Idaho’s political leadership must stop allowing Idaho’s Capitol building to be used as a center of intolerance and bigotry. Certain legislators have recently praised slave owners and attacked religious faiths, even hosting a meeting in the Capitol with a speaker who demonized a major religion. The behavior is disturbing and diminishes Idaho.
High-tech firms won’t locate where employees may not feel welcome because of a state’s reputation for intolerance and a political leadership that stands by, allowing colleagues to demean religious beliefs. Attracting skilled and educated talent is a current challenge for many businesses, not just high-tech companies. Meanwhile, the country’s talent pool is changing, increasingly composed of a variety of ethnicities, faiths and beliefs. Large, sophisticated employers providing high-wage jobs and solid benefits understand these dynamics. When they hear Idaho’s political leaders are attempting to create a bastion for intolerance, they are not going to come here, not only because it deters workforce recruitment, but because it offends the C-suite’s own increasingly divergent faiths, beliefs and viewpoints. The economic harm from this behavior is only one example of how all of us are hurt by allowing bigotry to flourish in our Statehouse.
Roberto Ceniceros, Boise