To Build our Economy:
- We can only make our city strong if we make our citizens strong. I am working with partners in the local business community and higher education to understand how Boise can support its workforce. We are creating a market-based voluntary commission to show local employers how a livable wage can help build their bottom line. What happens when we are able to live, eat, play, and shop around where we work? More money circulates through our local economy, making way for better growth, inclusive decision making, and improving the quality of life for everyone.
To Encourage Community Involvement:
- Boise has a metropolitan university of distinction in its backyard. We need to establish stronger, formal ties that connect enthusiastic students with local nonprofits, businesses, and other groups working to make Boise the most livable city in the country. Highly motivated individuals are much more likely to stay in Boise when they feel like they can make a difference in their community. Let’s work together to ensure that Boise’s future retains this talent pool.
To Turn Brain Drain into Brain Gain:
- Boise is facing a shortage of skilled workers. Our technology sector and related industries are growing faster every day. To prepare for a successful future, we need people on the cutting edge of high-tech fields as well as a strong workforce in construction, machining, and related skills. Young people are leaving Boise at a fast pace. They are looking for wages and a sense of belonging that Boise has not put resources toward supporting.
- I have already started working with Boise State University and other community stakeholders to create that sense of belonging and keep Boise’s talent pool in the area. Our city and our people will benefit from stronger partnerships between city leadership, higher education research, and engaged students and graduates. Our local businesses will thrive off of a stronger, more involved workforce and more and better data. Our nonprofits and community organizations will make more effective decisions to enable every member of our community to succeed.
A Way Forward on Affordable Housing:
- There is no easy way around it – Boise is in the middle of a housing shortage. With a vacancy rate hovering around two percent and a growing population, it is getting harder to keep up with the rising prices. This burden is felt by renters and homeowners alike. Our current leadership ignores the fact that there are two pieces to affordable housing: “affordable” and “housing.” I firmly believe that we cannot have one without the other. I am ready to raise our local wages toward a livable rate, and I commit to building affordability into our community. As a part of this discussion, I will work to expand Boise’s successful ‘Housing First’ policies, helping reduce chronic homelessness. I will also work with local stakeholders to preserve historic importance in our housing market while removing historic burden.
A New Plan for Gowen Field AFB:
- The decision on the F-35 mission at Gowen Field is largely out of the Boise City Council’s hands- and will likely be made before the new Council members are sworn in. Even if the decision came to a newly-appointed Council, the majority of member votes would likely support the mission. My focus is on contingency plans. What can Boise do to capitalize on the new mission if Boise is selected to host it? How can we work to ensure that the 2,500+ employees of the Idaho Air National Guard can take care of themselves, their families, and our country if another city is chosen and the A-10 mission ends?
- If Boise is selected for the F-35 mission, I will leverage additional infrastructure funding to develop the area around the base as an industrial sector, offering a sound barrier between the city and the base, as well as opening up a new sector of jobs to our workforce. I would also explore additional sound buffering for the Bench neighborhood, such as additional tree cover.
- If another city is selected for the mission, I will work with representatives from Gowen Field and partners in higher education and industry to identify a new mission for the Idaho Air National Guard, recognizing the net positive economic and social impact the base has on our community.
A Vision for Sustainability:
- I am committed to ensuring that Boise continues to be a leader in sustainable practices. As a member of our City Council, I will work to write new protections for our open spaces into official policy. I will work to ensure that our growth reflects our values of conservation, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. By partnering with business and nonprofit leaders, we can create innovative infrastructure in our city buildings, transportation, recreation, and more.
Our Welcoming City:
- I had the privilege to serve the Western/Pacific United States in the field of human rights. I understand exactly how our diversity makes us strong. We need to continue protecting the rights of all Boiseans, new and old, to guarantee we can succeed together. As a member of Boise’s City Council, I promise to give Boise’s refugee and immigrant communities the same opportunities to succeed as the rest of our community, and will enable those with lived experiences in these communities to take the lead. I will also create an inviting space that invites and values the voice of underrepresented groups in local decisions and activities.
Our Public Safety:
- I am dedicated to the protection of our vulnerable populations. Much of my previous work has been working to improve the conditions of the LGBT community, women, and victims of sexual and domestic violence. The City of Boise needs not only to continue its services with these communities, but expand its efforts as an example for the area.
- I will drive the focus of the Boise Police Department from “incident” to “issue.” I will encourage regular and sustained conversations between public safety representatives and groups like neighborhood associations to address the needs of communities before an incident occurs. While it is inevitable that some folks will have negative encounters with police, I believe that regular conversations will foster trust in our local police force. As a representative of all Boiseans, I understand the need to craft police responses to be appropriate to the unique circumstances of diverse communities. BPD has made huge strides in recognizing the difference between a criminal incident and mental health issue. I want to see more trainings to understand how we can better respond to homeless communities, refugees, and our varied neighborhoods.