The Sept. 19th Council Meeting was a “town hall-style” meeting held at the NE Community Center to hear from neighborhoods in my District 1. The Council normally puts aside any business, but we had one item to take care of that was relevant to the residents sitting in front of us. We voted (7-0) to divide the Nevada-Lidgerwood neighborhood into two areas: Shiloh Hills north of Francie Ave. and Nevada Heights to the south. I am very grateful to the neighbors who stepped up to form the new neighborhood and to Alexandra Stoddard, chair of the former Nevada-Lidgerwood area, for her work in assisting the new neighborhood in forming. This will allow both areas to focus more on localized needs, provide additional solid waste clean up dollars to the area, and build upon their neighborhood identities.
Last night, City Council had several resolutions to consider. We voted 6-1 (Fagan against) in favor of a resolution to the Administration, requesting that harassment and sexual harassment policies and procedures be updated and made consistent across the City per the Seabold report that was released last month. Thank you to CM Mumm and CM Stratton for continuing to stand up for employees and ensure that, especially women, are provided a fair and safe workplace and that all employees get a fair hearing if any complaints are brought forward. We will be getting updates from the Administration periodically on how the new policies are being developed and implemented.
We also adopted a resolution (6-1, Fagan opposed) in support of the Central City Line Overlay Plan. This is a plan that, if the Central City Line project is funded through State, Federal grants and local dollars, will help support future land use, housing and transportation changes in support of the bus rapid transit project that connect students, residents and businesses/workers through Downtown Spokane.
Finally, I was honored to have about 20 guests in the room from the Italian-American Club in Spokane. I reached out to them last month after the Council’s vote on indigenous peoples’ day. I wanted to let them know that our decision was one related to the dignity of indigenous people. Some of the local Italian Americans felt slighted by this vote because some have traditionally celebrated Columbus Day as a day for Italian-Americans. After further conversation, they suggested that the Council consider identifying Oct. 1 as Italian American heritage day in the City of Spokane because it has significance for locals — it is the day that their Italian-American Club was formed (celebrating 50 years this Saturday!) and it will be this Saturday that we will sign a sister city agreement with the city of Cagli, Italy. Council voted 7-0 in support of a resolution that locals helped me draft to designate Oct. 1st as a special day for Italian-Americans in Spokane. I’m looking forward to celebrating with our local Italian-Americans on this coming Saturday and every year!