Curtis Bridges is moving to Wyoming and wants to start a political party in the state for people disenfranchised with Republicans and Democrats — a party that calls for “climate justice.”
Bridges, a 26-year-old resident of the Indianapolis, Ind., area, wants to establish the Justice Party in Wyoming when he moves to Cheyenne this month.
The Justice Party, formed in December 2011, seeks to prohibit corporate donations to political campaigns, demands banking reform, and wants better health care than its members believe will be achieved with the health care reform law known as Obamacare, he said.
It also demands climate justice. According to the party’s website, that will require stabilizing greenhouse gas in the atmosphere “while ensuring that economic development and food production are enabled in a sustainable manner.”
Thousands of Wyomingites are employed in the fossil fuels industries. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which provides independent statistics and analysis, the state in 2011 ranked first in the nation in coal production, third in natural gas production and eighth in crude oil production.
Bridges, who said he has never traveled to Wyoming but feels drawn to the state because he identifies with the cowboy lifestyle, said that renewable energy production should increase.
“I believe that global warming is among us,” Bridges said.
Bridges will establish a business in Cheyenne that will capture small wildlife that gets into attics and other private property and release it into the wild. He doesn’t agree with all aspects of his political party. For instance, he disagrees with his party’s position in favor of gay marriage. Bridges, who has worked as an independent minister, believes marriage should be between a man and woman.
Laura Bonham, a co-chairwoman of the national party, believes that many Wyomingites will want to join the Justice Party. Bonham lives in Coalville, Utah, 40 minutes west of Evanston on Interstate 80.
“I know that Wyoming shares a lot of similarities, ideologically, with Utah,” she said. “When you’re talking about justice, when you’re talking about equality and fairness, and you’re talking about addressing issues that solve problems as [opposed] to creating new problems. That’s in the interest of everyone. That’s in the interest of everyone living in Wyoming.”
In the 2012 election, the Justice Party ran Rocky Anderson for president. Anderson, a former Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, received attention for climate activism and being among the first to call for impeachment of then-President George W. Bush.
The Justice Party’s presidential candidate did not appear on the ballot in Wyoming in 2012.