Neighborhood organizers living in Cannon’s Addition want to stop crime, build parks, ease traffic congestion and help manage growth.
Their newly recognized neighborhood council could be the ticket to accomplish their goals.
Last week, the Spokane City Council approved Cannon’s Addition as one of three neighborhoods in the city to organize governing councils.
Exactly how the neighborhood council will work is still a bit of a mystery, but city leaders want to empower neighborhoods to give them more influence over decisions.
“It’s kind of like writing a cookbook,” said Janet Davis, chair of the existing community development neighborhood steering committee in Cannon’s Addition.
“We are making it up as we go,” Davis said.
For now, Davis and other Cannon’s Addition residents plan to use the steering committee format to organize the neighborhood council.
To date the steering committee has exercised limited power over the use of federal community development money. Cannon’s Addition is eligible for federal assistance because of the higher number of low-income residents.
Neighborhood councils stem from a program of Mayor Jack Geraghty, who wants to share City Hall’s power with neighborhoods, or at least get neighborhood residents involved in municipal issues affecting them.
Cannon’s Addition has been one of the most active neighborhoods in the city, following its campaign over the past several years to maintain the vitality of single-family blocks.
A part of the neighborhood between Seventh and 12th avenues has been designated as Historic Cannon’s Addition .
About 1,400 people live inside the existing boundaries of Cannon’s Addition, which are 14th Avenue to Interstate 90, and Cedar Street west to the bluff overlooking Latah Creek.
Davis said Cannon’s Addition residents believe their organizational foundation could provide the basis of representation for a broader area of the South Hill.
She is recommending expanding the neighborhood council’s domain east to Bernard Street and south to 29th Avenue.
“I look at this whole neighborhood council thing as being inclusive, not exclusive,” she said.
Anyone who wants to get involved in the council is invited to attend the next organizing meeting on Dec. 3 at the Woman’s Club of Spokane, 1428 W. Ninth.