When I came, alone, to Boise seven years ago as a refugee, I knew nothing about this place other than the name. Boise did not disappoint. I have relentlessly set goals and built a life for myself here, including earning my GED while holding down two jobs, putting myself through college, enlisting in the Army Reserves, and owning my own home in West Boise.
But that journey was not without challenges, and life here in Boise is getting more challenging all the time. I want to see Boise stay the kind of place where you can come with nothing and build a life: a true welcoming community with a diversity of voices and opportunities.
As a New American, millennial, student, and servicemember, I know of many people who are struggling. My top three priorities are:
Affordable housing: It’s crucial that we bring people together from all neighborhoods in our city, as the people most affected by the affordable housing crisis are oftentimes the ones with the least access to policymakers. I would support continued efforts by the city to grow our housing and push for more.
Transportation: Our issues with transit are big and complex, and our traffic worsens every year. As we work towards a regional plan, I would push for continued investment in bus access. The communities who depend on busses - refugees included - need to be able to get to jobs, school, and services in a timely way. New technologies and a campaign for increased usage would help this effort.
Public Safety: Though our crime rates are low and Boise is generally a safe city, we must ensure that it will continue while extending safety to marginalized communities and neighborhoods who have been left out by agencies and partners. I will work to build partnerships with every community, developing crime prevention education with a community focus.
All these issues, I know I can’t solve them alone - these issues require cooperation and teamwork from our elected leaders and the city residents. I intend to be an accessible and welcoming voice on the City Council, and I look forward to working with all our community leaders and partners.