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Meet Natalie MacLachlan, running for Idaho House of Representatives, District 17

District 17 includes the Boise Bench.

Natalie MacLachlan isn’t just a name on a campaign poster; she’s the teacher who stays late to help a struggling student find their voice, the advocate who stands up for her colleagues when they need it most, and the community member who believes in the power of unity and kindness.

Natalie is not your typical candidate. She’s a teacher of Theatre and Visual Arts in the West Ada School District. Over the course of her theater and teaching career, Natalie has nurtured a profound appreciation for the stories and lives of her students and their families. She understands that education goes beyond textbooks and classrooms—it’s about shaping futures and empowering young minds.

If elected, Natalie envisions an Idaho where every schoolchild has safe and equal access to education, where young families can find affordable pathways to homeownership or comfortable rental properties. She aspires to establish efficient public transportation systems and ensure that healthcare is accessible to all, regardless of background or identity.

Teaching at a school nestled in a more rural area outside Boise, Natalie has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by her students and colleagues. Dilapidated buildings, crumbling ceilings, outdated HVAC systems, educators fleeing the profession and the state —these are the stark realities of her school. But what sets Natalie apart is her unwavering determination to act when she saw that her local leaders were not taking the necessary steps to address these issues. She became a voice for her fellow teachers, advocating for much-needed improvements and standing up for their rights, particularly during the challenging times of the pandemic.

Natalie’s transformation from an advocate for teachers and families to a political candidate was a natural progression. She drew inspiration from the representative in the district where she grew up. With newfound confidence, she decided to throw her hat into the political ring, with a vision to be a voice for those who have long felt unheard.

Natalie’s concern for her community extends beyond her classroom. The threat of Education Savings Account vouchers in Idaho, unfulfilled promises of funding for education professionals—these are the challenges that Natalie is determined to tackle head-on. “Education affects everything. It isn’t just for kids today, it’s for all of Idaho’s tomorrow,” says Natalie. She is acutely aware of the growth Idaho is experiencing, especially in Boise City. Traffic congestion, outdated infrastructure, and residents being priced out of their own communities are all pressing issues. Natalie, as a member of the Ada County Developer Impact Fee Advisory Board, is actively working to address these problems, looking for ways growth can pay for itself and ensure that Idahoans can thrive in the face of rapid change.

What’s striking about Natalie is her holistic approach to community well-being. She has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by the Department of Health and Welfare, along with families in Idaho. She’s attended Medicare and Medicaid meetings to better comprehend the needs of these essential programs. Her passion for compensating caretakers who take care of children with disabilities or elderly individuals is indicative of her commitment to improving the lives of all residents through better housing, education, and healthcare.

Natalie’s love for Idaho is evident in her words and actions. She describes it as one of the most beautiful places on earth, known as the City of Trees, with its breathtaking natural landscapes. But it’s the sense of community, the neighborly spirit, and the warmth of its people that truly captivate her heart. It’s the freshly picked huckleberries and the camaraderie she treasures. Idaho is more than just a state to Natalie; it’s a community.

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