relatives on the Wind River Indian Reservation, I am promoting a Marshall Plan for Indian Country. The COVID-19 crisis has drawn into stark focus the systemic failure of federal policy and administration in Indian Country, and glaringly exposed what indigenous people have known for generations – that institutionalized racism infects virtually every aspect of what is supposed to be the federal-Indian trust responsibility. Infrastructure in Indian Country does not need incremental repair - Indian Country needs a functional infrastructure! Every aspect of vital infrastructure is lacking in Indian Country and we must change this with bold initiatives, not more of the same incremental failures.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. I look forward to discussing what together we can achieve for Wyoming. I wish you all good health and wish my fellow candidates for office God speed.
Lynnette Grey Bull
Candidate for US Congress.