A CLEAN ENERGY CITY FOR EVERYONE:
BUILDING A JUST AND SUSTAINABLE BOISE
Our city - and world - sits at a crossroad.
The challenges we face are urgent, from climate change and extreme weather, to a housing crisis and growing economic disparity.
Our ability to thrive is bound to this place: we depend on its abundant natural resources and green spaces, its clean air and clear water. And - in order to create the kind of prosperity that can carry the next generation of Boiseans into a new century - all of our policies must honor that deep connection.
In our critical moment of environmental and economic uncertainty, we need local leaders ready to enthusiastically and boldly fight for an equitable, clean, renewable energy city. Their thoughts on conservation can’t be buzzwords or add-ons for campaign season: they must be core values that run deep and true.
My commitment to protecting people and places is central to my 20+ years doing this work in Idaho, from leading the first Foothills open space levy to fighting for clean water in the Magic Valley to advocating for a 2035 clean energy goal as a Boise City Councilperson.
As Mayor, I’ll move Boise forward with people-first priorities. I’ll demonstrate that a city truly thrives when we chart a shared future with our entire community, embrace the unique opportunities of a 21st century economy, and place conservation front and center in every policy we make and every goal we set.
Because it’s not about saving the planet: it’s about saving ourselves.
My vision? Boise standing as that shining city on (or just below) a hill, the exemplar of an equitable community powered by renewable energy and fair-wage jobs, with clean air and water, parks and pathways that unite us, and open spaces that restore our souls. This Boise - where people can build an affordable, healthy, and prosperous life full of promise - will be a model for this state, region, and beyond.
This Boise is a city for everyone, a city for people.
Clean Energy + Climate Change
Here are the steps I’d take as Mayor to ensure all our residents thrive in our climate-constrained world.
I sponsored the Clean Energy Plan and advocated to accelerate our citywide goal of 100% clean energy to 2035. As Mayor, I will beat that goal and set an additional one: a carbon-neutral municipal government by 2035.
I will conduct an energy audit for all city facilities to see which could be upgraded to net-zero carbon standards, and encourage new city construction to hit those same standards.
I’ll prioritize a thermal energy plan to reduce our dependence on natural gas, setting our community up for a more resilient future, to be adopted no later than 2021.
I’ll seek to wean our city fleet off carbon-based fuels, and require that our future investments in buses be all-renewable.
In order to reduce urban heat gain as we grow and develop, I will incentivize passive design elements - like vegetated or reflective roofs - to minimize the need for air-conditioning in new buildings.
Recognizing that aging homes and outdated infrastructure are responsible for substantial energy leaks and waste, I’ll launch a program encouraging energy efficiency audits and affordable retrofits. This effort will create strategic, good-paying jobs, rewarding homegrown Boise businesses.
Knowing energy efficiency can be a game-changer to those on fixed and limited incomes, I’ll work to ensure equitable access to the neighborhoods who need it most, and explore democratizing access to technologies like solar panels.
Open Spaces + Parks + A Levy for People
We are at a point where we must take steps to preserve land and pathways as quickly as we develop, and reimagine parks and open spaces so that people can easily recreate, connect, and build community - no matter where they live.
I’ll invest now in open spaces, parks, and gathering places, especially for our neighborhoods who need them the most, with the levy funds that have already been set aside.
I’ll seek collaborative ways to preserve lands from our Farmlands to our Foothills, connecting open spaces at the edges of Boise - via ribbons of pathways and greenspaces - to the center of the city and beyond.
Knowing that more people would park their cars and choose other modes if given safe options, I will push for low-stress Pathways For People that connect pedestrians and bicyclists to the places they work, live, and play.
I’ll target tree canopy plantings in underserved, least-shaded neighborhoods to reduce urban heat gain, encourage walking and cycling, and passively cool homes.
And when it’s time to have a conversation about the next levy, it should be something new: a Levy for People, one that supports equitable access to clean water, clean air, clean energy, and city-wide pathways in addition to open spaces.
I will explore building Participatory Budgeting into the budgeting process, engaging our residents in neighborhood-level environmental planning and the development of creative solutions to local concerns.
Clean Water + River Protection + Water Conservation
Water is life, and, as our valley grows and our days get hotter, water quality and quantity become increasingly critical.
City of Boise staff is leading an innovative systems approach to water quantity, reuse, and quality. As Mayor, I’ll empower even more innovation, believing Boise can and should lead in this area.
I’ll implement water conservation methods in all city buildings, and propose water conservation and clean water policies for the City to adopt.
Recognizing that water is a scarce resource and we must extend its use as much as possible, I will ensure that we retain our water for our residents.
I will incentivize the use of permeable pavement and bioswales (or “rain gardens”) in both new developments and existing infrastructure, channelling runoff water so that it can be filtered and absorbed back into the soil.
I’ll continue the work of protecting and keeping the water of our treasured Boise River clean, from its headwaters through the heart of our city and beyond.
I’ll build partnerships with organizations dedicated to improving stream banks, habitat and access along the river throughout our river system, and use existing levy funds to secure that access.
And, I would address the fact that hundreds of Boiseans turn on their taps every day to find their water brown and rusty. As Mayor, I would immediately set about ensuring that all our residents’ water is clear, no matter their zip code.
Clean Air + Mass Transit
Clean air is, fundamentally, a human right, deeply impacting health and quality of life. And here in Boise, the air we breathe is only protected by addressing transportation and housing issues.
We know that the largest adverse impact on our air quality (currently 8th worst in the nation) is single person car trips, and most of those are between home and work. Urgent need requires bolder benchmarks. I would double the goal for reducing single person car trips: 20% by 2029.
Acknowledging that our region is 20 years behind on a transportation system, and that we can’t wait for a local option tax to be granted us, I will set about rebuilding regional relationships to create consensus, build a regional vision and bargaining power.
I’ll collaborate with Boise business leaders to be good partners in moving their workers and enhancing those workers’ quality of life.
I will pledge to deliver an actionable plan for regional transit at the end of my first term.
This plan will include two priority spines: reexploring connectivity by existing rail (or rail-adjacent alternatives) to Caldwell and trackless, electric trams on the State Street Corridor.
I will keep our neighborhoods people-scaled and walkable, knowing that strong neighborhoods need housing at every price point and connectivity to amenities and transit. As Mayor, I will introduce a slate of bold new measures to get at the root of our crisis, home by home.