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Inspired by Indivisible Movement meeting in Spokane, Timothy Lape is organizing progressives in Spokane Valley

UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 7, 2017, 10:13 p.m.

During the week where Spokane Valley state Rep. Matt Shea advanced to become House Minority Caucus chairman in Olympia, Timothy Lape decided it was time to organize progressives in Spokane Valley.

Lape is forming a chapter of the Indivisible Movement, a progressive grass-roots organization advocating resistance to President Donald Trump’s policies nationally and locally.

“We have to keep an eye on Matt Shea, and an eye on the Spokane Valley City Council,” Lape said. “We must make sure that the Valley council has our priorities in mind.”

Lape went to a “Resist Trump” meeting in Spokane last week.

“It was pretty amazing. I felt inspired,” Lape said. “So I decided I just had to get up and get started and do something in the Valley.”

Lape, who’s retired from an administrative position in Rockwood Health Systems’ cardiovascular unit, said he can’t shake a feeling that the Spokane Valley City Council is making decisions behind closed doors, though the state auditor found no evidence of that.

Lape emphasized that the Indivisible Movement is driven by people in the community, not by ideas from the top. “Everyone’s ideas are equally good,” he said.

Five of seven positions on the Spokane Valley City Council are up for election this fall and candidates already are registering with the state Public Disclosure Commission, though it’s too soon to officially file to run with the Spokane County Elections Office.

The two who don’t have to defend their seats are Councilman Sam Wood and Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard.

Lape said he won’t be challenging anyone on the council.

“No, I’m not running for office, I’m too old and grumpy for that,” he said, but he hopes to get people who currently feel disenfranchised to attend City Council meetings.

Spokane Valley City Councilman Ed Pace was excited to hear about Lape’s idea.

“It’s not my side of the political spectrum and I will not join them,” Pace said, “but bring it on and run against all of us.”

The Indivisible Movement is borrowing it’s strategy – but not its agenda – from the tea party movement. The organization published practical guides on how to engage in community activism on Twitter and quickly gained traction. All the material may be found at www.indivisibleguide.com

“To have something tangible, an organization like that is great,” Pace said. “I encourage them to show up.”