By Shevawn Von Tobel
On Wednesday evening, over 200 Boise residents packed the Linen Building in downtown Boise to attend the first ever Boise Mayoral Candidate Conservation Forum.
Four of the five mayoral candidates were in attendance to answer questions related to conservation and environmental issues currently affecting the city of Boise. The fifth candidate, Wayne Richey, filed his candidacy the day before the forum. Moderator Gemma Gaudette, host of Idaho Matters on Boise State Public Radio News, led the lively discussion and posed pre-written questions to the candidates that were based on audience input.
The audience was prompted to submit their questions to the candidates when they registered for the free event. The questions from the public were overwhelmingly concerned with preserving open space as the city of Boise continues to grow, followed closely behind by transportation and clean energy. The forum kicked off with our Executive Director, Courtney Washburn, welcoming the crowd to the forum and urging them to remain involved in our work as we roll out our endorsements for the 2019 election cycle. Washburn then turned it over to the forum’s moderator, Gemma Gaudette, who explained the rules of the forum to the candidates: each candidate would have 2 minutes to respond to each question and the order was pre-determined randomly by the roll of the dice.
Each candidate made a three minute opening statement and then Gemma opened up the forum to the evening’s questions. Although many topics were discussed, including expanding public transportation, the city of Boise’s clean energy goal and the need to increase the diversity of public input on local decision-making – many of the candidates’ answers related back to sprawl and the need to preserve open space, an issue that will most likely define the upcoming mayoral race.
Many of the attendees present at the forum came away from the event with more familiarity on how each candidate views conservation and how much – or how little – they will incorporate conservation policies if elected. One of the attendees, Andrea Bogle, came to the forum to hear more about how the candidate’s view liveability, “That means the soil and the air and the water, as well as the day-to-day – how we move and go about our lives. I was pleased that some of that was discussed tonight.” Other attendees like Samantha Todd, a new resident of Boise, came to the forum to learn more about the current issues, “The reason I moved to Boise was for the great open space. I liked hearing everyone’s different perspectives and learning more about where Boise was and where people think it’s heading.”
We’d love to learn more about what top conservation priorities you think the next Boise mayor should address. Post your thoughts online by using the hashtag #BoiseMayor.
Watch and Listen
Missed the forum? No problem! We video recorded the forum in its entirety on our Facebook page. The forum’s media sponsor, Boise State Public Radio, also made an audio recording. Both links are below. Share with your friends and family who will be voting in the 2019 election!
- WATCH: Conservation Voters for Idaho Facebook Live stream
- LISTEN: Boise State Public Radio audio recording
Boise Mayoral Candidate Conservation Forum In the News
- Boise State Public Radio, “Boise mayoral candidates spar on environmental policy.”
- Idaho Press, “Growth, public transit loom large large at first Boise mayoral forum.”
- Idaho Statesman, “Live blog: Boise mayoral candidates meet in first public forum.”
- Idaho Statesman, “Boise mayoral candidates talk conservation, transportation and growth at public forum.”
- KBOI, “Boise mayoral candidates answer questions from Conservation Voters for Idaho.”
Each year, Conservation Voters for Idaho provides independent information to the public and our 16,000 members as to which candidates running for municipal and state offices are going to champion the issues they care about – protecting Idaho’s water, air and natural places. We evaluate and choose candidates based on prior voting history, conversations with CVI’s board of directors and how well they perform on our political questionnaire, regardless of political affiliation.
Conservation Voters for Idaho will release our endorsements for the 2019 election cycle in early October. Please visit our election page for more information and share with candidates you think might be interested in our endorsement process.