Interview with Dennison Rivera for Montana State Legislature District 79
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennison Rivera for State Legislature District 79.
What Motivated You To Run For State Legislature?
One of the biggest motivations I had to run for State Legislature is a conversation I had with a representative. I realized that the only way that conservatives could do anything is if they gained back the numbers in the state legislature. I could no longer sit by and be outspoken, doing nothing. I am running to make a difference. Step up, myself-step up, and make a difference.
In our last conversation, you said you were a patron of the arts. Why is it important for Conservatives to support the arts?
It is extremely important that we encourage and promote the arts. Art is part of the culture and is an extension of who we are. We cannot forget who we are, and art is an intricate part of integrating into the community in Montana. It helped me assimilate into the community by sharing in their culture. Whether it is our museums, theaters, or music, the arts help unite us as a community. It makes us distinctly Montanan and allows people to see us for who we really are, unlike commercial entities.
The defund the police movement is taking root everywhere. Why is it important that we support the police and local law enforcement?
I am a huge advocate for supporting our police department because they are the first line of defense each day. The police department is more than essential, for they are the disciplinarians of the community. Defunding the policy will put everyone in the country in danger. I understand that in big cities, minorities feel they are being abused and taken advantage of by their local authorities. Statistically speaking, the police arrest more White people than any other race.
I grew up being taught that I was oppressed by the police, which made us afraid, which caused us to make the police our enemies and disobey the law. Not only do the Democrats want to defund the police, but they are also seeking to take away Americans’ right to bear arms. If there are no police and no guns, then WHO IS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US? We would be living in the wild, wild west.
What measures are you taking or will take when you get in office to help support law enforcement and protect our communities?
We need to protect SROs in our community. They are the first line of defense against violent school shootings. In addition, the SROs help creates a culture of respect toward authority. SROS protects teachers and students from danger; the are often coaches, mentors, and deescalate school shootings. Instead of getting rid of SROS, we need to increase their funding and training, so they can do their jobs better. Currently, the SRO program is horribly understaffed. Recently, we won a victory against the City Commissioners to keep our SROS. This is a temporary victory, though, and we need more people to get involved to stop the city commissioners from defunding our SROS.
You are a Latino, and you are conservative. Why are you Republican?
When making a decision to whom to vote for when we need to take a hard look at who we are. I took a hard look at myself. I value the freedom to worship God as I choose, the freedom to protect my family, freedom to accomplish my dreams without government interference, and that all babies have the right to live. I believe that life starts at conception. The Republican Party is the only political party that aligns with my beliefs. The Democrats talk about protecting the working class, but they are all just talk, and no action when you compare their actions to their words. Under President Trump’s leadership, the Republicans are keeping their promise to the American people.
What advice do you have of other Hispanics and minorities who are conservative?
Hispanics and minorities need to stop listening to the media and do their own research. There is only one Truth, and when one asks God for the Truth, they will find it. It is important that everyone verify the information that they are given. Look at what is important to you, and it will tell you where you need to vote. Stop believing that you are oppressed when we live in the land of opportunity.
What issue is affecting your district, and how do you plan on fixing them once elected?
There are a lot of issues affecting our district. One of the key issues in our district is transparency. When I am elected, I am going to increase transparency between the city and the people. It is my goal to make information more available to the people so they can get more involved and work together with them to do the right thing for them, the city, and the state. Currently, the state is killing small businesses, which is destroying our State’s Economy. If elected, I will make it easier for small businesses to operate in Montana. I want to push legislation that will increase school choice for parents, invest in education, and advocate for teachers. I will advocate for our police and our Second Amendment rights. I will hold the government accountable to the people.