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.

Medicaid Expansion: Restoring the Power of our Vote!

After years and years of working to bring health care access to Idaho’s working poor and uninsured, our voice has developed the power necessary to be heard loud and clear! Volunteers and grassroots leaders from many groups across Idaho, frustrated with political agendas that have denied all Idahoans from the benefits of Medicaid Expansion, took to the streets early in January with the answer.

A ballot initiative was circulated asking that Idahoans be allowed to vote on whether the state should expand Medicaid to cover the working poor up to 133% FPL. The process was made challenging by many requirements including collecting a qualifying amount of signatures from 18 districts. In addition, even more signatures were required.

ICAN members have long known the benefits Medicaid Expansion would bring to Idaho. In addition to saving thousands of lives, the expansion would also create new jobs, and save taxpayers money.

Several reports located in our archives indicate that Medicaid Expansion could create an estimated 13,000 new jobs. These jobs would likely be living wage jobs that offer good wages and benefit packages. These jobs would also address the overall shortage of health care providers across the state.

Medicaid Expansion will also lower our tax burden. When the ACA was implemented, it authorized Medicaid Expansion for states cover lower-income families. Part of the plan included removing funding for indigent care to pay for the expansion. Idahoans having been paying federal taxes for the program, however by not expanding the program, our representatives have essentially been giving our money to all the states that chose to expand their programs instead. In addition, we still have indigent care costs that result in higher state and local taxes, including property taxes!

Well in case you haven’t figured it out yet, after months of hard work by a large, spontaneous, and organic group of amazingly fabulous and fearless humans, the vote will go to people!

One of the greatest outcomes of all of this, up to this point, is restoring the belief in democracy and the power of our vote. Many people believe that their vote doesn’t make a difference, yet 60,000 signatures had the power to do this! In November, Idaho voters will be heard on this issue and all votes will definitely count.

Clearly, the outcome we care about is saving lives. While the ballot initiative is a milestone, the work is not done. Voter registration and voter education is critical to bringing health care home for all Idahoans.

Will we build the power to build do it? Stay tuned and watch us!

The Power Gap – ICAN News – Fall 2016

In this issue we will cover:

Annual Meeting 2016: September 24, 2016

ICAN’S Annual Meeting 2015

Calling all ICAN members! **DATE CHANGE**

ICAN’S Annual Meeting 2016 will now be held at the Boise ICAN Building located at 3450 West Hill Road, Boise Idaho on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 2:00-6:00 pm. All ICAN members are invited to attend as we set the issue priorities for 2017 and members will vote for ICAN’s Board of Directors 2017! As always this is a family event where your issues are our priority and your vote really makes a difference! Register here.

Karen McWilliams Memorial Brunch

Karen McWilliamsPlease join us on Saturday September 24, 2016 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for a delicious brunch and an inspirational conversation as we remember ICAN’s fearless heroes. Please register here.

Member Spotlight: Kathryn McNary

Kathryn McNaryKathryn McNary has been a member of ICAN for more than 15 years. Kathryn has previously served on ICAN’s Board of Directors and was instrumental in leading a campaign in Caldwell that won a City Ordinance that restricts the number and location of predatory lending businesses within the city limits.

Kathryn has door knocked on issues, made phone call to legislators, shared her personal story with the media, testified at legislative hearings, registered voters, recruited members, tabled at events, and spent tireless hours in the kitchen preparing food for large ICAN events. Kathryn has done it all and keeps coming back for more.

Part of Kathryn’s motivation comes from being uninsured. Kathryn is one of the more than 78,000 who are caught in the health care gap. The struggle is real; with severe health conditions that require expensive medications, Kathryn’s husband covers the cost for some of the most critical medications on his fixed income. Unfortunately some medications she simply cannot afford at all.

We are highlighting Kathryn because in spite of her challenges, her dedication and commitment is the heartbeat that moves our work. Kathryn called the office last week and asked how she could volunteer. She read the last newsletter and knew we needed volunteers to help register voters and wanted to know how she could get involved out in Caldwell. She set a personal goal to gather 10 new voter registrations each week. Thank you Kathryn!

