Voters wait in line at a polling place at the College Church of the Nazarene on the Northwest Nazarene University campus in Nampa, Idaho, on Nov. 8, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
If you follow Idaho’s political news, you’ve likely seen new faces, heard new ideas and participated in new conversations. It seems, at times, that civil conversations with compromise, collaboration, negotiation and understanding have been tossed aside for civil unrest with riots, demonstrations, threatening individuals or assemblies that have become disruptive.
Nationwide, we’ve seen troubling displays of political unrest. Who can forget what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, at the nation’s Capitol building?
Even locally, some conversations have gotten ugly. There’s no other word for it. The behavior at a recent school board meeting in January got completely out of hand. There was no hope of turning it back to a civil discussion.
The issue lies in the Legislature’s hands now, but it can’t solve every issue. We don’t want to lose local control at schools, cities and counties. The best solutions stem from civil and respectful conversations, particularly where there is disagreement. We need to understand both sides of the issue.
Speaking of the Legislature, I am very concerned about the efforts to limit who can speak and easy access to vote. We need to be more inclusive and allow all our voices to be heard in Boise and at the ballot box.
A new group, Integrity 2C, wants to honor and preserve the quality of community that our forefathers founded in Canyon County. Just as it occurred in the late 1800s, our group is built on faith and family values, not fringe ideas meant to scare and intimidate people.
Integrity 2C is a new grassroots movement that began as a conversation among a few friends about a perceived disconnect between the citizens and those elected to represent us at every governmental level: school board members, city councilors, county commissioners and legislators.
That conversation led to a broader discussion among several like minded people concerned about Canyon County’s low voter registration. Generally, that translates to low voter engagement. We want people to vote, and we want them to have a clear understanding of what their vote could mean or ultimately means.
Integrity 2C’s goal is to increase voter information and engagement about the issues in Canyon County, engage with our elected officials and hold them accountable. We will support Canyon County solutions for Canyon County problems.
As a new group, we want to make it clear: We support our schools, teachers, first responders, law enforcement officers and community leaders who reflect our values, making Canyon County a desirable place to live, work and play.
We promise to promote truth, respect and civility. In today’s political climate that’s hard to do. Who do you believe? What’s the truth? Who can you trust?
To help that dialogue, Integrity 2C hosted a town hall meeting with local legislators in early January. It was a respectful discussion and a good start.
We plan to hold a town hall meeting in March. Stay tuned.
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