What We Do

This section – What We Do – contains a categorized archive of our activities and writings. This particular page page contains stories in newspapers and radio about us or our activities. If you see an article we should add to this page, please share it with the webmaster at contact@wyomingrising.org.

Our 2023 Park County Fair parade entry.

Democracy 2021: The Future of the 2-Party System.

A live panel discussion sponsored by Wyoming Rising on Sunday Sept 19, 2021.

An outstanding group of panelists discussed the the value and the future of our 2-party political system. The panel discussion was equally balanced between Democrat and Republican leaders including Sen. Al Simpson (R), Gov. Mike Sullivan (D), State Senator RJ Kost (R), 2020 U.S. Senate candidate, Dr. Merav Ben-David (D), and moderator Nate Martin, Executive Director of Better Wyoming.

In Search of Civility—A Public Forum about Civil Discourse

A public forum organized by Wyoming Rising on September 24, 2017 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West drew a capacity crowd. Participants were retired Senator Al Simpson, former Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan, former Cody Mayor Nancy Tia Brown, Cody School Board Chair Dossie Overfield, and moderator the Hon. Steve Cranfill. Watch this video to view the event in its entirety. Videography by Jeff Shrin.

Speakers: County economy relies on non-citizen workers

Sheep on summer range might not get tended to. Hotel rooms might not get cleaned. Restaurant hours might get shortened.

Those potential scenarios paint a picture of summertime in Park County without the services of non-citizens. Yet obtaining visas for foreign workers is growing more and more difficult, as the cap on the visa numbers remains static and far below demand.

That workforce is an essential and contributing factor to the county’s economy and does not take jobs from Americans, said speakers at a Wednesday evening forum at Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, cosponsored by Wyoming Rising.

Read entire article on the Cody Enterprise: http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_40688734-563c-11e9-87f1-33a1a0fa37ad.html

Panel discussion organized by Wyoming Rising highlights importance of non-citizen labor.

excerpt from Powell Tribune,  published Thursday, April 4, 2019

Last week’s discussion at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center was organized by Wyoming Rising. Its purpose was to raise awareness of how often this pool of labor is utilized by many industries in Park County, including tourism, agriculture, landscaping, construction and food-service industries.

We had [non-citizens] help on the farm as long as I can remember,” said David Northrup, a farmer and a Republican state representative from rural Powell.

Without foreign workers, “I would have to shut down my night shift,” said Jeremy Blaylock, owner of Granny’s in Cody.

Tina Finneman, human resources manager for Blair Hotels, said that without non-citizen employees, they’d have to shut down their operations entirely.


Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson, left, moderated a discussion on non-citizen workers last week. The panel included, from left, Rep. David Northrup, Jeremy Blaylock, Tina Finneman, and Regan Smith. Not pictured is panelist Renee Nash.


Non-citizens are a vital source of labor for Park County businesses. That was one of the takeaways from a panel of speakers who offered an eye-opening glimpse into how vital foreign workers are to Park County businesses — and the difficulties businesses face in recruiting those employees.

The panelists all said this labor pool is indispensable to the success of their businesses.

Read the full article on the Powell Tribune.

Third Women and Allies March Covers a Wide Range of Issues

Powell Tribune
January 22, 2019
Immigration, reproductive health care, equal pay, indigenous women, LGTB rights, history and science were among the diverse topics discussed at the Women and Allies March in Cody on Saturday.

“We are gathered here today in solidarity with a lot of passion for a huge range of issues,” said Jenny DeSarro of Cody, who was one of about a dozen speakers at the event. “So what I’m imploring you to do is to go beyond showing up here today — vote, donate, volunteer and engage with lawmakers.”

DeSarro said she was recently in Cheyenne to meet with legislators and follow various bills. She told the dozens of residents in attendance that “lawmakers represent you, and unless they hear from you, they’re going to think that you think just like they do, or you think just like their friends do.”

Organized by the local group Wyoming Rising, the third annual march was themed “2019: Year of Wyoming Women.” It was one of numerous marches held across the country, which started in January 2017 on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. 

Read the entire article here:


Women & Allies March

Cody Enterprise
January 20, 2019

 Cathy Blanchard (left) and Mary Keller participate in the the Women and Allies March on Saturday at City Park. Photo by http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_573e8372-1c4a-11e9-8fa5-9bab666dfc49.html

Taking action

Cody Enterprise
November 13, 2018

Jo Miller (right) and Gail Terry hold signs at the intersection of 11th and Sheridan advocating to protect the Mueller investigation. photo by Margaret Kispert


Powell Tribune
June 26, 2018

Cody Enterprise

Events for Earth Day

By Zac Taylor, April 18 and April 21, 2018

Around 80 people converged Saturday on City Park for the second annual March for Science.

Wyoming Public Radio

Cody Teachers Can Carry Guns In The 2018-19 School Year

Apr 20, 2018

Cody is now the second school district in Wyoming to put guns in the hands of teachers and staff. Unlike Uinta County School District #1, which passed the policy in two months, Park County School District #6 took well over eight months. But what now? Listen to the report on Wyoming Public Radio:


Cody Enterprise

A wealth of health knowledge

By ZAC TAYLOR,  Feb 19, 2018

A co-pay, a hospital room, and insurance billing – the pieces of traditional healthcare are well-known, but a local organization wants to educate people on alternative ways of receiving care.



