Following comments from Mayor David Bieter’s top challenger to his seat, the mayoral race is turning heads.
Judy Peavey-Derr is a former Ada County commissioner and currently serves on the Greater Boise Auditorium District’s board. But what’s getting attention right now a comment she made during an Idaho Statesman editorial interview.
“I think the south end of town is getting blighted by a lot of refugees and different dialects coming into the school,” Peavey-Derr told the editorial board. “I think the children are having 124 dialects in school system is a little rough.”
6 On Your Side caught up with Peavey-Derr to understand her position.
“As far as refugees are concerned, my husband and I were supporters of current refugees who call themselves new Americans,” she said.
Her late husband, Allen Derr, served on the board of the Mountain States Group, now Jannus, which supports refugee integration. Today, she believes the city should focus on the homeless problem before bringing in new refugees.
“Where is the plan to take care of these people living in tents,” she said. “Where’s the plan for helping the veterans? I don’t see it and frankly that concerns me.”
Peavery-Derr is running on a platform focusing on the western and southern parts of the city.
“Those areas really need a voice and it’s not happening,” she said. “The current council and mayor focus mostly on the North End. I would prefer to be a mayor for all of Boise, not just the North End.”
Mayor Bieter sent 6 On Your Side a statement in response to Peavey-Derr’s refugee comment saying, “Ms. Peavey-Derr’s statements on refugees being a blight on our community are incredibly disappointing. They don’t reflect the Boise we all know and love. We are a nation of immigrants, and a great city of good people who believe compassion and reaching out to help others are important values.”
Peavey-Derr, Bieter and the third mayoral candidate Seth Holden will appear at a City Club of Boise forum Oct. 26.