Sep 11, 2022 3 min read

Censorship measures are back for a vote at the Mead School Board

A grid of 3 photos: a hand erasing a blackboard, a no camping sign, and a briefcase full of $100 bills.
What does an erased blackboard, a no camping sign and drug money have in common? They’ll all be talked about at local meetings this week. (Photo illustration by Valerie Osier)

What the Mead School Board and Spokane City Council are considering this week.

Our mission at RANGE is to empower regular people by giving them the tools to demand better. But in order to do that, you need to know what’s going on in the plethora of public meetings happening at the city and county level. This is why we’re starting a new weekly series (name TBD) focused on giving you a quick rundown of the meetings and agenda items that you might want to pay attention to, speak up at, or just be aware of.

There are dozens of council, commission, committee and board meetings every week at every level of government, so we’re starting small with the top 3 things you may want to know. We hope to build this up into a resource our community can turn to in order to get engaged in our region and demand better of our leaders.

What meetings do you think we shouldn’t miss in this guide? Let me know at valerie@rangemedia.co! (Also, please send us pithy name ideas!)

Without further ado, here’s this week’s top 3 agenda items to pay attention to:

Mead School District Board of Directors:

Curriculum cancel culture round 2: The Mead School District Board of Directors is going to have its second reading of two separate proposed policies that would ban any books and materials referencing gender identity in elementary school libraries and the compulsory teaching of “‘Critical Race Theory’ curricula or ideology” in civics education.

According to district policy, the board only needs two readings on policy changes before they can vote on them.

Dozens of people showed up to the August 15 meeting to speak out against two proposed policies and Monday’s meeting will likely have more people speaking out for and against the policy changes.  

See what happened in the last meeting with Luke’s live tweets here.

Details:
Full agenda here.
Monday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.
Northwood Middle School
12908 N Pittsburg St, Spokane, WA 99208
The meeting is also live streamed through a webinar, but the Aug. 15 stream had terrible audio.

Spokane City Council:

No camping: The Spokane City Council will be considering a change to the city’s camping ordinance in order to bring it into alignment with the 2019 Martin v. Boise decision that says cities can’t criminalize homelessness if there isn’t space in shelters.

In Carl’s recent reporting on the issue, Council President Breean Beggs said, “The main thing that city legal moved away from was these black and white areas where you can’t camp and instead moved to a situation where the police can document why [camping] is a substantial danger or an unreasonable risk to public safety or health. They felt like that was going to be way more defensible under the Boise v. Martin standard.”

This issue is especially important now because the city put the Washington State Department of Transportation on notice that it plans to take legal and potentially direct action to remove Camp Hope by mid-October. Meanwhile, the newly opened Trent Shelter doesn’t have space for all 600+ people.

So you don’t miss it, the item is worded as “Relating to the Protection of Public Lands and Properties; and amending sections 12.02.1002, 12.02.1010, 12.02.1012 and 12.02.1014 of Article VI of Title 12.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code.”

D.A.R.E. to use drug money: Council President Breean Beggs proposed an amendment to a 2017 ordinance that requires the council and police chief to agree on how civil asset forfeiture money is spent. The Inlander’s Nate Sanford reports that while the police department wants to spend it on enforcement activities like confidential informant payments, drug buys and new undercover vehicles, the progressive majority of the council wants more money spent on youth anti-drug education

The amendment would require police drug forfeiture money be spent equally on anti-drug education and enforcement activities.

Additionally, they’ll talk about budget adjustments, including allocating $250,000 to cover the costs for a special election for a change to the city charter that would change who gets to pick the city attorney and giving the fire department an additional $3.4 million to cover overtime costs from open vacancies.

Details:
Full agenda here.
Monday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
The meeting is also live streamed.

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