Brad Little’s Race to the Top

Sydney Cayo, Design Editor

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Privileged with the opportunity to speak with the sitting Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Brad Little, this interview provided perceptual insight on this man with a plan. Growing up in the small farming community of Emmett, Idaho, Little has been molded into who he is by skillful hands, creative minds, and a momentous drive towards success.

Throughout his lifetime, upon his involvement with a variety of organizations, Little has been selected for a number of leadership roles. High level titles held by Little have included Chairman Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, vice chairman of The University of Idaho Foundation Board, and nearly President of the Idaho Cattle Association, had he had more time to spare.

The most influential aspect of the Lieutenant Governor’s resume is the Vice Chairman of the Idaho Community Foundation. Little states that as a member of this board, he took part in funding and organizing many art programs within the State. Drawing from his experience in these organizations rather than his time as LG, Little’s outlook on the State’s well being had become arguably more accurate over the years thanks to this exposure.

Aside from that, he became Senator and later, Lieutenant Governor. These advancements opened doors for the man to chair the task force on Transportation, co chair the leadership in nuclear energy, chair the cyber security task force, obtain experience in legislation and cabinet meetings, etc.

“I’ve just been very, very, very blessed,” said the humble Mr. Little in lieu of his achievements. However, applying hard work, focus, and vocational skills can bless you in those sorts of ways.

Moving on to politics, Little seeks to capitalize on Idaho’s already unique work ethic. “Idaho’s always been a tough state,” Little elaborates, recognizing that Idaho shows a pattern of succeeding where other states can’t.  “The bulk of the state was settled from the West rather than from the East. A lot of it was miners who came here from California. Idaho was a travel over state […] and was on the way whether you were going to the fertile, irrigated farmlands of the Willamette Valley or the Seattle area, and then they came back for Gold.”

Little explains how industry evolved from there to the Railroad days, but emphasizes the unique circumstances that have cultivated who Idahoans are as people still. “It’s hard work. A lot of it is creativity,” Little said in reference to how Idaho differs from other states. “Almost always, whatever they do in other states, works better here in Idaho.”

Unknown to me was the degree to which Idaho is separated from the Federal Government. While the majority of our funding comes from a Federal level, Idaho leads in independent regulations and management through things like Timber resources and longevity, construction of roads, education policy, and most well-known, healthcare. It remains a common goal to lower the cost of healthcare. Little seeks to prove to the federal government and to other states that we can do health care the best, as we previously leading in affordable Health Care before the installment of the Affordable Care Act.

Little also stated that earlier that morning, he and Governor Otter attended a meeting pushing for an increase in Teacher pay. He went on to mention pushing an increase in the growth of Dual credit, where the state picks up the tab on college classes, allowing high school students to receive college credits for a cheaper price. “A, they’re better prepared and B they don’t have to go it alone.”

Little also noted the rise of community colleges within the valley since the State’s birth, institutions vastly more affordable than Universities. In grade school education, Little encourages art and STEM to be married. “I would never do anything but encourage people to support the arts in every way, because we know that those STEM skills really don’t go to the next level if they don’t have some creativity, think-outside-the-box, enlightened view of what that is.” We here at the Boise Highlights couldn’t agree more.

Talking to the Lieutenant Governor as a student of Boise High very much changed my perspective on the man for the better. It reminded me that reaching across the aisle is a lot easier than people make it seem, and that it only makes sense that we all want the same things as Idahoans. A reflection of his character is expressed through his kind eyes, the passion in his voice, and his life commitment to inspiring change in Idaho.

This voting season, get out there and choose who will do right by Idaho, who has the capability of doing right by Idaho, and who has chosen Idaho over all else consistently over time.