Return Ballots by Tuesday, August 6th
Remember to return your ballot by Tuesday, August 6, and share this guide with your friends!
As Spokane continues to grow, public libraries remain centers of equity where all people can learn and benefit from educational resources and classes. Unfortunately, the demand for materials and services at the library has exceeded the funding available.
Spokane County Library District Proposition No. 1 would restore the property tax levy that funds maintenance and daily operations of the 11 Spokane County libraries. If Proposition No. 1 is approved, the levy rate would increase from approximately 43 cents to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value. This increase would cost the average Spokane homeowner less than $17 per year. New funding revenue is necessary not only to cover current expenses but future ones as well for the survival of Spokane County libraries. Vote Yes on Spokane County Library District Proposition No. 1!
Spokane County Measure 1 would renew a 0.1 percent sales tax dedicated to public safety and criminal justice for the next 10 years. Revenue from Measure 1 would be limited to funding police, jails, the court system, domestic violence programs, and programs to relieve the overcrowding of jails and the courts.
Measure 1 would allocate 60 percent of the funding to the county and the remaining 40 percent to local cities on a per-capita basis. A third of the funding must be spent on criminal justice and the rest is discretionary. While we have broader concerns about the amount of money devoted to incarceration, this measure would help alleviate overcrowding in local jails. In addition, activists have the ability to provide input about how the discretionary funding is allocated.
We recommend a yes vote on Spokane County Measure 1.
Nikki Otero Lockwood is a public schools advocate and community activist running for Spokane School Board Director, Position 1. She has served as chair of a Montessori parent group, as well as a member of the Human Growth and Development Committee and the Superintendent’s Work Group on Restorative Practices. She currently works as an organizer for the ACLU trying to reform the school to prison pipeline. As a mother of two children, one with autism, she has advocated for special needs children as a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee. As part of her commitment to equitable policies and fully-funded education, she would push to reform school discipline, address systemic racism and inequality in schools, and ensure the accessibility of mental health workers for students.
Lockwood is running against Brian Trimble and Katey Randall Treloar. Trimble is the Executive Director of the Herzog Family Center, an early learning academy. He is the father of three children, one currently in the school system. Trimble is focusing on mental health support for students, supporting all socio-economic populations, and providing services for special needs students with inclusion models. However, most of his endorsements are from businesses and in our local council interview, we were concerned by his comments about running the school board like a business.
Treloar is a former elementary school teacher who has served on the steering committee for At the Core and as program coordinator for Bite-2-Go, both programs focused on ending weekend hunger for children who receive free or reduced meals at school during the week. Treloar is running to address budget shortfalls, hold principals and administrators accountable for their conduct, and support community nonprofits that support students. In our local council interview, we were disappointed in her equity analysis and belief that solutions that worked for most kids should be supported (such as her suggestion to arm resource officers) instead of designing solutions that worked for the kids who are struggling the most.
Lockwood is the best candidate in this race.
There are two good choices for Spokane Public Schools Director in Position 2: Jenny Slagle and Luc Jasmin.
Jenny Slagle is the Director of Community Services at Better Health Together, where she advocates for healthier communities and improved Medicaid access. She has served on the Spokane School District Diversity Advisory Board. A member of the Yakama tribe, Slagle states that she wants to be bold in her equity work by strengthening relationships with regional tribes and other communities of color. Slagle wants to see appropriate school and class sizes, increase the number of mental health professionals in schools, and institute social-emotional learning programs.
Luc Jasmin III is the owner of a childcare center that serves low-income families and the president of the board of Washington Childcare Centers Association. As a Haitian-American who experienced poverty as a child, Jasmin is determined to reduce the disparity between students from different communities served by Spokane Public Schools. He seeks to foster partnerships with local agencies to provide on-site mental health, speech, and occupational therapy services to students. Jasmin also wants school staff to participate in implicit bias training, provide community connections to serve their highest need students, and prioritize early learning.
Also in this race is educator Kellilin "Kelli" MacFarlane, who works as a substitute teacher in Spokane and has taught since 2005. She is running to get teachers’ voices heard. Unfortunately, MacFarlane did not return an election questionnaire and does not have detailed platform information available as of early July.
Erin Georgen is running for Spokane School Board, Director Position 4. She is prioritizing the expansion of resources and interventions for struggling students, training staff in de-escalation techniques, and ensuring that students get more practical-skill and project-based education, including preparing kids to work in the clean energy economy. As someone who has worked at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation for many years, Georgen does not support arming campus resource officers because she doesn't believe it makes students or staff safer when dealing with behavioral issues. Georgen’s background as a physical therapy assistant working with high needs patients also lends her experience in mental health and discipline issues in schools.
Georgen is running against Kevin Morrison and William “Bill” Baxley. Bill Baxley is a former educator who states that he’s running because he has time and loves Spokane. He has little detailed campaign information available. Morrison has worked in Spokane Public Schools for sixteen years and served seven years in the superintendent’s cabinet. He is prioritizing working with the city’s legislative partners to find budget solutions and to advocate for additional funding for special education and youth mental crisis care. While he is progressive on some issues, in our volunteer interviews he was evasive on the issue of arming school resources officers and he is not as strong on racial equity as Georgen.
We believe Erin Georgen is the best choice in this race because of her thoughtful analysis of equity in Spokane Public Schools.