Public service is about making society better and responding to emerging issues with measured responses.  My best days as an elected official have been when we're able to get stuff done. Highlighted below are just of the few things we are proud to point over the last seven years as Spokane City Council President:


  • Partnered with the Mayor to lead passage of the Street Levy.  Passed by 65%+ and has already resulted in record annual amounts being spent on our infrastructure
  • Partnered with City Council to put the Library Levy on the ballot, resulting in longer hours and more services.  Passed by 65%+
  • Partnered with the Mayor to renovate RiverFront Park.  Refinancing the bonds is allowing us to reinvigorate downtown with a $65 million investment.
  • Partnered with Council and the community to come up with new rules on food trucks, cell phone towers, and Uber & Lyft.  Each effort was collaborative and resulted in successful frameworks.


  • Developed the Targeted Investment Strategy for City of Spokane, starting with $18 million in Sprague corridor, this has now been adopted as the City’s official economic development strategy. The project opened to accolades in 2017.
  • Led efforts to create the first City-County joint Public Development Authority by late 2017.  This is the first time that the City and the County will profit share and put funds into economic development.
  • Member of University District Board.  Led effort to get Tax Increment Financing funds fronted to a Public Development Authority.


  • Crime is decreasing! From 2017 to 2019 property crime in Spokane has decreased.
  • Sponsored successful 2019 Public Safety Levy. Passed with 64% approval despite opposition from the Mayor and Spokesman Review. 
  • Led efforts to implement police accountability. Successfully established policy that implemented police body cameras, department wide crisis intervention training and strengthened Office of Police Ombudsman.


  • Sponsored the Public Works Apprenticeship Ordinance. This workforce development program requires 15% apprenticeship utilization on projects over $600,000. Building a stronger workforce.
  • Led effort to put operation and management of Waste to Energy Plant back in taxpayer’s hands. This saved 45 positions and allows for local firms to bid on the work.  This move has saved the City $1 million a year.
  • Passed strong wage theft laws protecting workers in Spokane.
  • Led many efforts to protect Civil Service. A merit-based employment system is still alive in Spokane.
  • Led effort to pass Paid Sick Leave in the City of Spokane for all workers.


  • Led effort to ban City from purchasing products with PCB’s.
  • Led effort to ban City use of neonicitnoids.
  • Sponsored law to create a City purchasing preference for recycled products and materials.
  • Sponsored ordinance to waive City permit fees for solar energy systems and electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Sponsored the ordinance to divest City of Spokane funds from fossil fuel companies.
  • Led effort to ensure that each new vehicle the City purchases has better gas mileage than the vehicle it replaces.
  • Led effort to pass Urban Farming initiatives. More locally grown food helps the economy and increases community.
  • Sponsored the ordinance to create the City of Spokane’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals.
  • Led the passage of cottage housing laws to increase housing options and density in the City’s core.
  • Led the formation of the Spokane Food Policy Council.
  • Sponsored the ordinance to require all new and major renovations of City of Spokane buildings become LEED Certified.


  • Led effort to create Racial Equity Committee inside the criminal justice reform effort. Former Co-Chair of the Committee.
  • Sponsored the Spokane Fair Elections Ordinance to provide easier access for all citizens interested in local office. Reduced campaign contribution limit, reduced the fundraising cycle, and put an end to “dark” money.
  • Created tool to allow constituents to see how each Councilmember voted on each piece of Council legislation.


  • Led effort to increase City Spending on Human Services by over 100% in the last 4 years.
  • Sponsored law to remove misdemeanor marijuana convictions from criminal records in Spokane after marijuana was made legal in Washington.
  • Sponsored ordinance to prohibit City of Spokane participation in religious registries.
  • Sponsored law that prohibits the City’s ability to inquire into a person’s immigration status.
  • Codified the City’s Bias-free policing policy.
  • Led effort add veteran representation to the City’s Community, Housing, and Human Services Board.
  • Sponsored law to add domestic violence and sexual assault victim status to the City’s non-discrimination ordinance.


  • Led the creation of Spokane Arts and the Spokane Arts Fund.
  • Tripled Spokane Arts Funding in 2016 and all future years with dedicated funding.
  • Repealed regulations on venue owners that deterred live music.
  • Member of Board of Directors for Artist Trust.

View Ben's accomplishments