Smith + Malek partners with Boise Chamber, Association of Idaho Cities to offer free ‘In Search of Civility’ series starting 1/19.
On the heels of an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol and a series of contentious public meetings and protests at private homes of local elected officials, the Boise Metro Chamber and the Association of Idaho Cities have partnered to host a series of monthly conversations on civility in our democracy. The series is sponsored by Smith + Malek law firm and Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters
Titled “In Search of Civility,” the bipartisan hosts are former Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo, former Idaho House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, current candidate for Idaho Lieutenant Governor and former legislator Luke Malek, and former Idaho legislator Kelley Packer. Malek is a founding attorney at Smith + Malek.
“I believe Idahoans have far more in common than what sets us apart,” said Malek. “Civility is a bedrock to good governance and a functioning, healthy democracy.”
“We hope these conversations will inspire better leadership in Idaho,” Erpelding said. “Leadership is about telling the truth, even when it’s hard.”
Lachiondo, who faced death threats and armed protests in her front yard while commissioner, said that many Idahoans don’t realize that local government, in particular, exists to “get things done.”
“The quality and character of those we elect matters,” Lachiondo said. “I believe that each of us has the power to break this cycle of relentless division and hyper-charged partisanship, and that’s why I was eager to be a part of this project.”
Packer, who is now the executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities, said the organization is committed to fostering civil dialogue at the local level so that the best decisions can be made. “We want to foster a culture of listening to one another and building relationships with people who don’t always agree with us,” Packer said.
The first live-streamed episode is Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. Mountain Time. It can be viewed on the Chamber’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/boisemetrochamber and will also be streamed on Smith + Malek’s Facebook page. The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.