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Message from the Mayor: State of the City

Boise is at an inflection point. During the annual State of the City address this Wednesday, I talked about how our city’s success has given us the opportunity to accomplish many things. But as we move forward, we must embrace the kindness and wonder that Boiseans already bring to their everyday lives as we focus on how our city’s continued success will shape our collective future.

Boise’s special quality rests on many things, but for me our kindness is what truly stands us apart. Little things that, added up, become extraordinary. Things like saying hello to people we don’t know. Letting people into traffic and giving and getting that little wave of thanks. Or knowing and looking out for your neighbor. It’s the little things that make our city great.

Our success also allows us to pursue big things. Since 2004, we’ve been able to complete of dozens of major projects – parks, libraries, community centers, fire stations. This success allows us to look to the future in ways not possible before and pursue things like a new Main Library Campus, the Boise Sports Park and the Boise Gateway Industrial Park in south Boise – all projects that set the stage for Boise’s next century.

As we grow, we must be a city of imagination -- a city with the creativity to envision what we want to be and then become it. We can no longer expect the federal or state levels of government to be at our side on some of our most challenging issues – local solutions much fill that gap. We must be a city that brings private and public innovation together to identify and solve our most difficult issues. A city of imagination that can provide equality of opportunity so that everyone has an equal shot at success.

That’s exactly what we’ve done in the creation of Idaho’s first Housing First effort called New Path Community Housing, efforts to build a similar project for veterans, and its work to create a broader range of affordable housing through projects like Adare Manor in downtown’s West End.

And, on Wednesday, I proposed a series of significant policy initiatives to help us chart our city’s future on three other critical issues: transportation, housing and the environment.

Housing, in particular, has been a topic of particular interest to residents in recent months, including during the city’s series of community conversations on growth, in which affordable housing came to the forefront. I believe our Grow Our Housing proposals is an important step for housing affordability in our community.


I’m also particularly proud of our environmental proposals to limit development in the Foothills to protect this precious asset for all future Boiseans and our initiative to make the City of Boise’s facilities and operations completely powered by renewable electricity by the year 2030.

Our policy choices are important, but, as I said above, the most important decisions we make are how we treat each other and come together as a community.

The late Fred Rogers said, “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

I ask all Boiseans to be those heroes. If we do that, Boise will be a place of kindness and wonder, truly the most livable city in the country.


David H. Bieter, Mayor

Published: September 14, 2018