BOISE — In the 30th annual and first virtual State of the City Address, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean discussed issues our community has faced and her plans for the future of Boise in a pre-recorded taping.
McLean started by praising the community for its response to COVID-19.
"There are countless stories of individuals and institutions who rose to the challenge, too many to name all of whom provided food, shelter, childcare, encouragement, and everything we have grown to expect from this great community that we call Boise," said McLean. "We will recover."
She said that Boise is already on its way to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic because of the Economic Task Force the city created to help small businesses.
"We're providing $1.5 million in grant money to help you through these difficult times," said McLean. "We partnered with the Ada County Highway District and Downtown Boise Association to expand patios and create parklets to give small business space to make a living safely."
In her address, she said that this year more businesses have contacted the city about relocating here than ever before.
This will create more economic opportunities for people to make a living, but with more people moving here, it's also created an affordable housing crisis.
"We must ensure that we don't price out of the market the very people that make this community great," she said. To increase the number of affordable homes in our community, the city is investing in a Housing Land Trust.
"It supports the development of various housing types allowing for homeownership and rental opportunities for income-restricted families," said McLean.
She said that the city has now formed a Zoning Rewrite Committee.
"This will ensure that our zoning code reflects the value we place on providing everyone in Boise a home they can afford with access to opportunities that will support their families," said McLean.
During the address, she also promised that Boise would be a Climate Innovation Leader through the Climate Action Division, the city established to ensure clean air and water for generations to come.
"We'll have 100 percent clean electricity for all by 2035," said McLean. "We will also set a carbon-neutral goal for our city government by 2035."
To watch the full State of the City Address, click here.