Jordan Morales, a computer science department manager at Boise State University, won his first election and is headed to the Boise City Council. He represents District 4 in southeast and south Boise, where he won a largely uncontested race.
To get to know him a little better, I asked him what he’s most excited about before he takes office.
What are three things you’re excited to do in your first year as a City Council member?
“I will say the first thing is pretty simple, and that’s more engagement in our community. This is the first time that we’ll have someone representing our district on City Council. Because of that, a lot of these doors haven’t been knocked before, we haven’t had town halls and things like that. So the thing I’m most excited to do as I get up to speed … is setting dates and times to do town halls throughout the district at some sort of regular interval, because I think that it’s really important that my neighbors know what City Hall is up to … and can express feedback and ideas.”
Second, Morales named the new zoning code, which goes into effect Dec. 1. “We’re going to have quite a few new folks on Council, and I think we’re going to be able to take a look at this even earlier [than the scheduled one-year reflection], and make sure that it’s implemented in the way that we wanted it to be, catching unintended consequences early and that kind of thing.”
Third, Morales is excited about how the new zoning code could be used to make childcare more accessible to Boise families. He said he wants to work with city staff who are already trying to find ways to increase small, in-home childcare and early education centers throughout neighborhoods, including how the city could aid childcare co-ops. “That’s because I’ve been a parent who has benefited from that, I’ve seen that impact in my neighborhood, and when that went away, how difficult it was for families in our neighborhood.”
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What are two local establishments in your district that you love?
“Zeppole’s — we love their village loaf. Anytime we’re going somewhere where we’re packing sandwiches, we always go get their village loaf. … And then right next door pretty much is Blue Cow, which is frozen ice cream that’s been locally owned for a long time. They’ve got a special place in our hearts because — and I don’t know if they still do it — but when we had our kids, they would offer free ice cream to expecting mothers, so we frequented Blue Cow a lot.”
What’s one thing you’ve learned during your campaign?
“I’ve always felt like it’s impossible to be the expert in everything, and that’s led me to want to hear and listen to other points of view. I walked up the driveway to someone’s house that had a big ‘Don’t Upzone Boise’ sign, and I testified in support of the new zoning. And I was very honest about that, but we had a really good discussion about some of their concerns … so I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is how important it is that we don’t silo ourselves. Everyone deserves a voice; We’re serving all of Boise.”