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"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."

-Winston Churchill

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

State of the Judiciary
Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick presented the Annual State of the Judiciary speech to the Senate this week. The Chief Justice highlighted a number of issues facing the state while ensuring the safety of the public:

- the need to identify better alternatives to bigger jails and prisons to address criminal acts
- best methods to avert recidivism
- increase local resources: housing, probation officers, rehabilitation support
- options to incarceration
- technology upgrades
- increased collaboration of legislative and executive branches as well as county partners

Further, he noted the importance of fair sentencing and programs geared to enable success post-incarceration. I was very pleased to hear that more women are being incorporated into the judicial system. He spoke to this by revealing statistics from a recent survey showing that women hold 23% of judicial positions which is comparable to the 28% of women that are members of the Idaho Bar. I celebrate the judiciary's effort to increase the presence of women.

Leadership Panel
I joined Senator Chuck Winder, Representative Mike Moyle and Representative Mat Erpelding on a panel sponsored by the Boise Metro Chambers' Leadership Boise Academy this week. The academy provides an opportunity for students and young professionals to gain a better understanding of government and the community. We answered questions, shared stories of our personal journeys from youthful volunteerism to public service, and motivations to run for public office. It is to join with my colleagues to share a glimpse of a "day in the life" and to encourage young men and women to purposefully contribute to their communities and, develop their leadership abilities.

Add the Words
Add the Words along with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood held a "Food the Capitol" demonstration on Wednesday. The Dems have been working to update the Human Rights Act for 10 years to include "sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes. The goal is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Idaho is one of 17 states that does not offer these protections. The struggle continues. The time is NOW to Add the Words and ensure equality for all Idahoans. I'm in it till we win it!

Idaho Matters
The Federal Government has been shut down for 28 days. Senators. Michelle Stennett, Maryanne Jordan, and I were interviewed by Gemma Gaudette on Idaho Matters, to discuss what this shutdown means for Idahoans. Know that the Federal Government shutdown is indeed, negatively affecting Idahoans. Last Friday, roughly 6,000 Idahoans did not receive a paycheck - even though many are still required to work.

This leaves our friends, neighbors, family, and community members vulnerable. With a report showing that 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, the repercussions are daunting. The longer this shutdown persists, the more people will have to choose between paying for groceries, childcare, healthcare, and so forth. Further, safety may be at risk.

We don't have to just be concerned. Be vigilant in service to those at risk. As a community, we must rally together in order to support those negatively impacted by this shutdown. Karen Vauk, CEO and President of the Idaho Foodbank, advises that the Foodbanks across the state are in dire need of your help. You can follow the link here in order to donate.

SWITC Report
JLOC just released a report compiled by the Office of Performance Evaluation (OPE) following investigation of the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa. I initiated the request for the report with the support of Sen. Michelle Stennett and Rep. Nillson Troy on the heels of serious issues which occurred at the facility over the last couple of years. The findings of that investigation indicate:

- a lack of vision
- comprehensive management and organizational plan for the provision of services for individuals with developmental disabilities who are in crisis
- employee turnover
- employee accountability
- inadequate facilities.

I am acutely concerned with the findings and the impact on residents of the facilities. I took the opportunity to meet with leadership at the facility during the interim and have scheduled a meeting with Health and Welfare for further discussion.

Idaho AFL-CIO Union Worker Day
This week, many of Idaho's Unions came to the Capitol to showcase the multitude of benefits unions add to Idaho. It was wonderful to see so many of my friends and get to hear about their experiences. Unions and trades provide various opportunities to those entering the workforce. We had a nice conversation about some of the profits entering a union may provide such as apprenticeships that allow students to learn more about the workforce and gain the necessary experience. Further, students aren't forced to pay increasing higher education costs and start in a career earlier on. I look forward to working with the AFL-CIO this session to better address their issues as they are a critical asset to Idaho's economy.

News You Can Use:
District 19 Forums
Your District 19 Representatives are hosting forums throughout February in order to hear from you. These will be held on the following Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. We would love for you to attend!

February 5, 2019 at Hidden Springs Elementary School
February 19, 2019 at Shadow Hills Elementary School

Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Celebrations: Resourceful, Responsible, Reflective Day of Recognition

  • Sunday, January 20: College of Idaho is hosting: Solidarity Candle Light March will start at the Caldwell Downtown Plaza at 7 pm and will end at the College of Idaho's Langroise Auditorium - I will deliver the Keynote address at the auditorium.
  • Monday, January 21: At 10:30 am, a march from Boise State's Student Union Building to the Capitol steps will begin. Once at the steps there will be a rally celebrating the legacy of Dr. King featuring student speakers. At the conclusion of the rally, the community is invited to join in the Capitol Rotunda for the State of Idaho's recognition of Human Rights Day hosted by the Idaho Human Rights Commission.

Here to Serve You
My goal is to address the immediate needs of District 19 while working strategically toward long term solutions. It is my honor to serve you in the Idaho State Senate. Know that your letters, emails, texts, and calls are invaluable. I appreciate hearing what is most important to you and your family.

You can reach me at (208) 332-1339 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cherie

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Cherie Buckner-Webb
Senate D-19 Campaign
P.O. Box 9813
Boise, ID 83707

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Phone: 208-861-5482