Nicole LeFavour (D-ID)
Campaign links: Nicole LeFavour (D-ID-2)
Nicole LeFavour 2012 Congressional Candidate Idaho District 2
Biography of Nicole LeFavour from Nicole LeFavour for US Congress
Nicole LeFavour is well known, both to members of District 19 and to the entire state, as an engaged citizen and a respected legislator, educator, advocate and writer.
Nicole was born in 1964 in Colorado, to Pat and Bruce LeFavour. She was raised, along with her sister, Cree, in central Idaho on Robinson Bar Ranch near the Frank Church Wilderness, where she learned to fish, ride, cross-country ski, kayak and backpack before the age of 13. She later worked in the Frank Church Wilderness with the forest service as a fire lookout, wilderness ranger and firefighter.
Nicole graduated with a degree in cognitive science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. She then taught in San Francisco’s inner-city schools for a year before enrolling in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing at the University of Montana in Missoula. There she taught writing to college freshmen. She moved to Boise in 1990 to teach, write, make a home and become a respected community leader.
Once in Boise, Nicole quickly became a visible advocate for Idaho’s clean air, water and open space. A lead organizer in early work to stop the proposed Owhyee Bombing Range, former City Council Member Anne Hausrath remembers Nicole as a key volunteer in the pilot project that established Boise City’s recycling program. Since that time she has been involved in and supported successful local campaigns, including the preservation of Hull Gulch, the Boise Foothills levy campaign and efforts to promote and fund sound transportation planning for the Boise area.
Nicole has been recognized as a dedicated advocate for dignity and human rights; she was a recipient of the 2001 United Nations Human Rights Day Award from Idaho Voices of Faith for Human Rights. In 2001, she was named as a “Woman Making History” by the Boise State University Women’s Center, in the first year the center bestowed those awards. She served for more than two years as a member of the Ada County Human Rights Task Force, and as the co-chairperson of Your Family, Friends and Neighbors, an organization working to increase respect and understanding of gay and lesbian Idahoans. In 2004 she was awarded Grassroots Leader of the Year by United Vision for Idaho, a statewide coalition working on issues ranging from poverty and the enviornment to civil rights and tax policy. She is a former board member for Western States Center in Portland, Oregon, where she has worked on issues surrounding gender, race and class discrimination.
In Boise, Nicole has worked for four years at the Log Cabin Literary Center, where as a Writer in the Schools she has taught writing to at-risk youth in classrooms across the Treasure Valley. For four years, she also taught writing to some of Boise’s most economically-disadvantaged youth at Franklin Elementary School. Nicole worked most recently as a Writer in the Schools at Fort Boise Mid High, an alternative public school program where she teaches teenagers to write and to perform stories and poetry about their lives — and about issues that affect many of them, including drug and alcohol addiction, violence and teenage parenting.
For four years, LeFavour operated a small graphic and web design business and in the mid 1990’s worked as an investigative reporter; in 1997 she won an Idaho Press Club award for her story about labor practices at the Albertsons supermarket chain.
In 2001, Nicole became involved with the Idaho Center for Budget and Tax Policy and its work to stop the tax cuts that slashed over $200 million in revenue from Idaho budgets, crippling the state’s ability to fully fund education and health care programs.
As a legislator, Nicole has been one of the most visible and active Democrats in the Idaho statehouse. During her four years in the Idaho House of Representatives, she served on the powerful Revenue and Taxation Committee, on the Energy, Environment and Technology Committee as well as on the Judiciary Committee. She was elected by her peers to serve on Legislative Council and in 2007 was recognized as an Idaho Business Review Women of the Year.
Additionally, in 2008 Nicole was awarded Legislator of the Year by the Idaho State Planning Council on Mental Health.
She has led efforts to reduce prison populations by improving treatment options for offenders facing substance abuse and mental health issues and successfully passed legislation to offer clinically trained mental health and substance abuse counselors to rural Idaho high schools.
Elected to the Idaho Senate in November of 2008 she was again elected to Legislative Council and appointed to serve on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, Commerce and Health & Welfare Committees where she will continue her work to reform health care and build a seamless system of mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery support.
She is proud to use her skills, experience and hard work to serve as a leader, impacting legislative issues on behalf of her many neighbors and community members in District 19.
Nicole lives with her partner, Carol Growhoski, her dog, Kaza, and her cat, Olive, in a 110-year-old home in Boise’s North End.
Biography of Nicole LeFavour from ID Legislative Services Office
Legislative Term: 2
- Writing teacher for at risk youth, nonprofit organizer, former small business owner;
- Senate, 2008-2010
- member of Legislative Council, Joint Finance and Appropriations, Commerce and Human Resources, Health and Welfare committees
- House of Representatives, two terms, 2004-2008
- Energy Technology and Environment, Judiciary Rules and Administration, Revenue and Taxation committees
- Commission on Hispanic Affairs
- bachelor’s degree, cognitive science, University of California, Berkeley
- master’s degree, University of Montana
- Graduate, Darden Emerging Leaders Program, University of Virginia
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1986-1992: firefighter, wilderness ranger, hydrology technician
- advocate on poverty and fair taxation issues
- Idaho Center for Budget and Tax Policy
- Human Rights Day Award, Idaho Voices Faith for Human Rights
- Idaho State Planning Council on Mental Health
- Legislator of the Year Award 2008
- Woman of the Year, Idaho Business Review 2007
- National Association of Social Workers, Idaho Legislator of the Year 2009
- Women’s Foreign Policy Institute 2009 graduate, Harvard State and Local Government Program 2011 graduate, Commission on Hispanic Affairs