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The Final Push Behind The Boise Open Space and Clean Water Levy

by

JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri


Kate Thorpe, the deputy director of Conservation Voters for Idaho, will push until the last minute to get Boiseans out to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3 and urge them to vote yes for the Clean Water and Open Space levy on the ballot.

The levy will add $10 million more into the original foothills levy fund established in 2001, which is used to protect land from development. This new levy, however, will go beyond the foothills—using funds for land acquisition on open spaces throughout the valley and restoration projects along the Boise River. If passed, the two-year override levy will raise $5 million each year through an estimated monthly cost to homeowners of $2.39 per $100,000 of taxable home value.

"Our efforts are totally focused on G.O.T.V.," Thorpe said. "That means, 'get out the vote.'"

Volunteers made phone calls to voters and canvased the city all weekend, as well as all day Monday, Nov. 2 and Tuesday, Nov. 3. Thorpe said campaign volunteers, along with the staff at CVI, will keep calling and canvasing until about 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 3.

"There are a lot of people who get out of work at 5 p.m. and still haven't voted," she said. "This last reminder can give them the final push they need, and tell them their polling place."

This vigor for getting the vote out is similar, she said, to the push to get the Yes-Yes Boise bonds to pass in 2013. Those bonds included funding for public safety and open space, but they fell just short of the super majority needed to pass a bond. The new levy only needs a simple majority to pass.

Thorpe said around 6,000 ballots have already come in from early and absentee voting, which she said she's happy with since voter turnout is always lower on non-presidential years.

So far, the response she has seen toward the levy has been positive. 

"We're getting 60 to 70 percent of people who are in support of it and a lot of undecided. There are a small amount of people who don't support it, but overall, we're seeing positive numbers," she said. "The biggest threat is people saying, 'Of course it will pass,' then not actually voting."

After the polls close at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, the levy campaign and Mayor Dave Bieter will host a joint election night party at the Basque Center. Appetizers will be prepared by Life's Kitchen and the first beer is free.