Melissa Smith for a Thriving Montana

I’m a fourth generation Montanan, raised in Havre, with deep roots in the Flathead Valley. I married my husband, David Saslav, in December 1991 in San Francisco, California. David is a software engineer and currently works remotely in Great Falls for Iron Mountain. My father was a math professor at Northern Montana College and a member of the MEA. My mother is a retired nurse. My sister works for an optometrist in Belgrade, MT when she is not making cheesecakes for our Montana summer cheesecake business, DiaDesserts.

I've been involved in politics actively since my first day on the University of Montana campus when I was 18. I believe in living my principals through participating both politically and through community organizations where I live to promote the public good. I have organized protests and/or lobbied my representatives on several fronts:

  • women’s rights (equal rights for women, pro-choice issues,pay equity, violence against women);

  • arts and education (National Endowment for the Arts funding);

  • the environment (clean air and water, conservation of public lands, climate mitigation, renewable energy, Keystone XL pipeline);

  • public safety including public health, food security, Medicaid expansion, and gun violence); and

  • human rights (Black Lives Matter; foster children/adoption; immigration; Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; opposing the separation of children from their parents at the border).

Recently, through the ACLU’s People Power, Indivisible, and the Women’s March, I have worked to mobilize and engage voters, and served as the Great Falls Coordinator for the Elizabeth Warren campaign. I’m currently a member of the League of Women Voters, Montana Chapter at Large; Love Lives Here; MEIC; ACLU; Citizens for Clean Energy; Big Sky Rising; Big Sky 55+; Great Falls Rising; Moms Demand Action/Every Town for Gun Safety; and the Cascade County Democrats.