We can press action on climate change
Many issues that impact us locally these days cross international boundaries. That’s a simple fact. High gas prices due to underproduction during the pandemic and the Ukraine war and world wide inflation affect us here on the Palouse, all at some level exacerbated by climate change.
Coastal flooding, desertification and dangerous air pollution threaten communities around the globe. Here in the Inland Northwest, fires and smoke, periods of excessive rain alternating with drought and extreme weather endanger our quality of life, even our livelihoods. Remember the heat dome last year at this time? Climate disasters in Texas, California and New Jersey create indirect effects in the form of higher tax and insurance rates in anticipation of similar disasters.
As the political campaign season begins, let’s remember that our voices can effect positive change at the local, state and national levels. Candidates need to hear our concerns. Ask them to take action on climate change. This is not a partisan issue, it’s about the world that we and our loved ones all share, living as we do on a troubled Earth.
One positive, constructive way to confront climate change is to join a group like the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. It has active chapters throughout the region (citizensclimatelobby.org). Nonpartisan organizations like CCL bridge the political divide and magnify our voices as we challenge our elected officials and public servants to act on climate change.
A candidate with criminal justice experience
I engaged in research on policing and race locally for about six years. During that time, I worked alongside an array of individuals who served in different roles. One individual always stood out to me for her integrity, commitment to justice and evidence, indefatigable work ethic and calm demeanor. This individual is Maggie Yates, who until very recently served as our Spokane County Regional Law and Justice Administrator. In this role, Maggie worked tirelessly to reform our local criminal justice system to become more safe, equitable and restorative.
We are fortunate that Maggie Yates is seeking to serve us as one of our Spokane County Commissioners.
As so many of us have observed, efforts to ensure our local criminal justice system operates effectively and equitably have faced substantial pushback and obstruction from our county leaders. Responding to this resistance with an evidence based perspective is among the reasons that I enthusiastically and unequivocally endorse Maggie Yates in her candidacy for Spokane County Commissioner.
As fellow residents of Spokane County, I encourage you to join me in supporting Maggie Yates in her campaign. Maggie is deeply familiar with research, committed to justice, our safety and has a demonstrated record of working for better outcomes. In fact, she is the only candidate with expertise specific to public safety.
I believe that having Maggie Yates on our Spokane County Commission is our best hope for a more just community.
Naive solutions for homelessness
The naive solutions to the homeless encampment near the Thor Street Fred Meyer that keep appearing in this paper are absurd.
Become a property manager of people who don’t want rules, one might understand more.
The encampment squatters aren’t all that different to people who leave Spokane for rural independent living with fewer rules and no difficult people to deal with. Another burning man of sorts until WSDOT and the State Patrol have had enough?
In 99201 (the downtown ZIP code), we have upstairs accessory dwelling units intentionally left vacant because burning cannabis meant disabling all the smoke detectors and the lingering stench of emotional support animal urine still lingers. Many multifamily homes have no blue recycling bins because tenants put garbage wherever it fits and the properties get fined for contaminated recycle bins on their city trash bills. Evidently, trash rules are too difficult to follow.
And now we’re going to have pallet home brawls or propane fueled half-century-old RV campers exploding a few feet from each other? Where? Who gets sued for that fiasco? Shawn Vestal? Nope. Might be the local government however.
Do you really believe shelter-loathing people are going to submit to the rules a high-density community needs to be safe and peaceful? Then what? Why doesn’t Idaho have a Camp Hope? Or Liberty Lake? (Where the new high school is; no new high school here.) Choosing boondoggle solutions the homeless don’t even want over the rest of Spokane is not a viable solution.