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Oct 2, 2022 4 min read

CIVICS: Redistricting Spokane, candidate forums and updating local laws this week

CIVICS: Redistricting Spokane, candidate forums and updating local laws this week
Redistricting city council districts probably feels like a puzzle. (Illustration by Valerie Osier)

The city’s redistricting board will be holding a town hall on the final four proposed maps that will determine where Spokane’s city council district boundaries are.

It’s going to be a BUSY week for Spokane and you have lots of opportunities to get involved in our community, so let's get right into our weekly digest on public meetings and agenda items worthy of your attention in the next week. (Note that this week is not in order by day)

If you have any ideas or suggestions for this series, please email me at valerie@rangemedia.co.

🎉
GREAT NEWS, TEAM: we hit our fall membership drive goal! We were shooting for a nerve-wracking 50 new members and y’all showed up and gave us 75! Having this level of support from our community means the absolute world to us and we truly couldn’t do it without you. (If you still want to join, you can become a member anytime here)

City of Spokane Redistricting Board Town Hall

The city’s redistricting board will be holding a town hall on the final four proposed maps that will determine where Spokane’s city council district boundaries are. This town hall, plus other feedback from the community, will determine the final map that gets sent to city council for approval.

There are four options:

  • Map #1 – “Minimal Changes with Shared Downtown”
  • Map #2 – “Neighborhood Council Boundaries with Shared Downtown”
  • Map #3 – “Geographic Boundaries A”
  • Map #4 – “Geographic Boundaries B”

Take the survey to tell the city how you feel about these maps before midnight on Oct. 2 here.

Details:
Agenda here.
Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m. (the meeting was moved back 30 minutes from its original time)
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201The meeting can be joined virtually via Microsoft Teams here.

Pints and Politics candidate forum

The Spokesman-Review is hosting a candidate forum with candidates for the offices of sheriff, county prosecutor, county auditor and county commission (District 5). Community members are invited to share their questions and meet editors and reporters from the Spokesman.

Details:
It’s free, but you have to register here
Thursday, Oct. 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W Sprague

Public Safety & Community Health Committee

Emergency Communications System: The committee will be hearing two items in relation to emergency communications. In the first, they’ll be discussing negotiating the distribution of the county-wide emergency sales tax to pay for dispatch and emergency communication services.

In the second, they’ll be discussing the transition of Spokane’s Fire Department dispatch to Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) in January. The communications center and dispatch have had a rocky relationship in recent years and according to the agenda packet, the fire department has concerns about understaffing, leadership and medical experience.

Read more about the concerns from when the City Council first approved the labor agreement in August in the Spokesman-Review here.

Emergency money for Community Court: The committee will be discussing an emergency Special Budget Ordinance to fund the Spokane Municipal Court’s therapeutic court programs, including Community Court, for the rest of the year. The budget had been reduced in the 2022 budget cycle and the existing grant funding was projected to run out around Sept. 1. (It’s unclear if it did indeed run out.)

These court programs help underserved populations and reduce recidivism by connecting people with services.

Details:
Agenda here.
Monday, Oct. 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201The meeting is also live streamed here.

Spokane City Council

State laws for Spokane: The city council will consider an emergency ordinance that would essentially adopt Washington laws that pertain to protection orders.

Usually the city has local ordinances that mirror state criminal and regulatory laws, but frequent legislative changes make it hard for the two to stay aligned. This ordinance would repeal most of the misdemeanor crimes currently codified in chapters 10.01 through 10.20 of the Spokane Municipal Code and would replace them by adopting “by reference” all of the criminal statutes in state law.

More codes: With the rise of work-from-home and home-based businesses, the city council will consider a resolution commiting them to update and expand the municipal code for home occupations.

Details:
Agenda here.
Monday, Oct. 3 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 here.

Spokane Public Library’s “When Freedom of Expression is at Risk”

The Spokane Public Library is hosting a conversation with the outgoing director of Boundary County Library Kimber Glidden. Glidden recently resigned from her position after facing extreme requests for censorship and threats.

For more background on Glidden’s departure from the library check out this article from Sandpoint Reader.

More information here.

Details:
It’s free and no registration is needed.
Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
Spokane Central Library
906 West Main Avenue
nxʷyxʷyetkʷ Hall (pronounced: inn-whi-whi-ettk, a Salish word meaning Life in the Water)

Board of County Commissioners

Money please!: There’s only one budget item on the agenda for public hearing at the county commissioners and it’s a bunch of budget amendments to appropriate funds and accept grants. It includes allocating Spokane Indians baseball team revenue to Avista Ballpark designs, money to remodel the second floor of the Public Works Building and more. You can see a run down of all the items from the August 16 meeting where this was first introduced here (the memo starts on page 10).

Details:
Agenda here
Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.
Public Works Building, 1026 West Broadway Ave.
Lower level, Commissioners’ Hearing Room
The meeting can be accessed virtually here.
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