Cody Enterprise

More than 300 come out for equal rights march


Trisha and Kelly Tamblyn lead the Women’s and Allies March at City Park on Sunday. Trisha came to the march to, “stand up for people who don’t feel like they have a voice and remind people that there’s still hope even though it doesn’t seem like it.” REBECCA NOBLE

“March, run, vote, win” was the common message at the Women’s and Allies March in Cody City Park on Sunday.

Carrying signs and chanting, the crowd of more than 300 – children, teenagers and adults – circled the park. They also listened to a full roster of speakers and music by Garrett Randolph in the bandshell.

Echoing the message, Cody Mayor Matt Hall laid down a challenge to participate in government. He said three City Council seats will be open this year, as well as three of the five seats on the Park County Board of Commissioners. He urged the crowd to either run for office or seek others who will. Read the article here:



Can schools prevent mass shootings? Sandy Hook parents train teachers to help at-risk students

PBS News Hour
December 12, 2017

Can schools prevent mass shootings? Sandy Hook parents train teachers to help at-risk students
Five years after a shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, many parents who lost children have taken their efforts to reduce gun violence into the classroom.… Read the article here:


Powell Tribune

Guns in schools? Cody school board discusses possibility of staff carrying concealed weapons

Written by  Tessa Baker
October 05, 2017

The Cody school board devoted more than an hour to the topic Tuesday night, discussing a 28-page guidance manual from the Wyoming Department of Education that explores the School Safety and Security Act. The Wyoming Legislature passed the bill earlier this year, clearing the way for local school boards to allow employees to carry guns under certain conditions. Read the article here:


Powell Tribune

EDITORIAL: Civility goes both ways



In America, it’s easy to find examples of incivility.

Just scroll through social media, turn on a 24-hour cable news show or even listen to our political leaders.

Name-calling seems to be more accepted in America, even as we teach children not to bully one another. Those on both sides of the political spectrum take aim at each other, sometimes going to extreme lengths to disparage the other side.

The internet can bring out the worst versions of people as they post hateful and vile statements, often under the cloak of anonymity — or at least from behind a screen and not in a face-to-face conversation.

In the worst cases, we see racism, sexism, bigotry and violence across America.

All of this can leave us asking: Where’s the civility?

While we can’t control what is said or done in Washington, D.C, or elsewhere, we can decide how to respond in our own community.

“This stuff doesn’t just start in Congress,” said Al Simpson of Cody, former U.S. senator. “It starts in the baseball field; it starts in the city council; it starts in the school board; … it’s right down there in your home ground, at every level.”

Simpson spoke during the recent “Search for Civility” forum sponsored by Wyoming Rising — Northwest, which also included former Cody Mayor Nancy Tia Brown, former Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan and former Cody school board chair Dossie Overfield.

Panelists talked about the importance of listening to both sides. That used to be a common concept, and a bedrock of bipartisanship, but it seems to have gone by the wayside.

COLUMN: Forum goes in search of civility

Cody Enterprise, By Jeanette Sekan


The recent program on civility held in our community was helpful and refreshing.

It was nice to see the overflow crowd. It gave me a chance to see that others in our community were having similar concerns about the state of civility in the world.

Kudos to former governor Mike Sullivan, Dossie Overfield, Nancy Brown and Al Simpson for taking the time to share their thoughtful opinions and insight on this very important issue. These four individuals served the public in different, but equally important roles. We’re fortunate for their service to our community.

For several days after the event I thought more and more about the discussion. It is important to acknowledge that many are now voicing concerns about what has happened to civility, manners, kindness and a general sense of respect for our fellow human. It’s a hopeful sign that many are starting to discuss and question this sea change in our human interaction.
read the full article:

Forum on Civility Sunday

September 21, 2017 . Bighorn Radio Network

Residents gather to stand against hate

A panel of high profile community, state and national leaders will lead a forum that encourages civil discourse on Sunday at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The nonprofit group Wyoming Rising Northwest is hosting the forum that will feature a panel discussion by four retired elected leaders – US Senator Al Simpson, Governor Mike Sullivan, Mayor Nancy Tia Brown and School Board Chair Dossie Overfield. The moderator for the forum will be retired District Court Judge Steven Cranfill.

Harriet Bloom-Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Wyoming Rising Northwest, also organized the Women’s March following the inauguration of Donald Trump in January. She says that the members of panel are positive examples of how civil conversations with opposing viewpoints can take place.

Shirley Stephens, one of the organizers of the event, says that the forum is open to the entire Big Horn Basin, with the goal of showing that dialogue between opposing viewpoints does not have to be hostile.
She says the idea for this event came out of her own experiences in a workshop last year, in which she experienced an awakening that came from truly understanding another person’s point of view.

Wilson adds that their hope is that the outcome will be a commitment to working together and communicating better as a community and a nation.
The event will be held in the Coe Auditorium at the Center of the West this Sunday, September 24th, at 3 p.m.


Zoey Lentz of Powell speaks to the crowd gathered to protest hate groups in the wake of the Charlottesville riots. About 40 people showed up in Powell to the impromptu gathering at Washington Park Wednesday to speak out against hatred in all its forms. A concurrent event in Cody drew about 25 people. Tribune photo by Don Cogger

Read the full story:

EDITORIAL: Hate should be protested

Editorial by Don Gogger, Powell Tribune. August 24, 2017



Science March in Cody brings thousands together

Posted: Apr 22, 2017 10:48 PM MDT Updated: Apr 22, 2017 10:49 PM MDT
By Penny Preston, KULR 8