Why I Am Running

IMG_7596As a first-generation college graduate I understand first-hand overcoming obstacles and identifying available resources. Throughout my education in social work I learned about how the structures and systems in which we operate often place the source of an issue on the individual. After completing my personal goal of clinical licensure, I am ready to make an even broader impact on my community.

I am an active community member. I want to take that involvement to the next level and transform what I have learned about systemic issues into thoughtful solutions.  The Boise City Council would benefit greatly from someone with a background in social justice.

I have a strong voice and influential strategy that I consider unique. It is most important to me that voices generally silenced are represented by the city council. A vote for me is a vote for you, and I look forward to all the good work to be done by including every voice in the city.

Blog

A Phone Bank Reflection
As I scrambled to pick up the pizza and head out to host the first phone bank of my campaign, I felt more than anything, a bit eager. So I stopped, and took a breath, and questioned why I might be looking forward to something that generally takes a lot of work and energy … and humor. Then I remembered – this time last year I was hosting some of the first phone banks I had ever organized – and I bonded with people at every single phone bank, whether it was a community member I was calling or a phone banker in my same shoes – doing the work.

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My eagerness paid off, it was just how I remembered. At first, we were all a little nervous and cranky – not sure how many “good calls” we would have – nervous that people would be annoyed. Then, we all found are places in the house, one of us in the laundry room, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, and another in the dining room, and our voices start taking up space. And there was laughter and sweetness in the voices filling up space. These volunteers are doing uncomfortable things … because they believe in something … and they want to be a part of it. I hear them ever so politely saying “I don’t want to take up too much of your time …” and “… she believes in bringing your voice…” and I am calling people – and the moment … all of this … is not lost on me – I feel gratitude.

There is not a single thing like bonding over phone banking – and many of my friends who have put in the work would agree. You make friends on the phone, you share ideas, and political views, and energy over the phone. And you bond with the people sitting next to you – because you both … all three, four, and five of you – are living life meaningfully.

It’s not about me – or my campaign … or winning. It’s about doing things that you are passionate about … and feeling what it feels like to have the universe confirm that you are right where you are supposed to be.

Friday nights, folks. It’s where it’s at.

What you do for me …

Within the last week, I found out that CVI and Planned Parenthood endorsed my opponent, two endorsements that seemed … well, just wrong. I am learning SO many things about how the sausage gets made.* The endorsements stung, briefly, but I kept trucking. Lately, it’s been tough to get volunteers to show up. Today, I hosted …

Door Knocking Prizes!

Starting this week, we will be giving a prize away every single Monday for our door knockers. Every door knocker is entered to win each week as long as you knocked at least once. I will announce the winner of this week’s gift certificate later today, right here! Stay tuned!

Issues

Community and City Council Accessibility

“It is a priority of mine to bring ordinary voices into council decisions by improving council accessibility, embracing controversial conversations, and increasing representation to include all neighborhoods.”

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F35s and Boise’s Livability

“Boise City Council should embrace controversial issues and be willing to discuss both the positive and negative impacts of F35s coming to our community. Ultimately, it matters less my stance on the issue, and more whether or not your neighborhood will be impacted, and if there is opportunity for your voice to be heard.”

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“Welcoming City”

“To sincerely cultivate our diversity as a city we must focus on economic equality, appropriate police responsibility, and respect for human rights for all Boiseans. We must increase available resources and celebrate all of the cultures that exist within that help create our community!”

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Homelessness

“Our recent handling of the homeless situation at Cooper Court was inexcusable and did nothing but make the situation less visible. I will create community partnerships with successful agencies that already exist in our community. As your Councilwoman, I will consider homelessness a priority and continue to use the housing first philosophy to get our veterans and homeless individuals off the streets.”

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Environmental Impacts of the City

“We must continue to grow our understanding of our impact as a city on the environment by maintaining projects like the Open Space & Clean Water levy and by understanding the importance of banking locally.”

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Biking and Transportation

“There are many benefits in continuing to improve our biking community as well as addressing the importance of a highly functioning and accessible transportation system. I look forward to working with community members already chipping away at these issues to create the livability we all deserve in Boise as a city.”

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Representing Renters

“As it stands, there is no one on the Boise City Council that rents their housing. This limits perspectives around issues of rising costs for renters and the limited availability of affordable renting options. I will give a voice to individuals and families who may have limited resources and those who make the choice to opt out of home ownership.”

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Economy

“We have economically-minded individuals on our city council and have seen the many benefits. I will add a unique and necessary perspective by continually representing the best interests of our various community members and their unique needs.”

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Endorsements

Our profession’s Code of Ethics states we are to ‘engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.’ Naomi lives this every day and the Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is proud to endorse her for Boise City Council.

Delmar de la Torre Stone, NASW Idaho Chapter, Executive Director

I wholeheartedly endorse Naomi Johnson for Boise City Council.  

Her knowledge of Boise City issues and concerns comes from her many activities and involvements with those issues at a grass roots level.

She is the real deal. Her main emphasis is to bring the many voices of Boise citizens to decision making processes of our City Council, especially those voices which are often neglected.

Rev. Ed Keener

As long as I have known Naomi Johnson, she has been tirelessly working toward justice with a level of passion and persistence that can only be fueled by the purest and deepest of love.  Grounded in community, guided by a strong moral compass and an unwavering belief in what is possible, a pure and idealistic vision of the government we deserve that will create the changes we so desperately need in the world, Naomi could not be a better fit for a Boise City Council and the work to it must do for us. 

