June Executive Director Note: Dispatch from Spokane

One of my favorite things about Futurewise is that we work all over the state. I get to travel the state and learn about local issues from staff and community members doing amazing work. I got to spend this last week in Spokane. I was joined by our Director of External Affairs, Kate Brunette Kreuzer, and our board member, Anthony Gill, who is also the author of the popular blog, Spokane Rising.

Futurewise has had staff based in Spokane for the last 20 years. It’s part of our commitment to being a truly statewide organization. Michelle Pappas is our Spokane Program Manager leading our local work. Brooke Frickleton, our new Deputy Legal Director, has now joined Michelle in working out of our Spokane office.

Throughout the week I had the chance to meet with City Councilmembers (and former Futurewise staffer) Kitty Klitzke, Zack Zappone, and Lili Navarette, County Commissioners Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref, and the City and County Planning Directors. We had a great happy hour on Wednesday at Saranac Commons with so many different partners and supporters from different aspects of our work, all coming together and making connections.

The City of Spokane has been leading on missing middle housing through their BOCA ordinance and on eliminating parking minimums. The Spokane Transit Authority recently completed the City Line, the first bus rapid transit service in Eastern Washington. On the trip we heard a lot about the continued housing challenges, the need for more transit service and safer streets, and the need to protect water resources and address fire risk in the wildland-urban interface.

Pink CityLine bus pulls up to a bus stop in Spokane

Michelle coordinates the Shaping Spokane Together Housing Coalition, which is currently advocating for more ADA accessible homes in new buildings and for proactive rental assistance to prevent homelessness. She has also been supporting the Carl Maxy Center’s work in the East Central neighborhood to address the impacts of highway construction in Spokane’s historically Black neighborhood and to secure community ownership of surplus WSDOT property in East Central.

Brooke, in addition to her statewide work, has been reviewing the City’s plans for transit-oriented development in the Logan neighborhood around Gonzaga and she took me for a tour of the area.

A decade ago, we brought legal action and won a major settlement agreement with Spokane County regarding their comprehensive plan. After many years, we have now resolved all but one of the conditions of the agreement.

I left Spokane feeling optimistic about the future and grateful for our wonderful staff, board, and the many local partners, supporters, and decision-makers that are making Spokane a leader on so many issues in our state.

June Executive Director Note: Dispatch from Spokane

Streetscape of the Saranac Commons in Spokane. A pink CityLine bus runs in the background and small business signs hang in the foreground.

One of my favorite things about Futurewise is that we work all over the state. I get to travel the state and learn about local issues from staff and community members doing amazing work. I got to spend this last week in Spokane. I was joined by our Director of External Affairs, Kate Brunette Kreuzer, and our board member, Anthony Gill, who is also the author of the popular blog, Spokane Rising.

Futurewise has had staff based in Spokane for the last 20 years. It’s part of our commitment to being a truly statewide organization. Michelle Pappas is our Spokane Program Manager leading our local work. Brooke Frickleton, our new Deputy Legal Director, has now joined Michelle in working out of our Spokane office.

Throughout the week I had the chance to meet with City Councilmembers (and former Futurewise staffer) Kitty Klitzke, Zack Zappone, and Lili Navarette, County Commissioners Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref, and the City and County Planning Directors. We had a great happy hour on Wednesday at Saranac Commons with so many different partners and supporters from different aspects of our work, all coming together and making connections.

The City of Spokane has been leading on missing middle housing through their BOCA ordinance and on eliminating parking minimums. The Spokane Transit Authority recently completed the City Line, the first bus rapid transit service in Eastern Washington. On the trip we heard a lot about the continued housing challenges, the need for more transit service and safer streets, and the need to protect water resources and address fire risk in the wildland-urban interface.

Pink CityLine bus pulls up to a bus stop in Spokane

Michelle coordinates the Shaping Spokane Together Housing Coalition, which is currently advocating for more ADA accessible homes in new buildings and for proactive rental assistance to prevent homelessness. She has also been supporting the Carl Maxy Center’s work in the East Central neighborhood to address the impacts of highway construction in Spokane’s historically Black neighborhood and to secure community ownership of surplus WSDOT property in East Central.

Brooke, in addition to her statewide work, has been reviewing the City’s plans for transit-oriented development in the Logan neighborhood around Gonzaga and she took me for a tour of the area.

A decade ago, we brought legal action and won a major settlement agreement with Spokane County regarding their comprehensive plan. After many years, we have now resolved all but one of the conditions of the agreement.

I left Spokane feeling optimistic about the future and grateful for our wonderful staff, board, and the many local partners, supporters, and decision-makers that are making Spokane a leader on so many issues in our state.

June Executive Director Note: Dispatch from Spokane

One of my favorite things about Futurewise is that we work all over the state. I get to travel the state and learn about local issues from staff and community members doing amazing work. I got to spend this last … Continue reading

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