The City of Boise’s District 5 has four candidates seeking city council Seat 5 this year on election day, Nov. 2. District 5 covers Boise State’s campus and the immediate surrounding area.
Due to legislation signed in 2020 by Gov. Brad Little, this year’s city council election will look different than previous years. The city recently transitioned to a district system for electing city council seats in response to Boise exceeding 100,000 residents. This means candidates can only run in the districts they live in, and can only be elected by residents of the same district.
The transition to the district system includes a new district map based on the 2020 census and outlines two-year terms instead of four.
Holli Woodings currently holds the city council seat for District 5 and is seeking re-election against Crisping Gravatt, Katie Fite and Steve Madden.
Woodings, a former Idaho state legislator, has served on the Boise City Council for the past four years and is up for a second term in this year’s election.
Woodings was introduced to local government by her first job with a renewable energy developer, where her role was to educate lawmakers on renewable energy. Since then, Woodings has served as an Idaho State Representative from 2012-2014 and in 2016 was selected as a delegate for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
“In my time on city council, I’ve always focused a lot on sustainability and building a more environmentally resilient city,” Woodings said.
During her first term, Woodings passed a clean energy plan for Boise, committing to 100% clean energy in city operations by 2035 and carbon neutrality. Woodings has also begun work on rewriting zoning codes for the city and addressing the issue of homelessness.
Wooding’s platforms for re-election include affordable housing and rent, sustainability and planning for future growth in Boise.
“I really want to build a Boise where people can live and work in the city, and be able to afford to do that,” Woodings said.
Visit Wooding’s campaign website at https://woodingsforboise.com/ to learn more about her pledges to Boise.
Gravatt works as a research and data analyst at the Idaho STEM Action Center and also serves as the Chair of the Public Works Commission for Boise.
Gravatt first ran for city council four years ago after getting involved in local government throughout college. A gender studies course introduced Gravatt to working with organizations to testify for human rights at the Idaho Statehouse. Gravatt later began research with the Boise Bicycle Project and used research to inform public policy.
Gravatt’s platforms include climate policy, affordability, protecting human rights and improving public engagement. Gravatt’s biggest priorities are securing clean air and water and access to open spaces, as well as improving housing and wages in Boise.
With a background in human rights work, Gravatt wants to ensure that the city council considers human rights when making decisions that impact individuals.
“We need someone who has a sense of urgency,” Gravatt said. “I’m impacted directly by the decisions that we’re making on climate, on policing, on housing, and that’s not a perspective that we really have.”
Read more about Gravatt’s platforms and plans for change at https://crispin4boise.com/.
Fite is a public land advocate who has spent years working for environmental groups for clean water, fish and wildlife habitats and wildlands protections.
Fite took an interest in government five years ago after feeling concerned about local decision-making. She started by participating in planning, zoning and preservation meetings, and later participated in larger projects, like defending environmental and health concerns after the city proposed building a trucking terminal and fuel station next to Blue Valley Mobile Home Park.
In her run for city council, Fite seeks to protect open spaces and public land, as well as increase transparency in government, promote affordability in all areas and protect the Boise zoning codes.
“The main focus is Boise’s livability given the housing crisis and the affordability crisis,” Fite said, “and it’s also the sustainability of our city, the natural environment and the community as a whole.”
Fite has also talked about improving transportation in Boise to ease congestion, maintaining trees in the city and addressing climate change at the city level.
Visit Fite’s campaign website at https://www.fiteforboise.com/ to read more.
With a background in building and carpentry, Madden was driven to run for Boise City Council to make the local government more accountable and transparent with citizens.
If elected to the city council, Madden plans to push transparency by publishing the City of Boise budget, allowing voters to approve or deny eminent domain powers and boosting public engagement.
On his campaign website, Madden states, “I promise to treat the people and businesses of Boise, Idaho as citizens and not subjects.”
Madden declined The Arbiter’s request for an interview, saying instead that he would use the student organization Campus Republicans as his voice at Boise State.
Learn more about Madden’s campaign at https://maddenforboise.com/.
[Photo of Madden not provided]
Early voting is open from Oct.18-29 with Nov. 2 as election day. Read more about early voting options at https://adacounty.id.gov/elections/early-voting/, or search for your election day polling location at https://elections.sos.idaho.gov/ElectionLink/ElectionLink/ViewPollingLocation.aspx.