BOISE, Idaho — Cherie Buckner-Webb was the first African American to serve in the Idaho State Legislature and her decade-long tenure provided a loud and clear voice for equality and human rights. She's continued to tirelessly serve her community through local non-profits.
For her service, the City of Boise is now honoring her with a downtown park in her name. Idaho News 6 had the chance to sit down with her and talk about her legacy and the future of her home state.
Cherie Buckner-Webb was stunned by the announcement that a beautiful downtown park, right across the Boise Cascade building she once worked in, would bear her name.
"I was blown away. So glad you weren't in my neighborhood because I think everyone for a two-block radius heard me say 'What!'" said Buckner-Webb.
Buckner-Webb's family came to Idaho more than a century ago, suffering through this country's long and difficult road to basic civil rights. An effort she learned from her father to be outspoken in defense of.
"When you're part of a community, you have a calling and a responsibility to contribute to the community."
The park is just down the road from the Capitol and another park named after a democratic icon, Cecil Andrus. Buckner-Webb says the park epitomizes her efforts over the years to bring people together.
"It's a big deal to me to connect with people we might not connect with in our little cubicles and get to know your neighbors and people that are different from you."
The ample shade, unusual pink tree with swings and green space are designed for relaxation in an era of unprecedented growth.
"We're turning into a major city. You can stop a moment and come to the park, even bring your kids after work," said Buckner-Webb. "Just kind of sit around, see your neighbors, say hey whether you're acquainted or not. But that's the beauty of a park."
Buckner-Webb says the park is not the end of her legacy, just a continuation of it. She says he has lots more work left to do.