Boise & Garden City

Boise City Council to consider resolution against white supremacy, white nationalism

Boise Mayor David Bieter plans to present a resolution to the City Council on Tuesday asking the city to denounce white supremacy and white nationalism.

The resolution comes just days after news broke that Patrick Little, a neo-Nazi from California who also made headlines in northern Idaho, will run for City Council in Garden City.

United Vision for Idaho, the group working with the mayor to introduce the resolution, says it has been working on the measure since May.

“Unfortunately, no matter when this was proposed, it would have been timely,” Adrienne Evans, executive director of United Vision for Idaho, said Thursday by telephone. “There is an escalation of these movements around the country.”

The goals of the resolution, Evans said, are to address historical racism in the United States and to deepen the city’s commitment to training city employees to recognize and confront white nationalism and supremacy.

Evans said white supremacy is the ideology that white people are superior to those of other races, while white nationalism is the movement based on those ideas.

If the resolution passes, Boise will be the third city in the region to pass one like it. The others are Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

Mike Journee, Bieter’s spokesman, said the mayor wanted to bring it before the council as part of the city’s deeper commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“This is a point of pride for Boise and for the mayor,” he said. “We do everything we can to affirm Boise’s position as a place that embraces diversity and shuns racist ideologies.”

Journee pointed to other things the city has done to promote that, including the city’s 2012 anti-discrimination ordinance and a January 2017 resolution affirming Boise as a “welcoming city.”

A welcoming city is not the same thing as a sanctuary city. A sanctuary city has specific policies to protect undocumented immigrants from the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Boise does not have those. The Boise City Council opted to pass a resolution to commit the city to “creating a community where all of our residents feel welcomed, safe, and able to fully participate in, and contribute to, our city’s economic and social life.”

The council will meet at noon Tuesday, Sept. 24, in City Hall at 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.