Boise Working Together
Straw poll foregoes costly PR, relies on voter instincts and values.
The citizens of Boise were recently polled and showed a more intuitive understanding of the city’s priority needs than their own leaders.
At this weekend’s Hyde Park Street Fair, one of the biggest community gatherings of the year, 564 citizens voted with their pennies to indicate what their budget priorities would be if they were setting them as mayor or city council.
Boise Working Together’s straw poll was a chance for the citizens to weigh in and see if their priorities align with those coming from city hall.
The straw poll was made up of 10 spending categories and alternatively NOT spending money and instead returning it to citizens in the form of lower property taxes.
We told participants that there were no wrong answers, your budget should reflect your values and what you think Boise needs the most.
The final results indicate an overwhelming support for investment in affordable housing, with public transportation coming strongly in second while interest in the stadium is virtually nonexistent. This stood in contrast to Mayor Bieter who consistently has placed both a new expensive downtown main library and a publicly-subsidized stadium as his priorities.
Boise Working Together ran a short but successful initiative campaign in the spring to get the question of the proposed new main library and stadium on the ballot so that citizens can vote on large expenditures of our public money. Despite the city’s efforts to oppose it at every turn, BWT’s efforts gave Boise voters the opportunity to vote on the resulting Propositions 1 & 2 on November 5th’s ballot, along with 3 city council and the mayor’s seat.
A couple of clips from our Uncle Jimmy Radio interview last august!
Thank you Boise!
Whether you signed the petition, got 1 or 100 signatures from your family, friends, and neighbors, if you shared our social media posts, or served on a strategy committee, our immense gratitude to you for your individual contribution to this community-wide effort! We couldn’t have done it - and especially in such a short time - without the help of hundreds of committed Boiseans. Thank you!! We we will now await the results as the county clerk does their due diligence reviewing the signatures.
May 30, 2019
"Today, David Levine, director of the Ada County Elections Division, notified us that his staff had verified 5,610 valid signatures for the stadium petition and 5,698 valid signatures for the Library petition. The number of valid signatures needed to meet the threshold for both petitions was 4,962.
Boise Working Together is gratified that the citizens of Boise have achieved the one thing we promised we would seek for them — an opportunity to be heard, in the form of a vote in November 2019 on two city-altering civic projects, the proposed downtown sports park and the proposed downtown events center/library. The many citizens who signed our petitions now have a better opportunity to more fully inform themselves about the benefits and the drawbacks, the costs and the impacts of these two projects, and then to vote any way they choose. A vote is their right.
“Everywhere, people told us they want to be involved in major city decisions affecting their lives and pocketbooks; they want transparency in city decision-making and they want clear explanations of where money will come from to pay for these projects. They share our trust in the wisdom of the people", said Adelia Simplot, chair of Boise Working Together.
We’re honored to have gotten it for them. Now, over the next five months, our fellow citizens must do their part, by fully educating themselves about the implications of the stadium and library projects before they vote this fall. Boise Working Together will be participating in this open analysis, but — as we have said all along — it is the right of Boise citizens to vote their conscience on the future of their city. Now, they have that right affirmed."
Boise Working Together - Board of Directors: Adelia Simplot, chair; Mark Baltes, John Bertram, Alex Jones, Dave Kangas, David Klinger, Richard Llewellyn, Ed McLuskie, Diane Ronayne.
A great city grows best when it grows … together.
We are Boise Working Together.
We are a volunteer group of citizens who believe that a great city and its future rest on maximum accountability from our city government … and meaningful involvement of citizens from all corners of Boise.
We reflect all ages, occupations, backgrounds, and viewpoints. We are your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. We are West Boise and Southeast Boise. We are North End and Boise Bench. We are Northwest Boise and East Boise.
And we are united in our belief that Boise needs a new approach in how it hears its citizens … spends their taxes … and charts the future of a great city.
Boise Working Together has asked for two ballot initiatives in 2019 that matter to you.
See KTVB's coverage here : KTVB Boise Working Together
See the Idaho Statesman's coverage here: ID Statesman Boise Working Together