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Spokane City Council

808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201-3335
(509) 625-6255

February 29, 2016
Dear ________,
We are writing to you today to communicate our support for the City of Spokane being awarded
the Living Cities Initiative “Racial Equity Here” grant. We believe that if Spokane is given the
opportunity to be a part of this initiative, we can achieve great things for our city.
As an organization, the city has begun the difficult and necessary work of making progress on
issues of racial equity in the criminal justice system, in our schools and in our employment.
Initiatives the city is currently engaged in include the reforms in the criminal justice system
proposed by the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council, the request for the establishment of
“Promise Zone” in an economically depressed and diverse area of our city, the Youth and Police
Initiative with the City of Spokane Police Department, and the release of a report on gender and
race pay equity at the City of Spokane with policy recommendations that we will be working to
implement in the coming months.
These are all promising projects that have ample buy-in and engagement from the community.
That said we recognize the need for continuous improvement and the need for even greater
engagement on issues of racial equity. Our youth of color are disproportionately disconnected
from the greater community, experience higher levels of poverty and are more likely to come
into contact with the criminal justice system. As a government, we can and must do more to
change these dynamics for the vitality, health and well-being of our community.
Specifically, we believe it is crucial that racial equity be a component of how we plan, organize
and engage with citizens in our community every single day. We see this opportunity as a way to
achieve operationalizing racial equity, which would help us address the myriad issues that people
of color, and especially youth of color, face in our community.

Ben Stuckart
Council President

Amber Waldref

Karen Stratton

Mike Fagan

Breean Beggs

Lori Kinnear

Candace Mumm