Boise Chamber Endorses Add the Words, Uber Amongst Other Local & State-Wide Issues

The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce has added several statewide and local issues to its 2015 legislative agenda. The local issues include support for the Gowen STRONG coalition, the LIV Boise Early Childhood Education Initiative, the St. Luke’s Master Plan, and Uber’s operations in Boise.
The statewide issues include appropriations for technology investments, funding for Small Business Development Centers on college campuses, state university building appropriations, and Idaho House Bill 2, also known as the “Add the Words” legislation.
Local Issues
The Boise Metro Chamber is supporting the community-wide effort led by the City of Boise and the Idaho Air National Guard to secure a flying mission for the 124th Fighter Wing at Gowen Field. Branding themselves as “Gowen STRONG” (Strengthening the Treasure Valley Region and Our National Guard), this coalition is working to raise public awareness about Gowen Field’s positive impact on our local economy and advocate for a new mission. The Chamber is an active participant in this group.
The Chamber has endorsed LIV (Lasting, Innovative, Vibrant) Boise, a citywide effort to promote livability throughout our community. This initiative encompasses sustainable practices, policies, and partnerships that preserve Boise’s livability for present and future generations through a wide variety of projects and programs. Included in these efforts, Vista Neighborhood, in partnership with the City, will design a targeted strategy to expand early childhood education.
The Chamber is also endorsing the St. Luke’s Master Plan. St. Luke’s is planning a critical development that will result in a new Children’s Pavilion, expansion of the Children’s Hospital, modernization and renovation of the main hospital tower (critical care units, labor and delivery, emergency department, operating suites, and about 60 additional patient rooms), expansion of St. Luke’s MSTI cancer services, and construction of a new central plant and parking structure. The plan has been collaboratively developed with many partners, including neighbors, public agencies, community business leaders, boards, and steering committees, to serve the needs of the hospital through 2030.
The Chamber is also voicing its support for Uber, a technology company that allows users to connect with drivers instantly by allowing them to book a rideshare from their mobile phone. On Friday, the Chamber sent a letter to City Hall urging the City Council to find a solution which would allow Uber to operate in Boise.
Statewide Issues
The Chamber is endorsing state appropriations for technology investments that are critical to workforce development in Idaho. These include Boise State’s computer science program and a $3 million dollar appropriation for the Idaho Opportunity Fund.
The Chamber supports state funding for Small Business Development Centers on college campuses. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Centers offer resources such as coaching and consulting to help small business and startup companies succeed.
The Chamber is also endorsing several state university building appropriations, including funding for the Boise State University Fine Arts Building, Idaho State University-Meridian’s Dental Health Program, and occupancy of the University of Idaho Law Center in the former Ada County Courthouse.
The Chamber supports House Bill 2, Amendments to the Idaho Civil Rights Act and Human Rights Act, or more commonly known as the “Add the Words” legislation. On Monday, the Idaho Legislature’s House State Affairs Committee will consider this legislation to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Chamber also supported the City of Boise’s anti-discrimination ordinance in December 2013. “Discrimination is bad for business,” said Bill Connors, President & CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Click here to read additional coverage from Boise Weekly regarding the Chamber's endorsement of Uber and the Add the Words campaign, specifically.