Mark Seeley is making a stab at joining State Congresswoman Nicole LeFavour as the second Boise Weekly alum to enter Idaho's 21st century political game. Admittedly, the former columnist and current Wal-Mart employee is running a meager campaign--he has no budget, no plan to obtain one, and he will only do interviews during non-peak cellular hours--but his focus is clear on a single issue: homelessness. Seeley was homeless from 1994 to 1995 and wrote a regular column on homeless issues for BW--including the relevant-as-ever "10 Reasons the Homeless Pity You." Now he's running against incumbent Vern Bisterfeldt for a seat on the Boise City Council, and taking the city to task on its unceremonious dumping of the Community House homeless shelter.
"I don't think any consideration was given to, 'What can we do to be responsible for a building and a program that have been in place for 10 years in this community,'" Seeley said of the shelter. "There are many fingers to point, but the bottom line is the city shouldn't just walk away from it. I just want to give voters a way to express their frustration, because I don't think at this point [Community House] could be saved. Not by this council."
Seeley added that while he will announce no stance on issues other than homelessness, his platform goes beyond the city's handling of Community House, to the basic attitudes of Boise's citizens and Council members toward the homeless. "What are we doing rehabilitating criminals? Why are they even given a second chance? What's this whole notion of parole? Or classes inside prisons? Every other segment of society we give a second chance to and give a compassionate ear or eye or heart to. But with the homeless, it's just assumed that the homeless are the perpetrators of their own demise. So let them struggle with whatever situation they created for themselves," he said.
Seeley has also attended several court hearings and City Council meetings dealing with Community House and says he was shocked by the callousness of some of Bisterfeldt's remarks to and about the homeless. "As City Councilman, you're supposed to represent all the citizens of your community," Seeley said. "You're supposed to show all of them dignity and regard and respect. He was acting like a schoolyard bully." To read Seeley's article "10 Reasons the Homeless Pity You," visit www.boiseweekly.com.
In other election news, Brandi Swindell, who tied with St. Sebastian for "Best Christian Martyr" in our recent Best of Boise issue, also filed as a candidate for City Council. And that's all the attention we'd like to give that topic.