Boise - A Welcoming City

Message from the Mayor

The character of our city is second to non, for many reasons. But one central reason is our city’s commitment to being a bastion of safety and opportunity for refugees and immigrants forced to flee their homelands due to lack of opportunity, political repression and outright violence.

With great satisfaction, we announced Boise was granted a rare designation as a Welcoming City by Welcoming America, a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides guidance and support to help communities become more inclusive toward immigrants and all residents. Boise is only the third municipality in the country to receive the designation.

This designation reflects our long-standing work to help immigrants and refugees to become true members of our community and welcomed neighbors. It’s a point of pride for our residents and there is no question that these new neighbors have enriched our community and its cultural fabric.

Supported by our community partners, the City of Boise completed an intensive evaluation to earn the designation; local policies and programs were compared to Welcoming America’s comprehensive Welcoming Standard, which addresses a range of policies and programs, from education and language access to community safety, and provides a comprehensive roadmap for immigrant and refugee inclusion.

Partnerships, collaboration, and community involvement with organizations like Neighbors United and the Idaho Office of Refugees are specifically highlighted by Welcoming America in their evaluation. The Boise Police Department’s Refugee Liaison Officer position was also recognized as a best practice that has helped advance safe and connected communities.

At no time has the hard work of those dedicated to making Boise a welcoming city been more apparent than last summer when tragedy struck. Refugee families who faced horrors in their homeland faced them again after a brutal and fatal serial stabbing incident. It was one of our community’s darkest moments – and one of our brightest as thousands of Boiseans reached out with support, kindness and love. I’ve never been more proud of my hometown.

Boise’s place as a refuge of safety and opportunity for all of its residents – both in spirit and in practical policy – is a proudly established fact. Going forward we will continue to strive to remain a leader on this issue and keep Boise a welcoming city for all.

Flowers at the vigil for the families affected by the tragedy at the Wylie Street Apartments in 2018.

As always, thank you for all that you do to help make Boise the most livable city in the country.



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