Spokane City Council Members' Statement Regarding Resignation of Cupid Alexander

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 5:08 p.m.

Spokane City Council Members have issued the following statements regarding the resignation of Division Director of Neighborhoods, Housing & Human Services Cupid Alexander.  

Council President Breean Beggs: 

"News of Cupid Alexander's departure from the City of Spokane is a huge blow to the region's efforts to reach functional zero homelessness. In my experience, he was an extremely reliable source of knowledge regarding the most effective approaches to addressing homelessness and housing issues facing the City of Spokane. Although the City Council does not supervise Division Directors, from my vantage point, he seemed to be cut out of the decision-making loop and the fullness of his advice was not implemented in a timely manner. Most recently, his recommendation following the point-in-time count was to add housing inventory to our regional shelter system, yet it was reported out by the communications department that he recommended the opposite. I am just now reviewing emails that document what appears to be deep dysfunction leading up to Alexander's departure after only a few months of valuable service to the City of Spokane. I hope that the Administration’s review of them will show how we can do better in the future.  In the meantime, I, and I trust the rest of the City Council, will do my best to support hard-working staff in promptly implementing a plan that will get the hundreds of currently unsheltered houseless community members into safe and appropriate housing for their health and the health of our businesses and neighborhoods.”

Councilwoman Candace Mumm: 

“I am deeply concerned about the serious allegations raised by Mr. Alexander. I have always found him to be professional, responsive, diligent, and knowledgeable in every encounter I had with him during his tenure with the City of Spokane. The City Council takes any allegations of prejudicial mistreatment extremely seriously and works hard to ensure a full and fair review of them. The City of Spokane has policies in place that prohibit such treatment and I hope and expect that the Administration will undertake a serious examination of the allegations and the relevant facts.”  

Councilwoman Lori Kinnear: 

“In his time with the City, Mr. Alexander’s contributions were invaluable, providing innovative ideas, strong strategies, and longstanding experience related to housing. These allegations of racial mistreatment are serious, and I want them to be thoroughly investigated - no such mistreatment should have been endured and no such treatment will be tolerated.” 

Councilwoman Karen Stratton: 

“As an elected official and former City employee, I have no tolerance for mistreatment of any kind, including that described by Mr. Alexander. In my role on Council, I will not stand by silently until there is full transparency and context on this matter. Our employees and our citizens deserve better.”  

Councilwoman Kate Burke: 

“Our City would be in a better position long-term with someone like Cupid still in place. He understands what real solutions are needed to help solve our housing issues and his expertise will be greatly missed.”