Why not try real solutions?
Spokane could just decide to love its community more. Everyone wants less crime, but leaning on police to do all the work just creates more prisoners. We need to actually invest in our community; in each other.
Plans for redrawing Spokane County Commissioner Districts are moving forward, and the Independent Redistricting Committee (IRC) has eliminated two of its four proposed maps from consideration.
IRC members are working with maps C and D, and will make changes based on community input. IRC Chair Elaine Couture asked the group to give closer consideration to the community map created by the Community Coalition for Creating 5 Fair, Equitable Spokane County Commissioner Districts. IRC members plan to have two revised maps ready for consideration at the IRC’s next meeting on Oct. 5.
As the options stand, both maps present problems. Map C separates Liberty Lake from its near neighbor, Spokane Valley. Instead, Liberty Lake is in the same district as Mead, Elk, and Deer Park, communities it is not in close proximity to. Map C also groups Cheney with the south county, rather than with other West Plains communities.
The community map groups West Plains cities into one district, and divides Spokane Valley along the logical, existing precinct lines through the city.
Map D splits the City of Spokane primarily between two districts, with small slivers of the city parsed out to two other districts. Concentrating the city into two of the county’s five districts puts city residents at a disadvantage when it comes to countywide decisions, even though they are often most heavily impacted. For example, 75% of the County’s budget is spent on the criminal justice system, whose courts and jail are within the city limits.
In contrast, the community map divides the city among three districts that extend into unincorporated areas, using existing natural boundaries and transportation corridors that already act as dividing lines.
In south Spokane County, map D uses Highway 195 to divide districts, which splits the Liberty School District between two commissioner districts and groups part of south Spokane County with the West Plains. Communities in south Spokane County should be represented by the same commissioner district, as they are in the community map.
There’s still time to make your voice heard. Let the committee know you favor the community map and the values it represents. Thursday, Oct. 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m. is the IRC’s next public hearing, and Tuesday, Oct. 12 is the deadline to submit comments.
You can attend the Oct. 7 meeting via Zoom or in person at Northern Quest Casino in the Kalispel Ballroom, 100 N Hayford Road, Airway Heights (masks required). To submit comments by Oct. 12, email firstname.lastname@example.org, use the IRC’s online comment form, or send by mail to PO Box 31508, Spokane, WA, 99223.
Plans for redrawing Spokane County Commissioner Districts are moving forward. The Independent Redistricting Committee has dropped two of its four proposed scenarios.
What’s In, What’s Out
The IRC is no longer considering Map A, proposed by committee member Robin Ball, former Spokane County Republican chairwoman, or Map B, proposed by Democratic appointee Natasha Hill, a Spokane attorney.
Map C, proposed by committee member Brian McClatchey, a Democrat who is the director policy and government relations for the Spokane City Council, and Map D, proposed by Republican appointee Jim McDevitt, a former U.S. Attorney, are still under consideration.
Committee members will now work to adjust the proposed plans, keeping community input in mind. At a recent meeting, IRC Chair Elaine Couture asked committee members to give closer consideration to the community map proposed by the Community Coalition for Creating 5 Fair, Equitable Spokane County Commissioner Districts.
A simple idea
The principles behind the community map are simple:
Let the IRC know you favor the community map and the principles used to create it.
Thursday, Oct. 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m. is the next public hearing on redistricting. You can attend via Zoom or in person at Northern Quest Casino in the Kalispel Ballroom, 100 N Hayford Road, Airway Heights (masks required).
Tuesday, Oct. 12 is the deadline to submit comments. To do so, email email@example.com, use the IRC’s online comment form, or send comments by mail to PO Box 31508, Spokane, WA, 99223.
These districts will be in place for the next ten years. Our county commissioners make critical decisions about issues vital to all of us, including public safety, housing, climate change, labor rights and public health. We deserve fair and equitable districts so that we can have accountable and responsive local leaders.