A member since 2005, Travis Manning is running for Idaho house seat 10A in Caldwell. Here are his answers to our questions about his motivations for running.
What inspired you to run for office?
I’ve always been civic minded, starting in Cub Scouts. In Boy Scouts you earn the Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World merit badges. I’ve always taken community involvement seriously and been involved in community building experiences, especially as a teacher and coach. Students, parents and, yes, teachers need a voice in public policy. The attacks on the Idaho Education Association are unnecessary attacks on the teaching profession itself.
Tell us a bit about your teaching experience.
I am entering my 10th year as an English teacher. I taught middle school English in Salt Lake City for two years before attending grad school, then moved to Caldwell, where I teach English and Journalism at Vallivue High School to academically challenged students from diverse backgrounds.
In what ways will your teaching experience make you a better legislator?
As a teacher, I have to be patient and persistent, and work with students who have a variety of personality types, and be able to speak tactfully and pointedly when necessary. I suppose there is some application here to the work of the Idaho Legislature.
What legislative issues are you most passionate about?
Fairness and equity, top to bottom. Idaho legislators [should] serve the good people of Idaho, not out-of-state special interests, whatever the issue. The lack of research-based best teaching practices in top-down mandates drove me to run, but there are many public policy issues that pique my interests.
What do you do when you’re not campaigning or teaching?
Right now, not much else. Church. I play with my 3 little ones to give my wife a short reprieve. Maybe an episode of something off NetFlix. (Waiting for season III of Downton Abbey, truth be known.) Wishing I had the time to train for another triathlon.