We need to make sure that the decisions being made, and the money being spent on behalf of the citizens of Spokane-- fairly and accurately represent the diversity of individuals who actually live in Spokane. All City of Spokane taxpayers pay into the General Fund, and they all deserve to benefit from the expenditures made from that fund.
It's critical that when the City of Spokane spends money on something, the people of Spokane know the money was actually used for that purpose. It's the only way we can track whether or not the budget has truly been effective in providing for the needs of the city. It's also crucial for detecting and preventing fraud.
We have to make more sustainable choices across the board. The City of Spokane has a tendency to try to throw money at problems hoping they'll go away. But the problems persist and they get bigger, because these decisions are being made without sustainability in mind. This is a failure of organization and prioritization, at its core.
The problem of Homelessness in Spokane can't be solved by merely housing the homeless. We need to be prepared to create a compassionate and fiscally wise plan for how to reintegrate them into society.
There are a great deal of underutilized resources beyond temporary housing that will be required to actually provide long lasting relief to the problems that Homelessness cause for our city and fellow citizens.
It makes me sick when I read that members of our community have suggested banning homeless people from the library. I was once a homeless kid in the library. And before that I was just a poor kid in the library—the oldest of four who always knew the library to be a safe space. The Spokane Public Library opened up an opportunity for me to be in control of my future in a radically different way than ever before.
Climate Change is REAL. People who currently deny its existence are only prolonging the inevitable need to take seriously how the way we live our lives impacts the world around us. It's time to wise up, before it's too late. In 1974, Spokane hosted the world's very first environmentally themed World's Fair! Let's get back to leading the world in celebrating environmentally conscientious activities!
We are desperate for a more robust network of solutions to the unique problems we face in our community. And in part, it must start with the feeling that we are free to report acts of hate speech, violence, bullying, death threats, etc. without being disrespected or ignored. Without being made to feel we are wasting someone’s time. One member of the community suggested a 1-800 number for reporting acts of hate and violations of human rights. I think this is a fantastic idea. I should mention, Spokane Crime Check is not sufficient in this department. Not all acts of Hate are crimes, and Spokane Crime Check isn't interested unless a crime has already been committed.
Often I find it difficult to understand how things get so unreasonable that, as a collective, we oppress or allow people to oppress a whole class of people without reason. It breaks my heart to think how much of our country’s history is written by the radical stories of how people Hate and how people Love. What shallow polarities we let rule us. What daft desires we let fool us. The more I dive into the nature of the beast the more I realize that nearly all of the world’s problems are generated from a confusion about how to Hate or how to Love and consequently, what to do when we see Hate or see Love. But the macro solution is quite simple: Hate is Love’s kryptonite; Love is Hate’s kryptonite. Kill Hate with Love before Love is killed by Hate.
If people felt like it was easy to report Hate Speech, Harassment, and Discrimination when they saw it-- they would be more likely to actually report it. This is powerful because it can turn “well what can I do— the world is full of hate, oh well” into “I’m reporting this as an act of hate because it may have even more dangerous consequences in the future if I don't speak up and I feel good about having done something to standing up against it.” It may even serve as a deterrent for those prone to commit hate crimes. We don’t need citizens to numb the feelings that they should do something when they see a fellow citizen being treated wrongly. That will only make things worse as it allows the perpetrators of hate crimes more freedom to do so without consequence.
Isolation facilities in Spokane Public Schools are being abused by Teachers and Administrators. We need to make sure our educational facilities are providing SAFE learning environments that DO NOT tolerate bullying, DO NOT discriminate, and absolutely DO NOT resort to physical and psychological violence to solve problems. This is not how Spokane Youth deserve to be treated.
We need to equip educators with deescalation and peacekeeping techniques that render isolation rooms obsolete.
Part of the obligation of the state when it chooses to offer public schooling (and a condition of receiving federal funding) is to provide a safe environment for all students. And ALL students have the right not to be discriminated against with respect to the application and enforcement of this rule. Go ask your mom and dad and your grandparents how Brown vs the Board of Education took to take effect. Segregation ended years after segregation ended.
Not only are transgender youth more prone to suicide than the average student, but a recent CDC report found that 40% of our transgender students are reporting being PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED at school and a staggering 80% are reporting verbal abuse. This is absolutely unacceptable. This is not a conducive learning environment FOR ANY OF THE STUDENTS.
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