2021 Boise City Election

Our completely subjective analysis and picks for the 2021 Boise city election are here. We’re not going to pretend to be objective, and really don’t need to be. We feel like we’re making the political needs of our neighbors, family and friends the priority with our selections.

To visit the 2021 City of Boise Election Information pages click here!

Early and absentee voting started on October 18, 2021 – click here for more.

Water (Sewer) Bond

Let’s dispense with this issue quickly. Whether you like it or not, water is going to become more and more scarce as climate change and its rising temperatures and dwindling snowfall become the norm. How we use and reuse water will be critical to the community. The citizen advisory group shown below and Boise’s diverse survey respondents seemed to agree.

Photo of the Advisory Group and city planning team

“As our water renewal system ages and faces increasing pressures from growth and climate change, we will need to make improvements to the critical structures that keep our community and our river safe and healthy. In 2015, the city started work on developing the Water Renewal Utility Plan to keep our system operating well and address the growing needs of our community.”

The approach the City of Boise’s Water Renewal Services took to building the Water Renewal Utility Plan was unique in that the public took an active, front-seat role to developing the solutions from the very beginning that will ultimately be in front of Boise City Council as a recommendation for our future. Our residents are invested in our future and they don’t just want to be engaged on these issues, they want to help drive them forward. Specifically, our community expects the Water Renewal Utility Plan to address the following:

  • Prioritize the health of the Boise River
  • Maximize the environmental benefits of water use and recycling
  • Decentralize assets to provide system resiliency
  • Develop localized solutions that maximize resource recovery
  • Create solutions for future generations

This is a 20 year investment. And, like the library debacle, kicking the can down the road will only result in pricing improvements out of reach. So, don’t trust the can kickers on this one regardless of where they land politically. Remember – “water is life”.

More on the “Water Renewal Bond by clicking here. Plus a video from Boise Public works is here.

Boise City Council Races

To visit the 2021 City of Boise Election Information pages click here!

Boise Council District 3

The races for our two nearby districts couldn’t be any more different in our opinion. In District 3 there are 4 candidates. One is basically no-show and two are more or less right wing folks. Maria Santa Cruz-Cernik is anti-vax, supports of Dr. Ryan “Needle Rape” Cole, need I say more?

Greg McMillan is a longtime Boise resident but seems to draw most of his support from developers and realtors. His contributions, as of this writing were running in the $500 average range versus Lisa’s which average around $25. According to the Idaho Statesman, “Campaign finance data show the median amount given to MacMillan’s campaign is $500 and the most frequent donation size is $1,000. By comparison, Sanchez’ median donation size is $50, with $25 being the most common size.” and much of MacMillan’s support is coming from conservative Republicans.

Greg’s “natural” approach to solving growth, income and affordability issues is, in a word, unnatural. Problems like this very rarely ever solve themselves. It’s like he expects capital-driven development businesses to become benevolent somehow. Not likely to say the least.

Don’t forget, District 3 is roughly the same as the Ada County Commission district that gave you Ryan Davidson who, in turn, gave us Dr. Needle Rape Cole.

In this case, our choice was easy. Lisa Sanchez stands out as a pragmatic progressive and proven leader. She is fearless, creative and strong.

She is the first Latina to campaign for and win election to the Boise City Council. During her first term, Lisa has made it a priority to bridge the City of Boise to the diverse communities it serves.  In 2021, she was unanimously elected by her peers to serve as President Pro Tem of the Boise City Council, making her the first woman of color to serve in council leadership.

For more about Lisa and to get one of her very cool tee-shirts, yard signs & swag click here.

Boise Council District 5

This is where things get really, really complicated. There are four candidates running. Incumbent Holli Woodings is facing off against a recent transplant from California named Steve Madden and two political, activist veterans – J. “Crispin” Gravatt and Kate Fite. Both Crispin and Katie bring good resumes to the race and are desirable in their own ways. The major differences among the three progressive candidates is the new zoning code and the water reuse (sewer) bond. Holli is for both, Kate is against both. We’ve determined both are needed and will help the city as a whole approach livability issues important to Northenders. Please take the time to research the issues on your own. The other issue is this contest represents what’s unfortunate about a “plurality wins” election as described below.

We disqualified Steve Madden immediately because he is anti-vaxx and supports Rep. Priscilla Giddings, who infamously and illegally outed the young woman who Rep. Von Ehlinger is accused of raping. Sorry Steve, you’re simply on the wrong side of far too many issues.

So here is the rub for us. If the 3 progressive candidates split as much as 72% of the vote 3 ways they’ll end up with 24% each. Mr. Madden could end up with 28% and get elected. The proof this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing is Tom Luna’s comment MacMillan has “stepped up and worked with the party.”

Given this is a possible scenario we had to make a judgement call and tap incumbent council member Holli Woodings for reelection and hope she is allowed to run on her record and not the false narratives you’re likely to hear about her.

She is a powerful voice for the issues we feel need to be focused on. She isn’t aligned with any of the anti-everything factions, she has been endorsed by the Conservation Voters of Idaho and other progressive groups while keeping the needed dialogue channels open we need to solve problems like growth, housing, diversity and income equality in a very conservative state.

We’ve known Holli since she was a student at Boise State and a barista at Espresso Italia in Hyde Park some 20 years ago. She has always been self-sufficient and hard-working, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Boise State University. She has been active in our neighborhood as a NENA President and board member, our District 19 Idaho state representative and has generally represented the North End very well over the years. We reject any notion she is “bought and paid for” by developers. a) she doesn’t desire or need their largesse and b) we hope she will continue to aspire to higher office and serve all of the citizens of Idaho someday.

For more about Holli visit her website by clicking here.

Boise Council District 1

Our pick must be Laura Metzler. She is a 50 year resident of Boise, 30 of those years in the West Boise district.  She is active in all aspects of West Boise life including being a West Boise Little League coach! That iced it for me. Laura and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts, whitewater rafters, and die-hard Bronco fans.

Her opponent is Luci Willits. She was Tom Luna’s chief of staff. Need I say more? Willits’ campaign treasure chest is over flowing with donations from Republican PACs, super conservative Trump supporters and narrow business interests.

For more about Laura visit www.laurametzlerforboise.com.

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