PRESS RELEASE: Conservation Voters for Idaho wins in Boise mayoral, city council races

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Boise voters take to the polls to elect pro-climate action candidates

Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund was a driving force in electing a pro-conservation mayor and city council in yesterday’s Boise municipal election. 

“This election once again demonstrates to CVIAF that Boise residents care about walkable neighborhoods, clean water, our booming clean energy economy, responsible and sustainable growth, and public transportation,” said Rialin Flores, Conservation Voters for Idaho’s Executive Director. 

Mayor Lauren McLean won by a wide margin of over 7,000 votes — receiving 55% of the votes. Conservation Voters for Idaho announced their endorsement of McLean early in the summer, citing her impactful work on climate action. 

“Out of the gate, Masterson vowed to roll back Boise’s groundbreaking climate action work,” said Rialin Flores, Conservation Voters for Idaho’s Executive Director. “McLean’s wide victory shows that Boiseans care deeply about our environment and will turnout in record numbers to elect champions that share their values.”

In total, Conservation Voters for Idaho’s Action Fund spent more than $518,500 on a comprehensive independent expenditure effort and worked with a broad coalition to help re-elect Mayor McLean for a second term.

“We knew the results of this mayoral race — alongside the Boise city council races — would decide the future of climate action in Boise and have impacts throughout Idaho and the Mountain West, so we invested heavily to meet this moment,” Flores said. “McLean’s investment in climate has not only improved our climate resiliency — keeping our water fresh and our air clean — but it’s brought new jobs to our community and helped with economic recovery post-COVID.” 

CVI’s endorsed Boise city council candidates — Colin Nash, Jordan Morales, Meredith Stead, and Jimmy Hallyburton  — were also victorious yesterday. These wins will continue a pro-climate action majority on Boise City Council. 

In 2019, CVIAF made significant investments in McLean’s first campaign for mayor — investing $300,000 in an independent expenditure effort to ensure her successful election. Since then, McLean’s work has garnered  nationwide recognition for Boise as an example of successful climate action, sustainable growth, clean tech job growth, and open space protections. 

During her time in office, some of Mayor McLean’s climate action initiatives have included:

  • Creating and staffing the Climate Action Division, a new department within the City of Boise dedicated to sustainability, clean energy, and climate action.
  • Creating the Youth Climate Action Council, a group of youth leaders helping to drive climate solutions in Boise. 
  • Launching the Climate Action Roadmap, the city’s plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • Launching the Clean City Index, a mapping tool to address  environmental justice, health and equity when planning projects in the city. 
  • Initiating the rewriting of Boise’s zoning code, with a focus on including sustainability and affordability components. 

McLean has also supported regional and national initiatives that have ripple effects across Idaho, including; 

  • Leading the effort to reconnect the Intermountain West with passenger rail. 
  • Collaborating with Idaho Power to create the Clean Energy Your Way program, which allows large energy users through much of the state to build dedicated renewable energy projects and individuals to subscribe to new solar installations. 
  • Joining federal housing initiatives to help address homelessness in Boise, serving as a model for other Idaho cities dealing with similar issues. 
  • Supporting federal initiatives to improve public transportation throughout the Treasure Valley. 
  • Leading mayors around the country in supporting and launching a city focused pledge to support the America the Beautiful initiative. 

Part of CVI’s strategy included working with local political action committee Boise Fact Check in an effort to combat misinformation and share accurate data on McLean’s work on housing and homelessness. 

“It has become clear to us that environmental policy goes hand-in-hand with sound housing policies,” said Flores. “McLean has worked to create housing near jobs and public amenities, preserving our outdoors spaces and combat pollution. We’re proud to have helped lead the conversation about housing, homelessness and our environment.” 

CVIAF’s Total Voter Contact by strategies: 

  • Five week field program knocking over 11,829 doors. 
  • Reached 42,368 municipal  voters, with 12 unique mailers totaling over 169,000 pieces of mail sent out on behalf of our endorsed candidates
  • Reached over 1 million users with over 5 million impressions with a $65,000 digital buy. That means users who were served our ads saw them an average of 5 times over the life of the campaign. This is an above-average frequency metric; we typically aim for at least 3 times, and we far exceeded that.
  • Produced over 21,033 clicks, sending over 20k people to the voting guide. There were over 300k engagements, including comments, likes, follows, etc
  • Ongoing voter education and polling information to 12,701 voters via texts 
  • Spent $325,000 on a six week tv campaign with 6 ads featuring small business owners, affordable housing developers, carpenters and more

About Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund

Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund is the political arm of Conservation Voters for Idaho and works to elect conservation champions at the city, county and state levels to protect Idaho’s air, land, wildlife and water. We leverage our political power to elect public officials who value conservation, regardless of their party affiliation. Our funding comes from people who care about the environment and our natural heritage.