Working together for Spokane is at the heart of this campaign.
Our City government should be leading the way. We have a diverse population, with different income levels and in various stages of life. Differences of opinion are healthy and necessary for a growing city.
But too often elected officials have tried to score political points and a battle between the mayor’s office and the City Council has blocked efforts to find common ground and shared solutions.
Our response to homelessness must start with recognizing the dignity and value of every person, and responding with compassion.
There’s no ‘silver bullet’ to solve homelessness – not least because it’s so bound up with challenges of substance abuse and mental health.
We need to do better, for those suffering homelessness and for everyone else in Spokane. Our downtown should be safe for families and local businesses. We don’t want to fall into duplicating Seattle’s long-term homeless encampments and struggles with criminal vagrancy here in Spokane.
We need to look carefully at our policies and make sure they are helping people out of homelessness, not perpetuating the problem. We must help meet the desperate, immediate needs of our homeless population, but even more, to guide them to the long term, transformational support that empowers them to change their lives.
Spokane is undergoing an exciting and visible transformation, with the redevelopment of Riverfront Park, a new medical school, our dynamic life science and healthcare hub and neighborhood revitalizations.
Spokane needs great-paying jobs and opportunities. Our city has world class quality of life, but the median household income is still far below the state and national average. Young people shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for work.
We can and must protect workers without discouraging the creation of new and better jobs.
As a business owner, I’ll be a champion of policies that make it easy to start and grow businesses. I’ll listen to job creators, and be a strong advocate for smart regulation, fact-based policy making and a vibrant, diversified local economy.
Public safety should be the top priority of our city government and must receive the first dollar in the city budget – not temporary funding from new tax increases.
Spokane’s property crime rate is more than double Washington state’s average – and that’s only the incidents that people report. We need to give our law enforcement the right tools to fix this problem.
It means more officers on patrol, and more detectives to investigate property crimes.
Every state except Washington has provisions for community supervision (parole officers) for repeat property crime offenders. Our police department has repeatedly asked for this tool, and some of the local state legislators have been battling to change state law for several years. We need to work better together, and do more to support their efforts.