November 8: From the Desk of the Executive Director

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I am writing to you this morning from the CVI office, where our team is celebrating some of CVI’s most substantial successes in organization history. The stakes were high for conservation in some of Idaho’s most populous communities, leading our team to dedicate months building support for candidates we know will keep up the momentum on preserving Idaho’s quality of life by preserving our natural environment.

In this election, CVI selected 18 candidates across the state for our endorsement that demonstrated commitment to conservation principles and the political wherewithal to make those principles into policy. We are pleased to share that 14 of our candidates were victorious at the polls in 10 communities across Idaho, including all 6 of our endorsements in priority races in Ada County. Let’s take a look into some of the most impactful elections we participated in this year…

Boise Mayoral Race

Once again, Boise’s voters demonstrated overwhelming support for the quality of life that we prize. Mayor Lauren McLean earned 55% of the vote over three opposing candidates, securing the victory with a comfortable margin (a single mayoral candidate must receive 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff election). Mike Masterson, McLean’s most well-funded opponent, vowed to roll back the exciting climate policies that we have achieved together through McLean and CVI’s partnership, but voters like you made it clear that environmental priorities are heavily valued by this community. 

To protect Boise’s environmental progress, CVI invested heavily into the Boise mayoral election in order to protect four years of progress on behalf of our capital city, including bold action with concrete results for climate adaptation, open space, improved transportation, pollution reduction, and more. In this election, CVI raised over $518,000 from local and national partners to fund our independent expenditure campaign in support of Mayor McLean, making this race our largest political program in our organization’s history. 

Mayor Lauren McLean has served as a tireless and impactful leader – and valued conservation partner – for Boise for years, and we are pleased to have worked on her behalf to guarantee four more years of direct action and concrete progress for Boise.

Boise City Council

Much of Mayor McLean’s progress for Boise’s natural environment has been in partnership with the Boise City Council. It was our utmost priority to maintain this conservation majority by endorsing four candidates in Districts 2, 4, 5, and 6 – all of which we are pleased to share were victorious in their campaigns. We will see Council Members Colin Nash, Meredith Stead, and Jimmy Hallyburton return to office for the next term, and we are pleased to welcome Jordan Morales as a new conservation partner and council member. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with the Boise City Council to advance bold environmental policy for the community.

Local Candidates Win Statewide

Outside of Boise’s priority races, we were proud to support victorious candidates in Meridian, Garden City, Bellevue, Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Moscow. Municipal leaders are some of our most important partners to make impactful change for Idaho’s communities – these representatives recognize and address the needs and concerns of Idahoans daily, and are charged with developing solutions that meet the needs of their communities. CVI stands by these local conservation champions, and we will continue to work with them in the coming years as they advocate for our lands, water resources, air quality, wildlife, and more. Learn more about all fourteen successful candidates at our website.

By the Numbers

CVI’s endorsement is not just a stamp of approval on a candidate. For several weeks following our endorsement announcement, we leverage our time, resources, and financial support behind candidates that we’ve identified as conservation champions. Our contributions to the election are tangible and impactful. This election, we reached Idaho voters in the following ways:

  • Mail: CVI reached over 42,000 voters with twelve unique mailers on behalf of our endorsed candidates. Over 169,000 pieces of mail were delivered to mailboxes.
  • Digital: Using social media and other online platforms, CVI reached over 1 million individuals within the communities of our endorsed candidates, with the content being viewed over 5 million times. Over 20,000 individuals viewed our Boise Voter Guide.
  • In-Person: CVI’s Voter Outreach Specialists, a team of eight dedicated individuals, connected in-person with over 11,800 voters at their homes over the past five weeks.
  • TV: We spent $325,000 on a six week tv campaign with 6 ads featuring small business owners, affordable housing developers, carpenters and more.

Looking forward

On behalf of the CVI team, I want to thank you for being an active participant in this year’s election. Because of voters like you who care about Idaho’s natural spaces, we once again saw a resounding success to close out 2023. The partnerships we have crafted with these candidates – now elected officials – will be long lasting and have a direct impact on the quality of life for Idaho communities, and it would not be possible without Idaho’s powerful conservation voter movement. 

As we transition our efforts into the 2024 legislative session, I hope you will continue to stay engaged with our work, and help us keep our elected officials accountable to the values Idahoans clearly hold so dear.

For Idaho,
Rialin Flores
Executive Director
Conservation Voters for Idaho