Council Members Submit Letter to Mayor Regarding Emergency Warming Center

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 3:47 p.m.

In a special Spokane City Council Study Session, Mayor Woodward and members of the Administration presented the Council with a report on the emergency warming center at The Convention Center that was closed on Sunday, January 9th, 2022 evicting a large number of Spokane’s unhoused community.  In response, Council President Breean Beggs along with Councilmembers Karen Stratton, Lori Kinnear, Betsy Wilkerson, and Zack Zappone voted on, signed, and submitted a letter to Mayor Woodward stating their concerns, the role of Council, and highlighting previously passed ordinances.

The letter pointed out:

“Council’s job is to set policy and provide financial resources and Administration’s job is to implement those policies and enter contracts to spend the money.”

“This is not about blame or shame, but instead to illustrate to members of the public who do not understand how our city functions,” says Finance Chair and Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson.  “Council will continue to support the Mayor and Administration as they work diligently to come up with prompt solutions to serve this vulnerable community.”

The letter does not serve as a resolution or ordinance but instead serves as a call to action from Councilmembers to the Administration.  Currently, the Convention Center is not subject to re-open and the Administration reported that they are aggressively looking for alternative accommodations for Spokane’s unhoused population and urges the community to lend its support and recommendations to collectively resolve this crisis.