Nicole Prehoda 

Basic rights advocate turned city planner

When Nicole Prehoda came to Boise in 1994, the decision was, as she put it, "pretty arbitrary." She'd just graduated from college, traveled abroad and wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life. However, in 1994, the Idaho Citizen's Alliance had put an anti-gay initiative on the ballot. Suddenly, Prehoda had plenty to do with her life. She became the director for Idaho for Basic Rights, a lobbying group whose purpose was to fight long and hard to make sure ICA measures didn't make it to the legislature.

When Idaho for Basic Rights folded, Prehoda took a position at Planned Parenthood and for the next three years worked against anti-abortion activists and legislation. She said her favorite memory of working there was actrually of going to court. "I was deposed and had to go and explain to a court what I did and why. I had to explain myself and tell them that I spent a lot of time trying to get a judge's approval for a minor to have an abortion." In 2001, Prehoda left Planned Parenthood and went to work as the Executive Director for Public Access Television in Idaho. She did a short stint there and then moved on to COMPASS, an entity concerned with the public transportation, as the Assistant Transportation Planner. She's been at COMPASS for four years, and in that time has tracked the surge in residential development in the Treasure Valley. She said she has seen 3,500 new residential permits for homes in Meridian, as compared to 750 just four years ago.

Prehoda's job is to examine and help develop long-range transportation plans for this ever-growing area. She enjoys it so much that she is leaving in a month to go to graduate school in Portland, where she plans to earn her master's degree in Transportation Planning.

--AA

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