BOISE — Although Boise’s municipal election is still months away, the head of a local nonprofit has stepped up to run for a seat on the City Council.
Boise Bicycle Project executive director and co-founder Jimmy Hallyburton, 36, has kicked off the race for the open seat on City Council being vacated by Councilman Scot Ludwig at the end of 2019. Mayor Dave Bieter, Council President Lauren McLean, Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg are also up for re-election in November.
Hallyburton said a major goal of his campaign is to be as inclusive as possible and bring as many voices to the table at city hall when the local government makes decisions, especially around policies that impact disenfranchised members of the community.
“At city council meetings it tends to be the same 25 to 50 people who are showing up and sharing their voices, but there are a lot of people in the community who don’t know they have the opportunity to do that or they have other barriers to participating,” he said. “One of our main goals is to make sure we try to understand them in a more full and comprehensive way before we make decisions.”
Hallyburton’s nonprofit, Boise Bicycle Project, provides cycling education, access to bicycles for low-income children and adults and promotes cycling as a means of transportation and personal enjoyment for people of all ages. In this role, Hallyburton said he has worked closely with members of the refugee community, which he said inspired him to want to build a campaign that is as inclusive of the entire city as possible.
Hallyburton emphasized the importance of Boise having a stronger transportation network that isn’t solely focused on cars.
“Equal access and transportation that serves everyone in the community from 8 years old to 80 years old is something we’re going to be focusing on,” he said.
Hallyburton plans to launch his candidacy on March 13 and build a steering committee of people from across Boise to develop his policy platform. Sen. Maryanne Jordan, D-Boise, is serving as his treasurer.
Prior to launching Boise Bicycle Project 11 years ago, Hallyburton worked as a hotshot firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service based out of Idaho City. He fought wildfires for four years and met Brian Anderson, his partner in creating the idea for the bike nonprofit. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and mass communications from Boise State University.