After years of inaction and failure of the Legislature to expand Medicaid, leaving 70,000 Idahoans without access to health care, citizens of Idaho took action. Ironically, outgoing Gov. Butch Otter came out weeks before the election suddenly calling for its passage, generating game-changing votes down ballot.
Did you think to yourself this session, how did we get a lieutenant governor giving a heart sign and her support to the outspoken paramilitary group the Three Percenters, with no repercussion despite calls for her resignation?
Did you think, how could a majority of Idahoans’ supporting Medicaid expansion result in sideboards and measures to exclude our working poor, parents and caregivers from having access to vital health care?
Did you think to yourself, why would our elected officials try to make it impossible for the people to make their voices heard through ballot initiatives and civic engagement?
Did you think to yourself, what would have happened if Paulette Jordan, Kristin Collum, Cristina McNeil, Aaron Swisher, Cindy Wilson and the host of statewide candidates would have won—how would our voices be represented, how would our lives look different?
Thank you to the Democratic leaders that worked tirelessly for the people. In District 26, we are fortunate to have Sen. Michelle Stennett and Reps. Muffy Davis and Sally Toone. We need more of them around the state.
Together, we can create the change we want, if we are willing to do the strategic and hard work. The work of creating lasting change requires a bold, unapologetic vision. It includes everyone and the deep organizing that is necessary to achieve it.
Join the Idaho People’s Wave through United Vision/Action for Idaho. Be part of the change you want to see.
Gini Ballou, Hailey
President of Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus and associate director of United Vision/Action for Idaho