Obama Spurs City Council Run


At last night’s Obama Inaugural throwdown at the Linen Building, TJ Thomson, local 2009 “Grassroots Organizer of the Year” and leader of the Idaho for Obama campaign announced his intent to run for the seat now held by Jim Tibbs on the Boise City Council.

Though Bush countdown clocks have only recently settled at zero and Obama supporters are still nursing their celebratory hangovers, citydesk wastes no time bringing the focus back to local politics. We chatted up Thomson this morning about his upcoming campaign and vision for local change.

“I spent the last two years speaking with people all across Boise while leading the Obama campaign and it gave me the opportunity to hear their thoughts on what needs to be corrected and improved,” explained Thomson. “Based on my experience, I felt like I could come up with the initiative to solve those problems.”

Thomson’s platform is dotted with pretty standard local bullet points: protecting the environment, promoting water and air quality, increasing open spaces, managing growth and urban sprawl and advocating a light rail system.

Some of his more specific platform points include: focusing on green energy development, increasing the number of dog parks, integrating modern technology into local decision making and promoting small local businesses and start-ups by reducing cumbersome bureaucratic requirements.

“In terms of the economy, I really think it’s important that we work closely with the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce,” said Thomson. “I want to bring a high profile to small businesses in particular.”

Thomson is getting a jump-start on the city council races; none of the council members, including his presumptive opponent, two time mayoral candidate Tibbs, have indicated at this early date if they intend to run again.

Thomson hopes that his closeness with Mayor Bieter and their similar political viewpoints will help the City Council to unify and accomplish more over the coming years.

“I’m a big fan of [Bieter] and it’s no secret that I’m a supporter of him. In that regard, it’s going to be a very close working relationship in terms of our similarities and the fact that I know him as a friend and I’ve worked with him in the past,” noted Thomson. “Those initiatives that I’ll be working on will compliment what he’s doing, but at the same time help take some things off his plate. So I think that we’ll be able to work in unison.”