"As Mayor, I will cultivate the strong working relationships
I have established over the last 7+ years, across both the city and state.
I will work for Spokane, continuing to reach out and create new partnerships,
building vital connections for the common good."
I recently traveled to the west side of Washington. I had great conversations with our legislators, spoke at a fundraising event in Olympia, spent time with my family and had a house party in Seattle hosted by my brother. Thank you to everyone who supported me by attending an event!
Our values are reflected across the entire State of Washington, and people share our vision of Spokane that works for all its citizens.
In Olympia, I met with Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig. On this trip, I also spent time with King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Over the last 7+ years, I have met with each of them countless times and have established both professional and personal relationships.
As we look at the opportunities and challenges facing Spokane it is important to understand how those relationships benefit the city and the citizens of Spokane. Twenty years ago, all you would hear is that the east side of the state never received the benefits of state capital and transportation dollars.
If you have healthy relationships with the folks in charge of the legislature when the funding decisions are made, you can end up receiving priority for your projects. This also works for bills that the legislature is considering that are supported by Spokane, such as:
- Property Crimes Supervision Bill. This bill would allow for supervision for a felon after they are released from jail. In Olympia, I was able to speak with over a dozen legislators about how important this bill is to Spokane. This passed, and it is a huge win!
- Affordable Housing Bill: Spokane has a housing crisis and it is especially bleak for those that need affordable housing. A bill to allow cities to set aside state tax dollars for local affordable housing was stalled until a conversation with Speaker Chopp about the high importance of this bill locally. The bill moved out of committee, again showing how these relationships work.
Spokane is not alone on an island. We are part of a larger State, and a member of that community.
- We have excellent Third District Legislators. To not create relationships with these leaders would be detrimental to the future of Spokane.
- It is absurd to lobby for a separate state, but not to lobby and push for our fair share of state resources.
As Mayor, I will cultivate the strong working relationships I have established over the last 7+ years, across both the city and state. I will work for Spokane, continuing to reach out and create new partnerships, building vital connections for the common good.
Thank you for your support,
First photo on top, Ben with:
Andy Billig, Washington State Senate Majority Leader
Marcus Riccelli, Washington State Representative
Second photo on left, Ben with Dow Constantine, King County Executive
Third photo on right, Ben with Frank Chopp, Speaker of the House of Representatives