A Trip to Greater Idaho

I’m writing this from a cheap hotel near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in an even smaller town called Post Falls. I’m on a road trip with my family to see my extended family.

Minutes after Christine Drazen conceded her gubernatorial race in 2022, my sister sent a text: “Peace out Oregon.” She followed through on that, building a home and moving last fall.

The Greater Idaho movement is a pipe dream. That’s never going to happen, but what is happening is a fairly significant migration of Oregonians to Idaho.

This is my first trip to Idaho to enjoy Idaho. I’ve passed through many times. I’ve also traveled to Boise on business. Now I’m taking my kids to parks, and I like what I see.

Here’s a question from my rising first grader that Oregon policymakers should learn to answer: “Where are the tents?” Idaho is no richer than Oregon. Given the massive immigration from all three West Coast states, Idaho has a housing crisis too. However, they don’t tolerate people free-riding in public spaces to save money on rent. Oregon elected officials seem to think a tremendous amount of money is required to make the tent cities disappear. Idaho has a less expensive but more effective policy lever: a backbone.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there