UPDATE: On August 26, SCAR was made aware of a scheduled City Council vote for Monday, August 31 to approve additional funding for the Spokane Police Department.

On August 27, we joined with our community coalition partners to craft a response to SPD’s funding request. We believed granting SPD’s funding request would fly in the face of transparency and community will. No Change? No Money!

As of late this morning, August 28, we were informed by members of City Council that the vote was delayed. We are glad that City Council is listening to community leaders and choosing not to rush into this vote. HOWEVER, delay is not denial. City Council Still needs to hear your voice. Reach out by phone and email to let your Council members know we demand transparency and accountability from the SPD.
No Change? No Money!

The police are asking for more money, and so far we’ve seen no change. Don’t let City Council reward this behavior. Contact them now!

When SCAR and coalition partners demanded changes in Spokane’s policing and community priorities, and the people of Spokane made hundreds of phone calls and sent thousands of emails affirming these demands, Spokane City Council members listened by unanimously rejecting a contract to weaken police accountability despite pleas from a united Mayor, Chief of Police, and Spokane Police Guild.

Since then, City Council has issued resolutions and statements, planned listening sessions and negotiated a “framework for dialogue” among themselves, and vocally committed to progress in policing and racial justice. We appreciate their words, but we await their accompanying action. City Hall says they’re still listening and have proposals. We have proposals too – and if they are listening, they will reject an emergency budget INCREASE for the Spokane Police Department.

Next Monday, the Spokane City Council will vote on an emergency budget request of $114,200 from the Spokane Police Department to spend on unmarked vehicles, night vision hardware, and x-ray equipment, among other items. The money, provided by Washington State and Federal funds, is exclusively for policing and cannot be reallocated. The City Council, however, controls whether the money is released to the SPD.

Police form.jpg


To secure these funds, the Spokane Police Department filled out an “Expenditure Control Form,” a single page document that asks four questions:

  1. Why is this expenditure necessary now?

  2. What are the impacts if the expenses are deferred?

  3. What alternative resources have been considered?

  4. Description of the goods or service and any additional information?

In answer to the first question is a single sentence, “This is an SBO request to increase budget and not a direct request for expenditure.” The remaining three questions were left blank.

In short, amid community calls for defunding and demilitarization, the SPD wants an emergency vote to purchase more military equipment without any indication of what the “emergency” is, or why it requires this money.

A budget increase for SPD based on a vague and incomplete budget request doesn’t enhance accountability or transparency. While the request – $114,200 – might seems like a drop in the bucket in the context of a multi-million-dollar department budget, failing to ask questions or examine the police budget is how police power is able to expand unchecked.

Spokane still has the fifth most deadly police force in the United States. Black residents in Spokane are five times more likely to be arrested. The impunity of police has been achieved by slow, opaque growth through the decades and with the implicit understanding that they would be deployed disproportionately against Black Indigenous People of Color. Today we demand better. We are having a national reckoning on policing and Spokane is no different.

With the Platform for Change, we are demanding a major pivot in priorities. We need to see a shift from blank checks for police that don’t keep us safe to a massive investment in a shared vision of community safety that work for everyone. Ending police violence will require a thoughtful, deliberate, and participatory approach, and we invite City Council to be a part of it.

Signed by:

  • Asian Pacific Islander Coalition – Spokane Chapter
  • Eastern Washington Progressives
  • Greater Spokane Progress
  • Hispanic Business/Professional Association of Spokane
  • I Did the Time
  • MAC Movement
  • Minister’s Fellowship of Spokane
  • PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane)
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Greater Washington and North Idaho
  • SCAR (Spokane Community Against Racism)
  • Spectrum Center Spokane
  • Tenants Union of Washington State

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Here’s who to call and email:


City Council Phone

(509) 625-6255


Breean Beggs

(City Council President)


Kate Burke

(City Council Member, 1)


Michael Cathcart

(City Council Member, D1)


Take Action Now 

Betsy Wilkerson

(City Council Member, D2)



Lori Kinnear

(City Council Member, D2)


Candace Mumm

(City Council Member, D3)


Karen Stratton

(City Council Member, D3)