Spokane People of Color Legislative Conference

People of Color Legislative Conference
Areas of Focus Discussion for Spokane Region

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

The summit has three main goals: 1) to stimulate dialogue between diverse POC organizations, community leaders, and state legislators of color to build statewide solidarity, unity and mobilizing capacity on the most important issues to our collective communities of color; 2) to organize a platform for community leaders of color to develop a Legislative Agenda of top priorities for the Senate and House Members of Color Caucus (MOCC) to push forward; and 3) to come out with a working list of who’s working on what issue in what region, so that organizations across the state can build on momentum made at the summit. This is not meant to pre-empt any individual community’s legislative priorities, only build a resource for connecting people and organizations with shared issues.

Racial Justice Community Leaders

“Racial Justice Community Leaders” were invited to the summit and asked to bring their organization’s legislative priorities and were “welcome to invite POC community leaders you know to register for the event.”

Community Leaders of Color

The purpose of the summit was to hear from and connect people of color community leaders and legislators of color to build solidarity and mobilizing capacity across the state for issues that are of highest priority to our collective communities of color.

Below are Spokane’s top 10 priorities for each of the categories discussed.

Racial and Criminal Justice

  • End cash bail
  • Decriminalize driving with 3rd degree suspend license
  • Decriminalize poverty
  • I-1000 (pro) affirmative action (ref. 88 on ballot)
  • Expedition of voting rights restoration of people with felonies
  • HB 1517: Risk assessment, etc. for DV and IPV (need racial equity lens plus broader rep from impacted population)
  • Rights and education for women who enter prison while pregnant
  • True blood legislation

Housing, Homelessness, Displacement, & Human Services

  • Statewide rent control
  • Just cause eviction statewide
  • Fair chance housing
  • Enhance reentry housing
  • More $ for permanent affordable housing
  • Rental inspection
  • Landlord registry
  • Civil-legal aid/right to council for eviction court
  • Build in rent grace period or remove 3 notice protection revocation
  • Decriminalizing public camping
  • Data privacy

Education

  • Loan forgiveness
  • Universal voluntary access to ECAP
  • Full day kindergarten, Headstart
  • Raise ECAP poverty threshold so more people qualify
  • Cultural competence for Pre-K teachers
  • Increase support for teachers plus families for accessing development resources
  • Fund to provide disciplinary diversion to keep kids in classroom
  • More teachers/authority figures of color
  • Race pay equity-equal pay

Other

  • Racial health equity (tied for first priority)
  • Consideration of voting rights/participation in underrepresented communities (tied for first priority)
  • Ask for expulsion of Matt Shea (tied for second priority)
  • More $ resources towards impact of nuclear industry on communities of color (tied for second priority)

If you want to know what organizations and individuals registered for the event and represented people of color in our Spokane community, contact Terri Anderson and Jac Archer, the facilitators of the Spokane summit.

If you would like to see the entire list of issues suggested for consideration click here.

Spokane Needs a More Progressive Mayor

We asked the mayor of Spokane and the City Council to provide warming shelters for the homeless almost a year ago. The city council acted. Mayor Condon refused to act. Mayoral Candidate Nadine Woodward believes that homelessness can be solved with law enforcement. Mayoral Candidate Ben Stuckart and City Council have proposed short term and long term solutions to homelessness. Last year we had four warming shelters open and they were insufficient. This year we have only one.

Open Letter to Mayor Condon and the Spokane City Council

2017 Homeless Count

Homelessness is a national issue. This photo was taken in Washington DC September 2017.

This point-in-time count is a snapshot of people who are homeless in Spokane, counted by local teams on one night in January, a statistic that is limited by a variety of factors and not considered the complete picture. Because more homeless people were in shelters, and fewer were outside in hard-to-find places, it was easier to get a count, according to McCann and city officials. That might apply particularly to the chronically homeless, who are more likely to use emergency shelters.
In particular, the city’s super-tight rental market – with an estimated vacancy rate of 0.7 percent – makes it very hard for people to find affordable housing and pushes the homeless numbers upward. Nearly 500 people are qualified for federal housing vouchers but can’t find a place to use them in town, said Dawn Kinder, the director of the city’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department.
This year’s count showed:
1,090 homeless individuals, an 11 percent increase over last year. Eighty-seven percent of all people counted were in shelters. Around three-quarters of those were in emergency shelters, and one quarter were in transitional housing.

