Council Member Dillon Testifies in Support of Senate Bill 5917

Ginny Ramos, Legislative Assistant,

Friday, February 16, 2024 at 12:35 p.m.

On Thursday, February 15, Council Member Paul Dillon was honored to provide testimony supporting Senate Bill 5917, a bill that would enhance the hate crimes statute to include public property.

“We have all seen the increase in hate crimes around the nation, and we are all too familiar with how hate can find its home in Eastern Washington, but in the end, we know love will win,” said Council Member Dillon.  “This bill gives us a new, much needed tool and helps us all to aspire to live our city motto ‘In Spokane, we all belong.” Passing this critical legislation is a top priority for our City.”

In 2023, the City of Spokane approved one of the first neighborhood rainbow crosswalks in The Perry District, supporting our LGBTQ + communities after years of advocacy. Since then, the crosswalk was repeatedly vandalized, including the Odyssey Youth Center, which serves LGBTQ + Youth. Additionally, Council Member Dillon’s Pride flag at his home, as well as neighbors’ flags, have been repeatedly stolen and destroyed. The second crosswalk at the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Wall has been vandalized, and most recently with paint poured on the crosswalk. 

Council Member Dillon went on to say, “Our neighborhoods pride themselves on safety and inclusion, and for that very reason certain neighborhoods have been targeted. It was shocking to learn that bias-driven defacement of public property was not considered a hate crime because of a gap in Washington State law.”

Council Member Dillon credits Senator Billig’s quick response to the call to action and working with the City to create a solution.                     

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