Lauren McLean

City Councilmember

Boise, ID

Pro-Growth Progressive Idea: Growing Boise’s economy by promoting sustainable development.

Lauren has served on the Boise City Council since 2011 and is currently the President Pro Tempore. She’s focused her work on sustainability, community justice, and economic development.

Lauren co-sponsored the city’s ordinance protecting all residents from discrimination, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Her efforts in Boise led to ordinances being passed in cities around the state. She’s helped the city secure a grant to explore Pay for Success as part of a solution to homelessness and housing, and serves on the Mayor’s Housing and Homelessness Committee that convened providers, community organizations and concerned citizens and led to the city’s first plan to develop community-supportive housing through the Housing First program. During her five years as a commissioner on the city’s urban renewal organization, CCDC she helped oversee a period of intense development in Boise’s downtown core with numerous public-private partnerships helping to transform Boise’s downtown.

A committed conservationist and recreations, Lauren knows that Boise’s environment is key to its livability and long-term economic prosperity and growth. Known for her efforts to pass the city’s first levy for Open Space protection in 2011, she supported the most recent levy to grow the city’s open space and clean water programs and sponsors the city’s sustainability initiative. Since adopted, the city has established energy reduction goals, expanded its geothermal system as part of an EcoDistrict downtown, and continues to seek innovative solutions to today’s problems.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

The City of Boise needed to redevelop part of the downtown area to spur economic growth, while also ensuring that they continue to meet their high sustainability standards.

Solution

Boise will address their redevelopment needs by expanding the nation’s largest direct-use geothermal system by “recycling the renewable” through an incentive program to reuse once-used, lower temperature water. This will result in less electricity use, a reduced carbon footprint, and economic development to benefit all Boise residents. By reusing this recyclable resource in redevelopment projects, Boise will be able to rebuild an area of downtown ripe for redevelopment, expand the capacity of our geothermal system overall, and spur investment that will provide return to its investors, taxpayers, and residents for years to come.