By Kate Thorpe, Deputy Director
After 8.5 years of working for Conservation Voters for Idaho, I will be leaving CVI on June 4th. For anyone who has ever left a job they loved, you’ll understand how bittersweet the moment can be.
When I started at CVI, I was one of two staff members. We shared an office with the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and were advocating within the conservation community to express how a CVI led field program could result in permanent protection for the Boulder-White Clouds. CVI was just beginning to test new strategies to make a larger impact in elections. We were small, scrappy, and working hard to prove the theory that if we could change the political environment in Idaho, we could make serious change for the actual environment and the communities and people who depend on it.
We set about to make change by engaging Idahoans around the state using sophisticated field programs to talk about real issues and our shared values with Idahoans regardless of their political affiliation. At first our field efforts were built up and torn down around specific campaigns; whether we were knocking doors in Blaine County to find new supporters of the Boulder White Clouds or making thousands of phone calls to voters to vote yes for Boise for Clean Water and Open Space, we would build up our team, work towards success and then ramp down, much like a typically political campaign.
Then in 2016, CVI launched our year round Voter Outreach Specialist (VOS) program, and we quickly began to see what an organizing machine CVI could be. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably received a phone call or text message from a member of our VOS team sometime in the not too distant past. You may have even spoken to one of them at your front door or a local event. These individuals are making real change happen by informing voters on what’s happening, educating them on why it matters, and encouraging them to take action.
CVI’s staff of eighteen talented and professional individuals also includes people with expertise in protecting our public lands, advancing clean energy solutions, advocating for voting rights, developing the leaders of tomorrow, community organizing, and orchestrating complex strategic political campaigns. And of course there are the incredible people who keep the organization going and make sure you are connected to this work!
It’s been an honor to work alongside these folks and our partners across Idaho, people like you.
CVI is a movement of conservation minded individuals working around the state to make a difference in their communities. During my time at CVI, I have had the privilege to meet and know many of our supporters. It has been such a pleasure to meet the many people from around Idaho who care deeply about the environment, our voting rights, and their communities.
I’ve learned an incredible amount along the way and also been a part of some remarkable victories. Together we have:
- Protected the Boulder White Clouds as Wilderness for generations to come
- Raised $10 million for Boise’s clean water and open space through the passage of a levy
- Secured commitments from Idaho’s largest utility companies for 100% clean energy by 2050
- Elected countless pro-conservation candidates to offices around the state, including Governor Brad Little and Boise Mayor Lauren McLean
These are just a few of the many victories for Idaho’s environment that you and CVI have helped make happen over the last eight years. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given during my time with CVI and deeply proud of the positive impact that together we have made.
As I prepare to leave CVI, I thank each and every one of you, our supporters, for helping make these victories possible. The work CVI does is more needed than ever before, yet with your support and the talented team of individuals at CVI, I feel confident that I leave CVI poised for even greater success.
Thank you for being a part of my experience at CVI over the last 8.5 years!