Women in Public Policy Gather for "Policy Pub" at Pengilly's 

Pengilly's Saloon is a downtown Boise fixture for its live jazz, $2 wells and, now, its political issue panels. Though that hasn't been a key element of the bar's mystique in the past, on Monday, Jan. 22, the University of Idaho James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research

is adding the title "Inaugural Boise Policy Pub Venue" to the Pengilly's resume.

The McClure Center has made it its mission to conduct policy-shaping research and communicate it to the public, and its latest endeavor is a bi-monthly speaker series dubbed "Policy Pub." Its debut, "Women in Policy," will feature a bi-partisan panel of female legislative policymakers who will answer prearranged questions, then discuss with pub-goers about why they chose their jobs, and how they do them.

click to enlarge Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) is currently serving her third term in the State Senate, and her fourth in the Idaho Legislature. - JEREMY LANNINGHAM
  • Jeremy Lanningham
  • Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) is currently serving her third term in the State Senate, and her fourth in the Idaho Legislature.

"The whole purpose is to engage Idahoans in policy dialogue, and to tee up really interesting topics that would be of interest to the public," said McClure Center Director Katherine Himes. "Then, they can engage intimately with people who are in policy. It might be government, industry or it could be nonprofits, but really allowing them to have that opportunity to engage and meet the people behind these decisions.”

The Women in Policy Pub will be moderated by Himes, and include Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise), Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesse) and Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) as featured speakers. Himes aid she hopes including Republicans and Democrats in the event will promote compromise on key issues. 

"I feel especially in the current discourse coming from Washington, D.C., it’s just so critical to set that tone of, ‘We’re all in this together, we all care about our community, we care about our state, we’re interested in having active and engaged citizens,'" Himes said.

Similar events have already taken place in Moscow, and according to Himes, the series is something the McClure Center might "take on the road" to other places in Idaho that have shown interest, like the Wood River Valley and Idaho Falls.

"It’s really open to anyone, and I think that’s the beauty of this kind of event," Himes said. "It’s supposed to be interesting, light, fun, engaging and informative.”

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