Boards and Commissions: April in Review

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On the Docket: Public Budgets and Power Mapping
Can you believe we’re already in month four in our 2022 program? This month, we taught the Fellows the ins and outs of how to find – and then analyze – public budgets.  We were honored to have Senator Melissa Wintrow (District 19) present on what to look for when reviewing public budgets and to speak about what she looks for as part of the Joint Finance and Appropriation Committee (JFAC) in the Idaho Legislature. The following weekend, Idaho State Director Mistie Dellicarpini-Tolman of Planned Parenthood Advocates Alliance provided guidance to our Fellows on mapping decision-making power. Misti provided real-world examples on how she and others helped Meridian pass their non-discrimination ordinance using power-mapping as a tool for success. 

DEI Learning
This month, Adan de la Paz helped the leaders learn about disability justice and ableism by reading and discussing this article: Ableism Is Embedded In Our Language. We Can Dismantle It. The Fellows especially found the glossary helpful in identifying words they use daily and what substitute words they can use to be more inclusive. In addition to learning about disability justice, the Fellows watched a TEDtalk video by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warning about the dangers of a single story.  Subsequent discussions in both small and large group settings centered around Fellows’ own biases around people and places. All of this important self exploration work are helping our Fellows become more inclusive leaders.  


On the Road
In order to increase our Fellows’ exposure to elected and appointed officials, I’ve arranged informal meet-and-greets near where our Fellows live within Southern Idaho. These meetings serve to facilitate relationship development by encouraging elected and appointed officials in the area to share their story of how they came into leadership. These gatherings have not disappointed!  Everyone who participates has learned something new, and the importance of building relationships is reinforced.

March 31st: Meridian Meet & Greet
The Fellows met with Public Works Chair, Crispin Gravatt; Boise Public Works trustee, Abigail Morgan and Meridian City Council President Brad Hoaglun. Thank you to Meridian City Hall for the beautiful and accessible meeting space!!

April 6th: Ketchum Meet & Greet
In Ketchum, the Twin Falls Fellows met with some amazing leaders from the Wood River Valley. They learned from Ketchum and Hailey City Councilors about their journeys in running for office, the realities of being in office during COVID, and what drives them to keep serving.

April 13th:  Idaho Falls Meet & Greet
The Fellows and local elected leaders – including Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper – contributed precious evening time to learn from one another about the journey to public service – focusing on all the things you don’t have to be or have done in order to be a great leader.

Let’s Talk Shop: April Guest Presenters
This month, we had three guest speakers: 

  • Senator Melissa Wintrow
    Senator Wintrow is a seasoned college educator who has devoted more than 25 years of service and leadership for students, faculty and staff. Her formal leadership roles include the Women’s Center Director, Faculty in Residence Program Director, and an instructor role of Gender Studies courses and Leadership courses at Boise State University. As a legislator, she was active in the National Institute for Civil Discourse, and served as a co-chair for two years for a national network of state legislators (Nxt Gen) committed to leading with civility.
  • Mistie Dellicarpini-Tolman, Idaho State Director, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates
    Mistie has worked in the Planned Parent network for nearly a decade, starting as a voter engagement specialist and working her way up to director for the state of Idaho chapter. Mistie received her degree in Political Science and Government from Boise State University. She has been active in several community organizations as the co-chair and treasurer of Add the Words, Idaho and as the treasurer for the LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Idaho.
  • Adan de la Paz, International Student Services and Inclusion & Intercultural Engagement Advisor, College of Idaho
    You may remember Adán; he is a regular presenter for our 2022 Fellowship. He co-leads all programming to advance underrepresented domestic and international student engagement and advocacy. Adán also assisted in the restructuring of the college’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion. He continues to present on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provide resources on these subjects.

Next Up:
In May, our Fellows will be attending in-person meet-and-greet sessions with appointed/elected officials in Meridian. In addition, they will be learning:

  • Public Decision Making: Our Fellows will learn how different bodies make decisions using laws, ordinances and policymaking 
  • Mock Hearings: Our Fellows will learn what it’s like to sit on a dais and walk through an agenda – including taking public testimony 


Getting involved:  May 17th, 19th and 21st will be our mock hearing dates.  We need audience members!  If you would like to be an audience member and/or give mock public testimony (to test out your own leadership skills), please reply to this email so we can connect. I’d love to get you involved in the Boards and Commissions Fellowship Program!

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