123 Years, Idaho. Now, for the Next Frontier…

Idaho Women 100
This year and every year, celebrate your right to vote by making wise choices at the ballot box.

Idaho can be proud that its courageous past made it the 4th state in our country to give women the right to vote. On November 3, 1896, via Senate Joint Resolution 2, by a vote of nearly two to one in favor (12,126 to 6,282), Idaho changed history, long before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed on August 18, 1920. Idaho, and the western states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Washington, led the country in the effort of women’s suffrage.https://www.idahowomen100.com

One hundred and twenty-three years ago next week the Idaho Senate stepped onto a new frontier with its action that said women should be entitled to vote. It took the nation awhile longer to come around (100 years ago in 2020), but we got there. I’m proud of Idaho for advocating for a change then that was still mostly unthinkable elsewhere. Idaho led in its desire to share political power with women, to give us a voice.

Idahoans can again lead the nation onto a new frontier if we’re willing. It’s a frontier not just for women, but for men too. A frontier of affirming American values – loving our neighbors as ourselves, upholding freedom. A new frontier where we embrace the future together.

Idaho’s challenges (and especially the urban Treasure Valley’s) like America’s, are significant, but ours are at a scale that is yet manageable. Looking forward another 123 years, if we focus now we can shape the future rather than be molded by the present. Doing nothing should not be an acceptable option for any Idahoan.

Imagine the Treasure Valley of the future if we continue to kick the can down the road. It’s a place no one wants to see, let alone live in. The state, the county, its cities, and ACHD must get on the same page now. Work together. Plan together. Build together. Carefully.

All these people moving here aren’t going away. In fact, more stream in every day. They – and we – must have decent, affordable places to live. By working together to plan now, we can incentivize the retention of agricultural lands while promoting economic growth and development. While we manage growth’s impacts carefully, we can preserve and protect the values we cherish and the quality of life here.

Our leaders must work together to solve other problems exacerbated by addiction to opioids and other substances, address homelessness, maintain high standards of public safety, reduce overcrowding in our jail. And they’ve got to do something about traffic.

And while they get down to business, how about we work on ourselves?

We’re a mess these days, ignoring or shouting each other down. Have you ever been on Next Door? Neighbors intimidate, insult, and berate neighbors. We don’t have to be this way. We – women and men – can be at the forefront of this new frontier too – if we will.

We desperately need gutsy change-makers today. Gutsy leaders. Gutsy individuals. We need to push, pull, and prod each other to respectful civility and good governance. Being a change-maker demands courage. Are you up for that? If you’re not, imagine where we’ll be 123 years from now.

It takes courage to seek out and do the right thing for Idahoans in ways that we can embrace without abandoning deeply-held values and principles. It takes courage to look for shared interests and negotiate to achieve them. Idahoans are nothing if not proud, hardworking, and brave. We can do it. We can prosper on this next frontier. We’re up to it.

One hundred and twenty-three years ago, the majority of Idaho’s senators had the guts to stand up for women’s right to vote. Women and men can repay them by having the courage to live on this new frontier or vote for leaders to lead us there.

This November 3rd and in all of 2020, as we celebrate the the 100-year anniversary of America’s big step forward for women, I invite you to join me on the next frontier. We were ahead of our time then. We can be again.

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