Holding On ~ Letting Go

This play was great. I think that those who have relationships with senior loved ones, senior lovers, parents, grandparents or who know or care for someone who is terminally ill should see Harnietiaux’s latest play. David Casteal (Bobby) and Adell Whitehead (Lee) portray this couple working through a difficult time with empathy, humor and authenticity.

New First Thursday Coffee and Discussion Group

There are now three First Thursday Coffee and Discussion groups meeting this Thursday March 1. 

  • Original Group 10:00 am Rocket Market 726 E 43rd 
  • First Thursday Evening at 6:30 pm Rocket Market 726 E 43rd
  • Perry Street discussion usually held at The Shop at 10:00 am but this week being held at the organizer’s home so they can write letters to legislators as well as share resources and updates on what is happening. If you are interested in this group message Susan Hales on Facebook.

Possible discussion topics:

  • President Trump’s State of the Union speech
  • Youth Incarceration
  • 13th The Movie
  • Black Lunch Table
  • Oscars: Moonlight/Hidden Figures/Fences
  • Local Actions
  • …….And anything else you have on your mind

What You Can Do – What He Does

This is another example of action coming out of our First Thursday Coffee discussions at the Rocket Market.

 

Submitted by Dr. Barb Brock on behalf of Anthony Stevenson, aka artist Salik Seville

Just think about what you can do to help people…
Artist Salik Seville, (aka Anthony Stevenson), originally from Memphis and a Navy veteran, has been through tough times and knows what it’s like to be homeless, but now has found his place in Spokane. Salik uses his art to showcase what he’s been going through, and offers hope for others to push through. “I just want to inspire others and do my part,” he says. “You might be having hard times or come from a hard background, but you should always think about what you can do to help people.” His work has been showcased at the downtown Spokane Library during the month of February for the past two years. Here is Anthony’s statement for 2017:
“My friends, every year I start out the New Year with an exhibition. I’ve been fortunate to have several artists join me including Denise Robinson, Sage Caberllero, Rachel Dolozal and Jay Cousin, who are contributing their time and talent to help our community.
This is something that means a lot to me. When I first started doing this it was my way of speaking through art about how I see humans. If you are in the area, come check out the art and if you see something you like, all you need is a bag of fresh food and a bag of hygiene products, i.e., hand towels, deodorant, etc to acquire a piece of art. There’s no limit. Meals on wheels and health care for homeless veterans will receive the food, and Spokane county veterans will receive the hygiene products. I will also have some paintings for sale to help the YWCA at the library here in downtown Spokane.  I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Barb Brock – thank you for getting involved – your help is so appreciated and will never be forgotten. Here’s to good energy, art, and action. Love can change the world.”        Salik Seville

Let’s Commit Ourselves

Martin Luther King Day Celebration 2017

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OK, we had our celebration with speeches and the march.

Now Let’s Commit Ourselves

Since 2008 news and social media have done nothing but complain about what politicians did and did not do. If they have not accomplished goals and objectives it is no one’s fault but your own.  If you are not satisfied with the 2016 election I suggest that you step up and do something about it.

From the list below, choose the issue you feel needs action,  list the issue and the name of an organization that works on that issue in the comment box below and fill in your contact information. If you do not know of an organization, volunteer to start such an organization. I will pass your contact information on to the appropriated organization. Also I will collate the information everyone contributes and post the results at this site 4comculture.com. To stay aware of current posts at this site in the right hand side bar SUBSCRIBE to receive an email notifying you of new posts (a couple per week).

What Will You Commit To

Protest (Civic Disobedience, Non-violent direct action, Go to jail), Government service, Social justice, Political action, Political parties (Democratic, Republican, Independent, Progressive), Employment (Jobs and training), Housing, Healthy food production, Education (K12, College), Environment (Climate change etc.) Community organizing, Social justice, Community service, Social services, Health and safety, Drug abuse prevention, Community security, Reproductive rights, Hunger, Homelessness, Race relations, Human relations, Art and culture, International affairs, Belief systems (Humanism etc.).