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Recapping the year in compassion and looking ahead

My mission with this column is to tell stories about compassionate acts, practices and decisions by local businesses, individuals and governments.

There are plenty of examples of this kind of compassion at work. Let’s take a look back at 2017 and explore where we’ll look for stories in 2018.

One of the most pressing issues that needs a compassionate solution is affordable housing. It’s a massive issue throughout the West and it is escalating here as rents and land costs rise.

In 2017, I looked for solutions from local companies that build housing in factories and at the prospect of resident-owned trailer parks. I wrote the story of Dana Zuckerman, who built four splendid manufactured houses on a lot near Downtown Boise, and Realtor Bart Cochran and the members of his church who helped house refugees.

This year the subject of compassion included why columnist David Brooks was such a big hit when he spoke in Boise; why Congress needs to protect Idaho’s “Dreamers” from deportation, and whether Boise should not be pushing a $120 million, 5-mile, fixed-rail circulator in Downtown. Next year I’ll again consider how autonomous vehicles fill that need.

One great idea I’ll keep an eye on in 2018 is the switcheroo between the sites for a proposed Downtown ballpark and the College of Western Idaho in Boise’s West End.

Next year I’ll report on enterprises that have a dual purpose: making money and providing a public good, some of which are organized as B Corps. We will also describe a Garden City business that sells rugs to fund college scholarships for kids in Peru.

Do you know of a good story? Send it to me. Can’t get too many.

Jerry Brady is a member of Compassionate Boise.