Even though her heart is more than enough for me, much can be said about her personal and professional work ethic. She is thorough, well-researched, committed to both personal and professional growth and committed to perfecting her craft of advocating for justice. Whether it be in the professional realm of her Social Work career or at the grassroots level where she shines, Naomi has a keen eye for gleaning the most effective approach at a micro and macro level while never losing sight of who or what matters. It was an honor to bear witness to the magic and space she created when breathing life into the Bernie Sanders campaign in Idaho and to witness the magic that is Naomi when it comes to inviting folks in and mobilizing them into action in the campaign of resisting injustice.  She has an immense capacity for true empathy evident by her choice of issues to focus on in her City Council run, and a solid base of integrity and ethics in her approach. I wholeheartedly and undoubtedly trust her to put people before profit, community before corporations, and what is right before what is convenient.  Plainly stated, Naomi is the people’s candidate and that is why she has my vote. 

Yara Slaton

As an immigration lawyer in what feels like a new world order, it has become critical to rely on people outside my professional circle to care, to act,  and to stand up (and with) others. It was in this effort that I met Naomi. Over the last several months we have worked on difficult and rewarding projects and have witnessed how Naomi is able to help others see that every one of us has something to offer in support of the struggle for justice. Naomi is competent, reliable and most importantly, has decided she wants to do the work of a City Council member. That she has made the decision, is enough for me to know that given the chance, she will do just that – work for all of Boise.

Maria Andrade, Immigration Lawyer

Naomi is a thoughtful, fearless, dedicated advocate for those often unheard and marginalized by politics and public policy. I love her integrity and ability to get seemingly impossible things done.

Nicole Lefavour, Former Senator

I have worked closely with Naomi for the past 4 years. She brings her full self to everything she does. I am inspired by her courage and optimism. She believes in the possibilities of what can be achieved and works tirelessly to promote change. She never gives up just because something is tough. She brings this passion and perseverance to her activism, working to empower those who have been disenfranchised. She listens but is not impressionable. She is authentic and trustworthy. She speaks truth to power and she has my vote for Boise City Council.

Ivy Merrell
Mother, Musician, Social Worker
Boise Bench Resident

Naomi has my endorsement for city council. Throughout the years I have seen and experienced the energy and passion she has for the city of Boise. She has been an active community member and strives to educate and inform voters with each election. She truly believes that every community member has a voice and as a City Council women I know your voice will count!

Maritza Lorenzana, LMSW

Naomi has shown me by example that an ordinary voice is important in community decisions. She has inspired me to let go of the old paradigm that ‘I won’t make a difference’. I know that as our City Council Woman she will take action to represent voices from all areas of our community. I am incredibly excited for her campaign.

Heather Socwell, LMT, Reiki Practitioner 

Naomi has both the values and skills needed in a leader. She is an engaged and creative problem-solver with a deep commitment to doing what is right. I look forward to the contributions she will make to the City Council.

Lori Watsen, Clinical Assistant Professor, BSU

Excited to endorse Naomi Johnson for City Council! She has a strong track record of community engagement and advocating for vulnerable populations. We deserve to have such a hard working and compassionate person as our local government representative!

Andrea Christopher, MD, MPD Primary Care Physician & Health Policy Researcher

Naomi Johnson:

Balanced
Leader
Articulate
Caring
Kind
Local
Insightful
Vision
Exemplary
Supportive
Measured
Ally and Advocate
Tested
Tenacious
Energetic
Respected and Respectful

I honestly am very grateful that Naomi is running for city council. She is someone that is committed to equity, empowering the community, and will do fabulous work to better our City of Trees.

JT Cole, Father, Husband, and Idaho Native

As a long-term resident of Boise, Idaho am writing today to express my sincere and utmost support of Naomi Johnson for City Council. She has been a tremendous supporter of our community with extreme determination and strength to make our city stronger and more united. I have no doubt that she will serve with great diligence and fortitude.

Rebecca Scott

Naomi is a dedicated public servant. I have had the pleasure of working closely with her and witnessed first hand her tireless determination to make democracy work for the people- especially those who’s voices are ignored by our current system. Boise is lucky to have Naomi as a resident, organizing and volunteering so much of her time; she is exactly the kind of person we need on our City Council. I have no doubt Naomi will improve avenues for citizen engagement and participation in the important decisions that affect our community. I wholeheartedly endorse Naomi Johnson for Boise City Council and ask you to join with me in electing this strong talented woman to work for us at City Hall.

Caleb Hansen, Small Business Owner

Naomi understands that access to the decision-making process has, for far too long, left so many in our community without a voice. For as long as I have known Naomi, she has tirelessly dedicated herself to lifting up the voices of those who have been shut out.

Naomi is a caring and thoughtful community organizer whose tenacity gets things done.

I proudly endorse Naomi Johnson for Boise City Council so that all of us have opportunity to have a voice.

Anthony Lee, Community Organizer

As a coworker, Naomi has the smarts, the spirit and the heart to be a great representative on the City Council! I am thrilled that she is running to represent me.
Peggie Lynne

About

IMG_7629Naomi Johnson is a proud Idahoan with a strong connection to her community. Born and raised in Twin Falls, she has a vested interest in the rights of Idaho’s people and families. As a community organizer and social worker, she works side by side with residents from all walks of life to improve our community.

Naomi has tirelessly worked to improve the vitality of her community and the well-being of her community members.  She has organized and hosted open events that aid community involvement surrounding topics of local participation in government, state-political education, and voting education.  She has volunteered for and raised money towards providing education and aid to marginalized groups in the community.

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Naomi talking to the media about her work as a community organizer

Naomi graduated in 2014 with her Masters in Social Work, which provided her an ever-growing platform for civic engagement.  Since 2013, Naomi has provided mental health and case management services through her work with Veterans locally, as well as crisis services to victims of domestic violence.

Naomi’s focus on issues of social justice and civic engagement, her work as a civic organizer, and her background in social work, provide a platform to aid Boise as it continues to grow and meet the needs and issues of all its community members.