Opinion: Hold elected leaders accountable

It’s time to hold our elected leaders accountable.

According to the annual Boise State University public policy survey, Idahoans’ priorities included education, jobs/economy, health care, coronavirus response and housing. Constituents have been clamoring for meaningful help with property taxes for two legislative sessions now. While it’s true that property taxes are mostly handled at the local level, the reality is that the Legislature can also provide relief by raising the homeowners exemption, reversing the effects of a law they passed a few years ago.

Read that last sentence again. Our so-called representatives spend a lot of time passing laws that have negative impacts on Idahoans, and then citizens try to clean up after them through initiatives or by asking them to pass different laws. A simpler solution might be to elect legislators that actually, you know, care about their constituents.

Instead, our legislators, including those right here in Bonneville County, have been pandering to extremists. They wring their hands and make noises about their “concern” and then go ahead and enact legislation that doesn’t meaningfully address any of the issues Idahoans care about. This recent legislative session featured grandstanding, poorly written bills that stamp on local control while restricting economic growth and an egregious limitation of our initiative rights.

At some point, we need to move away from the ride or die mentality that only looks at the letter behind someone’s name and results in voting for a team. Instead, we need to be the educated and engaged citizens Thomas Jefferson envisioned. He expected people to learn about candidates and their policies.

That’s what we need right now. We need to look at what these legislators are doing and the policies they’re passing. And we need to take action. It’s time to stop fighting with our so-called representatives and replace them with legislators who are less concerned about grabbing power for themselves and more concerned about actually fulfilling their roles as public servants.

Miranda Marquit is a nationally recognized financial expert, writer and speaker. She is the state committeewoman for the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.