Boise prides itself on being in the top 10 per capita cities for refugee resettlement – in the world. Our city is home to Bosnians, Somalis, Iraqis and Syrians. Our city government reaches out through nearly all departments — police to ensure refugees know they are safe; parks and recreation programs help refugee children enjoy our outdoors, like all our children do; library programs help with access to computers and other learning tools; our arts and history programs help with cultural activities. We offer these same programs to all Boiseans. We don’t debate about who is more worthy or where they’re from. We are a welcoming city. We all have work to do.
And of course the city is home to many more: The Latino contribution to Boise is unmistakable, for instance. Without them, many of Idaho’s most important industries would have collapsed long ago. We are also a growing hub for technology startups, bringing an incredibly diverse and growing population of new residents to Boise.
Boise doesn’t welcome our newcomers just out of goodwill and the bottom line. We also do so because we understand that the constant addition of new and energized people from many places around the world is this country’s oxygen. That doesn’t mean things are easy. From our city’s beginnings in the 1860s, Boise has benefited from the energy and hard work of its newcomers from all over the globe.
We are excited to host Philanthropy Northwest in Boise because of the diversity of the region you represent and the leadership you provide in philanthropy. We have much to share, and much to learn, and we know we can’t do it alone. Welcome to Boise, and we’ll see you in October.