Boise DSA

Democratic Socialists of America

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October General Meeting - Housing (Updated)
Oct 15, 2018

What: Discussion with Lori Decaire from Vanishing Boise
When: October 18th - 7 PM
Where: Xanadu (5015 Bond St)

Agenda

- 7:00 introduction and updates

- 7:10 Discuss level of association with PSL (Will Boise DSA Co-host events with PSL?)

- 7:40 Housing, City Government, and Power with Lori Dicaire (Discussion with Noah)

- 8:05 Open discussion

- 8:25 Happy Birthday for Rachel (and Sarah) and Solidarity


Minutes:

Summary Minutes, Boise DSA General Meeting, 10/18/18, 5015 Bond St.

Meeting start: 7:08 PM. End 8:30 PM

Christine Baylis started meeting. All attending at that point introduced themselves. Eventually 23 people attended.

In response to some initial, general questions, Andrew Chumich, Christine and others noted that: All interested people are welcome at these general monthly meetings as well as at monthly steering committee meetings. New member meetings are intended for new members. The agenda for general meetings is set at the steering committee meetings. The DSA is a national organization. Membership in the national DSA as an individual person is done on line after paying dues. The organization has local and regional chapters. Membership in the local Boise DSA is not currently formalized. Anyone interested can attend. No dues are currently collected. The national organization is not yet sharing national membership dues with the Boise DSA.

7:22 PM: 1st main item: Presentation by guest speakers, Lori Dicaire and Noah Kelley.

Lori, as the founder of Vanishing Boise, noted that Idaho generally and Boise specifically are experiencing extensive growth. The lack of affordable housing in Boise is a problem.

In determining what is built in Boise, the chief legal instrument is zoning. All the various zoning categories are too numerous to enumerate, but the general criteria for zoning classification are Boiseans’ health, welfare, and safety.

How areas are zoned obviously has an affect on the building of affordable housing. For example, the designation of “industrial” for the Blue Valley Mobile Home park may make that park unsuitable for residents currently there.

Airbnb is another rental possibility in Boise that could be used for affordable housing.

Lori was especially concerned about the over-promotion of Boise as a place to move to. A growing population has meant housing price increases.

Lori noted, Boise promotes itself, at taxpayers’ expense, as a place to move to. Example: the website for LIV Boise.

Lori advocates for cutting off such promotion of Boise and using that money for needs of the current population.

Lori also expressed concern about “upzoning” and population density.

In general, Lori left the impression that the administration of Boise favors promoting growth while the city’s level of commitment to affordable housing in that growth is unclear.  Boiseans need to make their voices heard in favor of affordable housing.

Lori noted that there will be a public meeting sponsored by Vanishing Boise and other groups interested in affordable housing to which the city administration will be invited. The date has not yet been set.

8:15 PM: 2nd main item: cooperation with Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL)

Some voiced the  opinion that the PSL was a top down organization in its flow of ideas and such a structure did not fit with the bottom up, grass roots emphasis on consensus the DSA wants to encourage.

Others felt the PSL shared some of the same goals as DSA, and we should work together with the PSL on those common goals. We have little to lose here in Idaho since we are thought of anyway as irredeemable socialists, just like the PSL.

With not enough time remaining, this issue was tabled for the next meeting.

Submitted by Steven Csik


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