ICAN’s Mission Statement

The fundamental mission of ICAN is to provide a voice for Idahoans committed to progressive social change and to develop the power necessary to create those changes. We are dedicated to the following principles:

  • Empowerment of disenfranchised people and development of new leadership. We recognize that empowerment may mean different things to each of us. However, we share a commitment to developing community, acquiring and using skills, reinforcing active involvement, developing a common sense of responsibility and taking action for change.
  • Everyone is welcome to participate – we are steadfastly dedicated to diversity.
  • A stable, membership-driven funding base.
  • The democratic process within and outside the organization.
  • Non-violent action in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. These activities may include direct action, rallies, lobbying, public education research, street theater or community meetings.
  • ICAN’s members elect the ICAN Board of Directors, which sets policy for the organization.

Prayer and Fast for Life


The Idaho Legislature has one week left to find a way to come together and cover Idaho’s uninsured. Almost every day one person dies in Idaho because they had no access to healthcare.

Please join ICAN members from across Idaho this week in a meaningful Prayer and Fast for Life.

Sign up on our Facebook Event page and starting on Palm Sunday at sundown (March 20) and ending at sundown on Good Friday, join as we begin a week of prayer and fasting for health care. You can share a candle as your profile picture to show your participation. Keep the candles “lit” while fasting and praying.

Please pray that our elected representatives make the right choice this week and support life by covering our loved one’s across the state who can’t afford to wait to see a doctor.

Also, please pray for those who can’t wait for health care. Pray they find strength to hold on a little longer.

While participating please contact Idaho legislators and tell them to give life and close the coverage gap.

6 Years and Still Waiting for Health Care

Health Care for All: Not Really

ICAN members reflect on Anniversary of ACA

Tomorrow marks the 6th anniversary of the ACA, the American promise of health care for all. Yet, six years later 78,000 Idahoans struggle without health coverage. About 300 die each year because they have no access. Six people die each week in Idaho because they can’t afford to see a doctor. Over 5 years, that adds up to about 1,500 needless deaths. This is not a third world country. This is Idaho: our home.

ICAN members across the state are devastated by the Idaho Legislature’s failure to cover the uninsured – we’ve lost family members and loved ones, and more lives are at risk. On the day that should be remembered as the day we won health care for all, we only remember those who were left out, those who became trapped in the coverage gap.

Wendy Henry remembers her Uncle Richard who died at 67. “He had high blood pressure. If he could have gone to the doctor for a prescription that cost about $4, he would still be with us.”

Board member Miranda Davis lost her father, “He worked hard all his life to support his family, yet he never made enough for his own health insurance. The doctor who performed the autopsy said that my dad would be alive today, if he would have seen a doctor regularly.”

Member Justin Heitter lost his mother in January. Abby Heitter, 54, fell into the coverage gap, using the emergency room in crisis. Justin recalls, “I didn’t know my mom was that sick. She went to the hospital and within a couple of hours she learned her bowels had ruptured, she needed emergency surgery, she had late stage bowel cancer, and then she died. She died before I could even get there. We never even knew she was sick.”

Many, like Kathryn McNary of Caldwell, hold onto hope that a health care bill will pass, “Every year we don’t win I tell myself that I have to hold on one more year. It’s been 6 years now, I can’t wait another year.”

Or member Robin Evans of Grangeville, “Just my monthly prescriptions alone are more than we can afford on our budget. I have to pick and choose which medications I can afford.”

On this day Kathryn McNary, dresses in black, stands in silence at the Statehouse, just like every other day for the past week. She feels invisible in the back of the committee room awaiting her fate. Will it be another year? Will she make it another year? Will this be the day that she wins?

ICAN will continue to stand watch this week and pray the legislators will do the right thing and close the coverage gap.

2015 ICAN Annual Meeting and People’s Power Picnic


On Friday September 18, 2015 ICAN hosted our 1st Annual People’s Power Picnic at Lakeview Park in Nampa, Idaho. With sponsors from the AFL-CIO and Community Council of Idaho, members came out for a fun family evening in the park with stories from our members, news from our radio station in Burley and a dessert auction. Pies, cupcakes and other homemade desserts helped ICAN raise money to keep our work going.

The Idaho Community Action Network celebrated at the 2015 Annual Meeting held at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa, Idaho on Saturday September 19, after prioritizing the issues ICAN will work in 2016.


ICAN members came from Pocatello, Burley, Heyburn, Paul, Wendall, Lewiston, Kamiah, Culdesac, Lapwai, Boise, Nampa and Caldwell. They strategized how to break down barriers to accessing health care and fair lending.

Members participated in small and large group presentations that provided tools on how to work on some of our issues locally in our rural communities, including how to help our friends and families with the immigration process.

We have a lot of work to do in Idaho, and now we have plan! Thanks to everyone who attended and supported this wonderful weekend.