| 03.24.2018

Involving everyone

Kathryn Bonzo aims to involve all community members in city council


Coming up on her fourth year as a Moscow City Council member, Kathryn Bonzo keeps a Margarete Mead quote on her wall because she has never doubted a citizen’s capability to impact the community.

“I have a family, a full-time job teaching fourth graders and other commitments, but I hope to show people that you can still be involved with government,” Bonzo said.

Bonzo said a community is always growing, and change is inevitable, but citizens should be a part of the conversation so they can have a voice in the direction of their community, she said.

Bonzo said during this term, her goal is to remind people working full time they can still be involved in public service. The public tends to think city council is only for retired people, but anyone at any age can find a way to be involved and discover an area of government they are passionate about, Bonzo said.

Bonzo said she believes getting people to be civically involved is the toughest obstacle she has faced. Bonzo said she taught American government to high school students so she could show people there is a process that works to take care of schools and the community.

Bonzo has been teaching kindergarten through 12th grade for 30 years. Bonzo said her favorite part is building relationships with students, which is why she says she is in the business of people, to help with growth and success.

Bonzo spent seven years living abroad in Sweden, London, Algeria, Singapore and the Dominican Republic before coming to Moscow.

“I’ve lived in places with issues like having clean water, so citizens must realize the importance of taking care of what we have,” Bonzo said.

Kathryn Bonzo

Bonzo said Moscow residents can always use resources more thoughtfully, and if people are involved they can see how the decisions of government are made.

“I love infrastructure because I get to work with people who think far out and strategically plan to craft a vision we have for the city,” Bonzo said. “People don’t realize how much our community works because we benefit from others thinking ahead.”

Bonzo said people should be connected with the city of Moscow and volunteer for their community.

“People making a little time to contribute to something, that’s what a community is,” Bonzo said. “I have our sewer and water system printed out on my wall because, although other citizens may not always notice, people did a lot of interesting work to contribute to the city.”

Bonzo said when people blame the government, they don’t realize there are many ways to make a change. Anyone can go to open Moscow City Council meetings or go on to the City of Moscow website and watch the recorded meetings, Bonzo said.

Bonzo said the six council members she works with are all very different, educated and great people spending their days taking care of the community. You have to come to the table prepared with an open-mind, willing to listen and compromise, Bonzo said.

Bonzo said her favorite part about Moscow is how much people truly care. Bonzo said she sees the future of Moscow staying vibrant, with the University of Idaho thriving and entrepreneurs opening more businesses.

Sierra Rothermich can reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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