BOISE — A 12th candidate has entered the race for Boise City Council.
Ryan Peck, 45, is running for one of three seats up for grabs on city council with the hopes of building resources for Boise’s young people. His paperwork did not indicate which seat he is running for.
Peck said, if elected, he wants to focus resources on making the city an accessible and open place for kids to grow into creative entrepreneurs.
“It’s important to start the question (of how to govern) by asking, ‘What does Boise look like for a 16-year-old for when they’re about to enter their adult life, after college?” Peck said. “If you can tie a lot of those issues back to that question, whether it’s affordable housing or transportation or a growing of the arts and cultural scene that makes Boise so cool, I think you’re in a good position.”
Peck is one of the co-founders of Boise Rock School, an arts organization that teaches music performance to kids of all ages in after-school programs and other camps. He also teaches anatomy and physiology at Boise State University.
He said although the city has been caught up in large conversations about its growth, the youth of this community have been lost in a lot of the discussions. Peck said he wants to encourage spaces for young people to be creative, work through problems and create the next generation of business owners in Boise, instead of hoping to recruit huge firms from out of state to boost the economy.
“It’s seductive to get into the game of saying, ‘We’re going to attract some coding company or some video game programming company,’” he said. “It seems much easier to me to look at the future generations that are actively growing up in Boise and make sure that you’re doing everything you can as a community to give them the tools to become intelligent, resilient and creative entrepreneurs.”
Spaces that are accessible to everyone regardless of age or income, like libraries, are important to Peck, but he expressed concerns about the questions in the community around the proposed library project. He does not have any concrete solutions for how the city should proceed, and Peck said the city should consider reexamining the project.
“The lesson to be learned is a lot of people feel (the library process) hasn’t been transparent, and a lot of people feel like they haven’t had a say,” he said. “You’ve got to honor that. If you’re going to do a public project like that and it’s going to be that much money, and you engage the citizenship along the way and people start saying, ‘Hold on, this is a lot,’ you have to pay attention to it.”
Peck was born in Twin Falls and earned his undergraduate degree in ecology and his graduate degree in biology, both from Idaho State University.
Another priority of Peck’s is collaborating with cities across the Treasure Valley to give commuters options to use public transportation, instead of being stuck in traffic. A light rail across the metro area would be ideal, he said.
“If you can figure out a way that is sustainable to get people across the metro area, that’s a really important trip,” he said. “We don’t have that trip really figured out.”
The other residents in the race are Jimmy Hallyburton, Brady Fuller, Debbie Lombard-Bloom, Tecle Gebremichael, Troy Minton, Brittany Scigliano, Meredith Stead, Karen Danley, Patrick Bageant and Chris Moeness. Minton and Danley have declared they are running for Seat 1, and Stead is chasing Seat 3. No other candidates have announced which seat they will pursue. City Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg is running for reelection for Seat 5. The window to file as a candidate closes Aug. 26.