Spokane Area Office Cleaners Organize for Good Jobs & Strong Communities: The Janitors and window washers who clean, and maintain office buildings in the Spokane area gathered in Downtown Spokane on Saturday, July 21, to march and rally in support of their statewide contract campaign for “Good Jobs and Strong Communities.” Spokane janitor’s remain some of the lowest paid in the state. After a short rally, the cleaning professionals from SEIU Local 6 marched from downtown office building to downtown office building that they cleaned and help maintain. Spokane City Council Member, and candidate for the 3rd Legislative District, Jon Snyder attended to show his support. Read the rest of this entryPin It
(Posted for Keith Milligan) In 1976, I was working at a small family owned hardware store in Covington, LA. It was enough to support me and my new family until Wal-Mart came to town. My hrs. were cut in half which caused considerable financial hardship on me as the sole provider, at the time, of our young family. Needless to say, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, with such a negative impact on my personal finances caused by their arrival into my hometown at the time.Pin It
I have been hearing for years that the 3rd Legislative District in Spokane is the poorest in the State of Washington. However, no one has ever offered me a source for that claim. I finally got around to checking into it. It is true enough. Also, the 3rd LD is one of the most Democratic in the State but with one of the lowest voter registration and voter turnout rates.Pin It
Rob McKenna has been making his rounds with the outlandish claim that he won the first debate with candidate Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington. The debate occurred in Spokane two weeks ago. Maybe McKenna thought it was a contest to be the most annoying, or the most elitist, or perhaps who could bash middle-class American’s the hardest.
To quote one audience member who was at the Jay Inslee vs. Rob McKenna debate, Rob McKenna was apparently “blaming homeowners for the financial crisis.”Pin It
NeuroPolitician has some things to say about the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate in Spokane last week. He did not like it much. I have to agree. Political debates usually put me to sleep.
Candidates rarely say anything interesting. Candidates know that debates rarely influence the outcome of races, except when one of them screws up big time. Therefore, in this era of gotcha politics, candidates are incredibly cautious in debates. Typically, one or both sides insist on no cross questioning, no outside cameras, and no questions from the audience. Consequently, political debates usually end of being exactly as NeuroPolitician describes below. You can read his entire post that was prompted by the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate on his blog.Pin It
Candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee, recently spoke to community leaders in Spokane. Jay Inslee placed an emphasis on job creation and matching our educational system to the needs of the work force in Washington State. As a U.S. Congressman, Jay helped create millions of jobs accross the country through his vote for the Stimulus Bill. An example right here in Spokane County, is the Demand Energy Project in Liberty Lake.
Rep. Andy Billig had kick-off event for his campaign to the State Senate last Wednesday. Here is a verbatim transcript.
Andy Billig Announces Run for the Washington State Senate
Justice, equality, safety, responsibility, and prosperity . . . those are the things we cherish. My goal in being a Representative is to take those values and put them into action, and you all helped me do that over the last two years. With your help, I was able to go to Olympia and fight for those values and put them into action.Pin It
While Bank of America’s CEO and shareholders meet in Charlotte, NC, tomorrow, the 99% is took to the streets across the nation to protest BofA. As the economy declined, BofA made millions in profits by dodging taxes and foreclosing on homes, which hit communities of color especially hard.
Bad publicity is like kryptonite to big corporations—that’s why thousands of people are protesting, marching, and raising our voices in solidarity to draw the media’s attention to BofA’s shameless practices. Nearly 200 communities are standing up to Bank of America this week, and there’s one near you. More rallies are coming (Much of this text came from an email by Cynthia Hamilton, May 8, 2012).
(Update: Some friendly mention of the 99% movement‘s opposition to big corporations appears at HorsesAss.org. Goldy and his colleges are all around muckrakers of the muckiest and proponents of good.)
While this may seem like a sudden decision to many, it was probably planned for a month or more by Senator Lisa Brown and her close supporters. Because she is the Senate Majority Leader and Democrats control the Senate by a narrow margin, her decision not to seek re-election does have consequence. However, Rep. Andy Billig, a Democrat, has declared that he is running for the open Senate seat in the 3rd Legislative District, and he should be a strong candidate.Pin It
This last week he gained my respect in a more significant way. I now know a bit more about the “stuff from which he is made.”Pin It
This is great news for anyone that holds a fondness for the working class, tolerance of one’s neighbors, restoring the state budget, and the general idea of sanity. Democrat Denny Dellwo is challenging incumbent John Ahern for the 3rd Legislative District Seat in Spokane.
Denny should be a very strong candidate, and the eccentric Ahern appears vulnerable. Dellwo was elect to the Washington State House of Representatives years ago, but then chose not to seek re-election. He instead wanted to go back to the private sector. Now he is eager to return to public service.Pin It
It came as no surprise, but it is now official. The County of Spokane will not be placing a construction bond on the 2012 ballot to finance their proposed new Spokane County Jail.
