At Boise Bicycle Project, City Council Candidates Get Their Say 

click to enlarge - From left to right: Naomi Johnson, Rachel Misnick, Frank Walker, Crispin Gravatt, Caleb Hansen and Lisa Sanchez. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • From left to right: Naomi Johnson, Rachel Misnick, Frank Walker, Crispin Gravatt, Caleb Hansen and Lisa Sanchez.
In February, Idaho Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill that would deny sales tax dollars to so-called "sanctuary cities" that harbored undocumented immigrants. The response from the Boise City Council—the "Welcoming City" resolution—was too weak for Boise City Council candidate Lisa Sanchez.

"I think Boise should be a sanctuary city," she said at a candidate forum at Boise Bicycle Project Oct. 4.

Minutes latter, Frank Walker riffed on Sanchez: "Ignore the 'sanctuary city' label and put it in place in policy."

Six candidates—Naomi Johnson, Rachel Misnick, Walker, Crispin Gravatt, Caleb Hansen and Sanchez—out of a total group of 13 came to the forum to convince potential voters they should fill one of the council seats being vacated by Ben Quintana and Maryanne Jordan, or replace incumbent Boise City Council Member TJ Thomson.

There, they discussed a range of issues, including the city relationship with the Ada County Highway District, open spaces, immigration and refugees, wages, housing and homelessness, and community policing—the crowd favorite. Sometimes they agreed, sometimes they sparred, but it was a chance for Boiseans to get a read on the people who aspire to city leadership.

Here's what they had to say before Boise heads to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 7:

Hansen on bike lanes: "You shouldn't have to own a car to be a part of our community."

Johnson on housing-first approaches to chronic homelessness: "We don't chip away at things that are more complicated if we don't have a place to breathe. ... These are 40 chronically homeless individuals we're helping at [New Path Community Housing], and we need to do more."

Gravatt on the Open Spaces levy: "The fact that the city forgot to collect on the levy this year is an embarrassment."

Misnick on the Boise Foothills: "You need to jump on protecting that land before it gets developed."

Sanchez on the ACHD: "They're my friends; I'm going to work well with them."

Walker on connecting with the western Treasure Valley: "We need to start planning 50 years out. It's critical to get people out of their cars."
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