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Gonzaga to host candidates forum on climate change via Zoom

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 1, 2020

The Parkade and other buildings in downtown Spokane are seen through a haze of wildfire smoke on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, as the air quality nearly reached the upper limit of the "hazardous" category on the federal air quality index. Experts say wildfires along the West Coast are becoming more dangerous and less predictable as climate change creates hotter, drier conditions.  (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
The Parkade and other buildings in downtown Spokane are seen through a haze of wildfire smoke on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, as the air quality nearly reached the upper limit of the "hazardous" category on the federal air quality index. Experts say wildfires along the West Coast are becoming more dangerous and less predictable as climate change creates hotter, drier conditions. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga University’s environmental studies department is planning a forum on climate change with candidates for 11 county, state and federal offices in the Spokane area.

The forum, to be hosted and live-streamed via Zoom, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 7. Professor Brian Henning, who chairs the environmental studies department, will moderate the event. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond to a question, plus a minute of further discussion with the moderator.

“As the climate crisis is one of the most significant challenges we face, Spokane voters are increasingly interested in learning about how local candidates will use their office to address the threat of global climate change,” Henning said in a news release.

The forum was organized “to help inform Spokane citizens so that they can make an informed judgment at the ballot box,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 13 candidates had accepted Gonzaga’s invitation to participate in the event, according to the news release.

They included Spokane County Commission candidates Ted Cummings and David Green; congressional candidate Dave Wilson; state Sen. Andy Billig; state Senate candidate John Roskelley; state Reps. Marcus Riccelli and Timm Ormsby; and state House candidates Laura Carder, Bob Apple, Lori Feagan, Lance Gurel, Zack Zappone and Tom McGarry.

Nine candidates, all Republicans, had not accepted Gonzaga’s invitation as of Wednesday afternoon.

They included Spokane County Commissioners Josh Kerns and Mary Kuney; U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers; state Senate candidate Dave Lucas; state Sen. Mike Padden; state House candidate Rob Chase; and state Reps. Bob McCaslin, Mike Volz and Jenny Graham.

The event is sponsored by 350 Spokane, The Lands Council, Spokane Riverkeeper, Sunrise Movement Spokane, the Community Building and Futurewise.

Those interested in watching the forum live can register for free at gonzaga.edu/events. The event also will be recorded and posted on that webpage.

Spokane County will mail out ballots Oct. 8-9 for the Nov. 3 general election.

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