Name: Tyler Smith
Occupation: Journeyman ironworker, Ironworkers Local 29
Education: Grade school through high school in Boise, some community college in Washington state, four-year union apprenticeship with Ironworkers Local 29
Prior political experience: None
Civic involvement: As a teen, Boise chapter of Anti-Racist Action (1996-97), Move To Amend (2010-present), ACLU of Idaho (2013-present)
Years living in Boise: 1979-1984, 1988-1999, 2012-present
Family: Wife, Heather Krieger; stepson, Johnny
Social media accounts: Facebook.com/TylerSmith4CityCouncil
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
I am a union journeyman ironworker, a husband, a dad and a Boise native. I know what works for working families. My passion lies in social justice and equality, and I will carefully consider the impact on the environment and all of our residents while serving on the city council. I am not a career politician; I am young and I have fresh, positive ideas. Money is such a corrosive force in politics, therefore I refuse to accept campaign contributions from any business. My late father was a blue-collar working man who then went on to serve his community, spending his last twenty years working for Ada County. He taught me that integrity is what matters most, and I will bring integrity to the Boise City Council.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
1. Repealing existing and rejecting future measures that are aimed at the poorest in our community is of vital importance. This is profiling, and it is a violation of our First Amendment when it restricts our speech or access to public property.
2. I will work with Move To Amend to pass this resolution: The city of Boise stands with citizens and governments across the country in the campaign to call for an amendment to the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood and the doctrine of money as speech and return our democracy, our elections, our communities to America's human persons and to thus claim our sovereign right to self-governance.
3. I will try to pass a living wage ordinance (not applicable to a business employing less than 12 people) that would effectively change Boise's minimum wage to 150 percent of the federal minimum, and to use project labor agreements on government-funded construction projects.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
The city of Boise needs to work toward economic prosperity and job creation by embracing a green future. In a sustainable economy, people do business in ways that are good for the economy, the environment, and for communities. The Northwest is already recognized for its commitment to sustainability, and Boise should be eager to set an example. Our environment gives us plenty of access to sun and wind, and our collective intellect can harness these and other alternatives. An investment in a green economy can include incentives or subsidies to business that manufactures new green building materials. It can also include adapting our infrastructure to modern technologies, such as electric transportation and charging stations. Any investment we make equates to jobs, with more people contributing to the government, and less people depending on the government.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I would love to see Boise continue to grow culturally. Studies have shown that the arts can have a beneficial impact on the economy. With a heightened emphasis on the arts, our city could attract more visitors, as well as become an even more popular destination for new residents and businesses. Artist-friendly cities resonate an openness to new ideas. They encourage innovation, uniqueness, and talent. Arts programs can increase opportunities. A strong sense of community identity and pride develops. The creative arts can also lead to positive community traits such as diversity, tolerance and free expression. It would be exciting for Boise to become a well-known cultural destination. With Idaho's accelerating growth (the fourth fastest state in the nation!), relatively low cost of living, and ample recreation opportunities, I am confident that if Boise were to focus on incorporating more art into the community, we could become a thriving, youthful hot spot of cultural diversity.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
Voter apathy is very concerning. For years I have encouraged friends and family to get active, to register and to vote, to participate, and to run for office. I am using this campaign to extend that effort, and I have even been personally offering to drive people to get registered. While many seem to think that government is the enemy, it is my belief that we are the government. Voting is the one institution in which each one of us has an equal voice. Government must be responsive to the will of the people, and due to that, I think everybody should get involved. With my campaign, I hope to encourage other working class citizens to realize that they can make a difference.
6. Do you support either or both bonds for open space, public safety and parks? Why?
Yes, I do support these bonds. The estimated cost to the average homeowner will be only $13 per year. That is small potatoes for the opportunity to create jobs, enhance public safety and have fun new parks and trails to explore with your family.
7. Should the city upgrade its shooting range, leave it as is or do something else entirely? Why?
I think the city should leave the shooting range as is. The city has been using it since 1960 with no recorded gun-related accidents. Boise's Planning and Zoning Commission has already denied an application for construction of improvements, with Boise residents also opposing the improvements at a public hearing. One particular issue that residents don't like is a proposed 360-degree shooting area that would put homes downrange of possible stray bullets. I stand with the Planning and Zoning Commission and the people of Boise in opposition to this expansion.
8. Should Boise raise Downtown metered parking rates? How much? Why?
At this time, I do not support raising rates at parking meters. The city claims that it will not see an increase in revenue, meanwhile small business owners are concerned that higher parking costs would adversely affect customers and employees. The other issue here is new parking meters equipped with sensors that will reset the time to zero when a car pulls away. Under state law, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) has responsibility over downtown streets, while the city controls parking meters and revenues. The ACHD and the city would need to come to an agreement on how to move forward, however, I am of the opinion that once parking time has been purchased, it shouldn't matter what car is parked there.
9. If elected, what would you do to change the public transportation system in Boise?
Public transportation is an essential tool in any growing city. Access to more areas of the city will have a positive affect on the members of our community who can't afford a car, and who are looking for work and/or school. More frequent buses allow for more time with family. Ample downtown access can result in less congestion, and not driving is good for the environment. In order to fund an expansion of our bus service, I propose a local option tax, which was supported by 56 percent of Idahoans in 2008. I would encourage financial and environmental sustainability in the future with the adoption of biofuels or other alternatives. As with any issue, I encourage citizens to express their ideas and concerns with their representatives.