Institutional Membership

UMWWe are excited to report that the United Methodist Women in Lewiston have joined ICAN as institutional members. We would like to welcome these women along with their commitment to social justice work.

United Methodist Women (UMW) involves all women in the congregation. We are a part of the largest community of Christian women in the world with over 2.5 million members dedicated to social justice. For more information follow the link: www.unitedmethodistwomen.org

CFPB Comment Period

Have you submitted your comment yet? You may comment up to four times during the comment period.

Have you submitted your comment yet? You may comment up to four times during the comment period.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to hear from you! The CFPB has proposed a new rule designed to stop the debt trap created by predatory lending and they have opened up a public comment period to hear what we think about the proposed rule.

Please take one minute and go to: www.stoppaydaypredators.org/ican/ and support a strong rule that ends the financial drain created by predatory lending. The comment period was recently extended to October 8, 2016, but don’t wait – it only takes a moment.

Voter Registration 2016

VOTEICAN’s voter registration 2016 campaign has started and we are on our way to reaching our goal! This year ICAN has a goal to register more than 1,200 voters and we have six weeks left in this drive. We have hired a new intern in Boise and are working with our allies at Community Council of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho CAMP program. We are excited to offer a few scholarships to students who exceed the goals. In addition, ICAN staff and leaders are all out in the community working to reach our goal.

Scholarship Opportunities For Undocumented Students with September and October deadlines

We are excited to share these opportunities from My (Un)Documented Life


[Deadline: 9/9/16] Law Student Scholarship– This scholarship opportunity is open to law school students who have ties to San Diego or Imperial Counties. The scholarships typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

[Deadline: 9/12/16] Out of the Shadows Scholarship— If you live in Florida, check out this scholarship opportunity. This year, the organization is offering a $600 scholarship for two students, one high school senior and one college student.

[Deadline: 9/30/16] Mexican-American Dream Scholarship— This scholarship is open to undocumented undergraduate students (in community college or a 4-year college) who attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Inland Empire, or Ventura.

[Deadline: 10/14/16] National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship— This $2,000 to $5,000 scholarship opportunity is open to students who are committed to careers in health care and enrolled full-time in dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and policy schools.

[Deadline: 10/25/16] Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship– This scholarship opportunity is open to undocumented community college students who will be transferring to a 4-year university. Each award provides up to $40,000/year to cover the student’s educational expenses — including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees — for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

HealthCare Workgroup is seeking testimony

The workgroup seeking testimony on September 28, 2016 to hear from individuals in the coverage gap.

2016-actiondays-healthcareOn September 28, the interim “Healthcare Alternatives” workgroup has invited the public to come and present testimony at the Idaho State Capitol on the health care coverage gap issue. Testimony will be take between 1:15 pm-3:15 pm on September 28. Testimony slots are each 3 min. If you are willing to testify, please contact Ms. Bowen asap at: EBowen@lso.idaho.gov to reserve your spot or contact the ICAN office and we will reserve one for you.

As always, we thank you for your commitment to racial, social and economic justice, and we look forward to seeing you at ICAN’s Annual Meeting. Please help us address the power gap in Idaho and make a donation today or consider becoming a sustaining members through our monthly giving program. If you have any questions, comments or would like to submit news for our newsletter, please call our office at 208-385-9146 or contact idahocan@idahocan.org.

Terri, Jodie and Ruby

In Honor of ICAN Board Member Karen McWilliams

Karen McWilliamsThe smile says it all. Karen McWilliams, senior leader and Board Member, fought for justice with kind words and a loving heart. Karen lifted everyone up believing in Justice For All and she committed her life to working for racial, social and economic justice. On July 12, 2016 Karen left us and moved on peacefully, yet she leaves our hearts a little bit bigger from all the love she gave us. She gave so much to help others through her testimony at the Idaho Legislature, letter writing and phone calls. Karen leaves behind her twin sister Sharon who remains committed to the fight for justice. We will miss Karen. Please consider making a donation to ICAN in her honor.