New Spokane County Jail
Back in 2011, the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department were planning to place their construction bond on that years’ ballot. However, they retreated from that election year as well. There was and still is a growing public reluctance to spend tax dollars on massive new public works projects like a new Spokane County Jail when alternatives have not been fully explored.Pin It
You know . . . sometimes you meet another person and realize you have met a great human being. While speaking in Spokane oationn the need for police reform, retired Seattle Police Chief, Norm Stamper, gave me that much respect. It was not because of his accomplishments, knowledge, or oratory skills. While significant, these are not the source of his exceptionalism.
It is his humility and courage behind it. Norm Stamper has the self-honesty to share his own mistakes and lessons learned, and do so in a way that compels others to examine their own life and strive for self improvement. In the movement for police reform, Norm Stamper is a leader in the best possible way . . . by example.
In the video to the right, Chief Stamper discusses the time he falsely arrested a citizen out of power lust, and how having to confront what he did changed him into the reformer he is.Pin It
After a bit of a hiatus, Spokane Watch is back. If the site looks different, it is because I recently moved it to WordPress. I transfered as many of the posts and pages as I could could from Soapblox to our new WordPress blogging platform . –Bryan E. Burke, AdministratorPin It
A new jail will not make us safer. But it will make us poorer. It will cost every resident of the county nearly $3,000 over the course of the project. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford an increase in my taxes unless it’s absolutely essential.
What would make a new jail absolutely essential? Would it be an overflow of dangerous violent offenders, so many we would be renting beds in other jails because we had no room for them in our existing jail? Even if this was the case, and it is NOT, we could still explore more cost-effective options, like remodeling existing buildings. If the state can do that, why can’t the county?Pin It
When is a debate not a debate? When it is a joint press conference!
Because that is what passes for a debate for candidates these days. It is a collection of one minute and thirty second sound bites that some candidates handle with varying degrees of success.
The point is that we learn very little about the candidates grasp of the issues or their overall philosophy in these little snippets of information.
In a classic form of debate the opponents ask question of each other and put forth their assertions in blocks of five minutes or more. In that kind of format lightweights like a certain congresswoman we know would run out of gas before the time was up. The major disadvantage of longer blocks of time is that television doesn’t accommodate very well, an attention span of anything longer than an eye blink. The other part of that is that there are few candidates who are interesting to watch and listen to for more than 60 seconds.Pin It
Most local judicial races are a bit dull, and unfortunately voters don’t pay much attention to them. However, this is not the case for the race between incumbent Judge Debra Hayes and her challenger Tim Note for the District Court, Position 6, in Spokane County. There have been a number of spirited exchanges among the candidates and their supporters about face book pages, missed work, and the ability to get a fair trial. We hope the posted interviews of the candidates that were conducted over the last couple weeks will provide some additional, more objective information.Pin It
This interview of Judge Debra Hayes was conducted by Bryan E. Burke, Exec. Director of Eastern Washington Voters on Thursday, September 16, 2010 and Sunday, September 19, 2010. Deborah Hayes later approved these notes for accuracy.
What is your background? I grew up in the Northern part of the county on a farm that my dad worked but did not own. There were 4 kids in the family. We were quite poor but I did not realize it until I entered junior high and the differences became obvious. I graduated from Riverside High School. Following graduation, I spent time as a stay-at-home mom, then worked as a bank teller, supervisor for the savings department, and was then promoted, and I spent some time as a stay at home mother.Pin It
What is your background? I grew up in the North West, and attended college at the University of Montana. However, I got my degree from Oregon State in political science. I worked in the trucking industry as an operations manager before attending law school (and I still maintain my class A CDL). I move to Spokane to go to law school, at Gonzaga, on a merit scholarship, in 2001. I graduated on time in 2003, and then I worked full time for six months with University Legal Assistance that gives free legal help. I took the bar in February of 2004. I interned with the public defender office, and was hoping to get a job with them but one did not open up. I then went to work as an associate with David Hearrean’s law firm doing defense work. I started my own office in May of 2008.Pin It
At the Patty Murray “kick-off” here in Spokane she was introduced by Bret Blankenship. He modestly identified himself as an Eastern Washington farmer who, “Took off my overalls and put on a suite to introduce my friend, Patty Murray”. He went on to extol her virtues and how she had helped him in the past and is still willing to help him today.
He was far too modest. Bret Blankenship is president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), the second most powerful lobby in the state and decidedly right of center. Dino Rossi would have killed for that introduction for his campaign. You have to look no further for assurance that Patty Murray has to be the big favorite in her race for the senate.