E-newsletter – It’s been a busy month in the 3rd LD

December 11th, 2013|

The past month has been particularly busy with opportunities to learn about the accomplishments and challenges in our community. Here are a few recent community visit highlights:

Health Sciences Building

Last Friday our community dedicated the new Biomedical Health Sciences Building, which will house Spokane’s four-year medical school and a consolidated WSU College of Pharmacy.

In my remarks at the dedication ceremony, I stressed that this building is all about opportunity. Opportunity for the future health care professionals that will be trained there. Opportunity for the patients that will be cared for and cured by those professionals. And opportunity for the Spokane community as the activity in this new building provides a catalyst for economic development throughout the region.

Completing this building was a significant accomplishment for our region and our state. I offer my congratulations to everyone that helped make it a reality,
especially former 3rd District State Senator and now Chancellor of WSU Spokane, Lisa Brown, who provided leadership in acquiring state funding for the building while she was Senate Majority Leader, and is now leading the charge as the building and the entire WSU-Spokane campus realizes its full potential.

Peaceful Valley Community Center groundbreaking


In addition, last Friday I was joined by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, my seatmates Rep. Marcus Riccelli and Timm Ormsby, Councilmembers Jon Snyder and Mike Allen, and former Council President Joe Shogan for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility of the Peaceful Valley Youth Program at All Saints Lutheran Church.

It was a longtime coming. The Youth Program needed to move due to the poor condition of the World War II-era center which has provided recreational and social services to residents of the Peaceful Valley, Cannon Hill, Downtown, Browne’s Addition and Latah neighborhoods.

This project was an excellent example of our local and state leaders working together. At the urging of Councilmen Snyder and Allen, along with strong community support, the 3rd LD legislative team was able to secure $230,000 in the 2013 capital budget for this expansion.

Drop out re-engagement

I recently visited two drop out re-engagement programs, Gateway to College at Spokane Falls Community College and the Next Generation Zone. Both programs help kids that have fallen down to stand up, gain confidence, earn a High School diploma, and get on a path to a career or college. I heard lots of inspiring stories and was heartened by the earnest, hard-working students and staff.

One theme that I heard over and over from students was how thankful they were for the STA bus passes they received as part of the program. These students stressed how great the programs were at helping themselves turn their lives around but they said it would be impossible for them to participate if they did not have the bus to get them there. What a great reminder that not only do we need innovative programs that engage students, but we also have to make sure we are meeting basic needs and transit is such a key piece to that puzzle of success.

If you or your company would like to donate bus passes to help get these youth to their jobs, you can donate directly to Goodwill and designate them for “Next Generation Zone or email Jessica at jessicac@nextgenzone.org for more information.

Introducing our new team member

We received many strong applications for our session aide position, and and I am happy to announce that we have hired Kate Burke.

Kate is joining us after completing a stint with 2nd Harvest as part of Americorps VISTA. She also has been heavily involved in community programs such as Project Hope, Bike To Work Week, and she was recently appointed to the City Of Spokane’s Bicycle Advisory Board. Welcome aboard Kate!

I wish you all a peaceful and joyous holiday season!