Judy Peavey-Derr accused incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter of favoring the north end of town and neglecting south and west Boise, in an interview with a group of readers empaneled by the Statesman’s editorial board.
Asked to elaborate and explain what she would do differently, Peavey-Derr said, among other things, that South Boise is “getting blighted by a lot of refugees and different dialects coming into the school.”
The Statesman’s Twitter account caught fire Monday after reporting on Peavey-Derr’s comment. She was one of three candidates interviewed separately by the editorial board panel, including newcomer Seth Holden.
Here is her complete answer:
“I think that we need more sidewalks, safe routes to school. I think we need more parks. And frankly, I think that the south end of town is getting blighted by a lot of refugees and different dialects coming into the school. I think the children are having — 124 dialects in one school system is a little rough. And I think it’s a big strain on the teachers. And so I would like to see — I know they’ve done the Vista neighborhood push to try to get more money in there. But I think they caused the problem to begin with.”
The “push” she referred to is a collaborative pre-school program funded by the city and private fundraising and administered by the school district.
Response on Twitter was sharply critical. Said one tweet: “No, sorry: Refugees and different dialects are not blight.”
No sorry, refugees and different dialects are not blight. https://t.co/Xcvc16g63h— Emily Walton (@Walton_Emily) October 12, 2015
Watch the three candidates give their pitches explaining why they should be elected mayor.