Strategic Priorities

From Mayor McLean

The last few years have asked a lot of each of us – the pandemic, growth, pushes for social and political change. Together, in this unprecedented time, our community has demonstrated our deep-rooted commitment ensuring that we create a community that protects people, welcomes all and offers opportunity for everyone.

The challenges we’ve faced head-on, together, is all in our shared pursuit of protecting each other and this place that we love. Our strategic priorities set a course for our work to create a city for everyone.

Priority Areas

Police officer on a field with a young boy.

A Safe and Healthy City for Everyone

A safe and healthy city serves and includes everyone. Under the leadership of our Fire Chief and Police Chief, we are updating, and creating where needed, policies and practices that provide equitable treatment for all people, communities and neighborhoods. We continue to seek ways to ensure that our public safety agencies are made up of individuals committed to serving our community.

This work is demonstrated by the steps we have taken, including:

  • Launching the first in the nation career-long human and civil rights program.
  • Ensuring 100% of police officers receive crisis intervention training.
  • Doubling the staff for the existing Behavioral Health Unit, which pairs a patrol officer with a mental health professional to proactively work with residents who frequently interact with law enforcement.
  • Upgraded and added on-body video cameras to allow all officers to wear them when they are working in an official capacity.
  • Added a new position within BPD to help keep people with substance abuse disorders out of the criminal justice system.
  • Added a community liaison officer to serve the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
  • Brought on Clover the wellness K9 to support officers during stressful times.
  • Planned updates to Fire Station 5 in downtown Boise will make it all electric with state-of the-art fire engine EV charging infrastructure. The building will have references to the Old Central Fire Station and will include a historic/artifact room integrated into the design.
  • Upcoming groundbreaking for a new fire station serving NW Boise in 2023. A concept design is in progress.

A Home for Everyone

A home for everyone means that there is a place to live for anyone who chooses to call Boise home. To do this we must keep our neighborhoods people-scaled and people-friendly, knowing that strong neighborhoods need housing at every price point.

The City of Boise is on target to meet its goal of producing 1250 affordable homes by 2026 and creating 250 homes for people exiting homelessness via Permanent Supportive Housing projects that same year. We are taking bold steps to increase housing stock and affordability, including:

  • Launching a Housing Investment Program to incentivize the development of affordable and mixed-income housing.
  • Protecting existing affordable housing by requiring city review of applications to demolish buildings if the demolition would result in the loss of affordable housing.
  • Re-evaluating underutilized spaces across the city to pilot innovative options such as Accessory Dwelling Units development (ADUs) and tiny homes.
  • Establishing a comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness by strategically expanding services like outreach, mental health and housing, so that we can make a positive impact on individual lives and decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness.
  • Allocating $12 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to create and preserve affordable housing.
  • Six affordable housing developments are under construction bringing 219 affordable homes to our community.
  • Two additional affordable housing developments are entitled – that’s 128 affordable homes added to Boise’s inventory.
  • Another five affordable housing developments are ready to begin the entitlement process – that’s another 393 homes added to Boise’s inventory.
  • Distributed more than $15 million in emergency assistance to more than 3,200 households preventing possible evictions and providing utility relief through a partnership with the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority.

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Adare apartment building
Valley Ride Bus in downtown Boise

Movement for Everyone

To make it easier to bus, bike and walk, our residents must be able to connect to opportunities when and where they exist. The City of Boise will continue to invest in creative approaches to move our residents from their homes to work to school and everywhere in between.

To safely connect residents to opportunities, the City of Boise is working to:

  • Build on partnerships with agencies across the region, including Valley Regional Transit (VRT), the Community Association of Southwest Idaho and the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) to evaluate transit options.
  • Adopted the Boise’s Pathways Master Plan outlining 112 miles of new pathways across the City of Boise.
  • Rewrite the zoning code, in partnership with the Community Advisory Committee, Boise residents and the building community, to ensure that the future design and development of our city enables more walkable, dynamic spaces for everyone.
  • Provided seed funding to the Living Independence Network Corporation (LINC) to purchase an adaptive training van to teach residents with mobility disabilities to drive – the only one of its kind in Idaho that could provide adaptive driver’s training to new drivers.

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A Clean City for Everyone

A commitment to a Clean City for Everyone is a commitment to protecting our clean air and clean water, improve parks, open spaces and pathways that unite neighborhoods and connect us. It enables us to create opportunity through the transition to a clean energy economy.

Boise has a longstanding history of environmental stewardship and is leading the way to address the complex challenges that climate change presents to our community. We continue to build on our shared commitment to addressing these challenges through:

  • Climate Action Roadmap Implementation – Boise’s Climate Action Roadmap identifies an ambitious but achievable plan for our community to be carbon neutral by 2050 and our city operations by 2035. The roadmap coordinates and implements climate action across numerous City of Boise programs to enhance community resilience while advancing equity, improving public health and growing the climate economy.
  • Renewable Electricity Generation – Following the adoption of our community goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035, Boise is working with our electric utility and community partners to increase renewable electricity generation and procurement opportunities for all customers. These opportunities, combined with current and future utility coal plant exits, should expedite the transition of city government facilities and our community to clean electricity.
  • Electrification of Buildings and Facilities – Anticipating the clean electricity grid of the future, Boise is funding electrification of our municipal buildings. Following a detailed electrification analysis of ten city buildings and a recent all-electric remodel of a public safety facility, three additional buildings will be prioritized to transition from natural gas to all electric heating.
  • Allocated $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for climate adaptation efforts.
  • Upgraded 10 park playgrounds across the city to be accessible and inclusive for kids and individuals with disabilities.

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Family of four walking in Boise's foothills with a view of downtown behind them
Mayor McLean standing in a restaurant with the owners

Opportunity for Everyone

We believe in building an economy that uplifts everybody in our community, with family wage jobs and access to opportunities. The City of Boise continues to support homegrown innovation and invest in education, housing, transportation, climate innovation, and arts and culture knowing that each of these contribute to a strong, inclusive economy. Initiatives that support opportunity for all include:

  • Developed first-ever community-based economic development plan with input from over 120 local stakeholders
  • Cultivating an innovative business environment, one that supports sustainable economic opportunities and long-term resilience through investments that benefit everyone, including our small and homegrown businesses.
  • Attracting and expanding businesses that reflect Boise’s character and complement existing businesses to meet employee needs. This includes a “Ready Team” made up of staff from across the city who provide rapid response and services to attract, retain and expand businesses in our community.

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Engaging Everyone

We fiercely seek opportunities for collaboration, remain accessible and transparent, and build on our residents’ passion for Boise and desire to shape their future. While the pandemic has influenced how the Mayor, City of Boise staff and residents are able to collaborate, we have been quick to pivot to remain true to our commitment to invite all voices who wish to participate to each conversation. We continue to do this by:

  • Meeting parallel communities where they’re at: coffee shops, parks, local markets, neighborhood libraries and naturally occurring community meeting locations
  • Removing barriers to participation by engagement opportunities throughout the city at diverse days, times and mediums, including virtual and in-person
  • Streamlining resident-focused services, such as dedicating a manager to focus on constituent services to ensure we meet expectations and provide responses in a timely manner
  • Improving language access by completing a Language Access Needs Assessment with a consulting firm and hiring a Language Access Manager to carry the work forward.
  • Leading work in creating welcoming spaces and inclusive operations so that people with disabilities have equal opportunities to work, live and recreate in this city.
Man and woman standing at a table talking during a block party

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