March 2023 Newsletter
It’s been a busy winter for the Spokane Alliance! Below is a recap of all the great work we have accomplished together in the past few months.
In this newsletter, you will hear about Friends of Alliance, the current work of our teams, the important policies we are moving forward and meet our newest members.
Friends of the Alliance Event a Smashing Success!
Nearly 100 leaders, current Friends, and community members joined together on February 15th to celebrate the work of the Spokane Alliance. Historic Firehouse No. 9, the new union hall of Firefighters Local 29, provided the perfect ambiance. Jess Walter, our featured speaker, regaled the crowd with Spokane tales that complimented our recent victories of organizing victories for childcare and affordable housing.
Thanks to our host, IAFF 29, and to our sponsors, IBEW 73, LiUNA 238, Ironworkers 14, Teamsters 690, and Ron and Debbie Reed. And a hearty thank you to all who attended, who donated, who became monthly donors, and who volunteered to make this a fun and successful event! Due to your efforts, we organized more than $10,000, which supports our continued work to build power for the common good through our organized money and our organized people.
If you missed the event but would like to support our work you can do so at: https://www.spokanealliance.org/donate.
New Leaders Emerge from Foundations of Organizing Training
Leaders participate in an exercise demonstrating the importance of “mediating” institutions.
This past January, we had 25 brand-new leaders participate in our Foundations of Organizing Training. It was led and taught by a diverse and vibrant group of leaders and organizers, including Shelby Berkompas (SEIU 1199), Leila Lewis (AmeriCorps Vista), Prosparetti Coleman (WSU), Rev. Katy Shedlock (West Central Abbey) and Chloe Sciammas (Organizer). We had such an electric learning experience, with numerous institutions represented and creative ideas formed, that we will be reuniting in April to continue building relationships and sharpening our skills!
Please join us for our next Foundations of Organizing training this upcoming May. Official dates will be finalized shortly. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in the training. It’s truly a life-giving and energizing experience.
HEART: Housing Equity Action Research Team
Since reorganizing in the Spring of last year, HEART has been busy researching and building relationships in the West Central Neighborhood.
After a series of research action meetings, HEART is pursuing an opportunity with SLIHC, the Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium, to move vacant properties into SLIHC’s landbank, where they will be used for affordable housing. This creative action to use West Central lands for affordable housing would support neighbors in maintaining residency in their neighborhood as housing options diminish.
Please reach out to [email protected], if you are interested in getting involved in this local effort to address the housing crisis on a grassroots, neighborhood level!
Childcare x Jobs Team Collaboration
The Childcare Team and Jobs Team have begun a collaboration to support both of their goals. We applied for a grant through Innovia that would support our pursuit of building a partnership between childcare centers needing capital improvements, and building trade apprentices doing on-the-job training at childcare centers in return for childcare subsidies. This would improve access to affordable and quality childcare for working parents in the building trades, and also create a pipeline for parents to get exposure to quality, good-paying jobs through the trades!
If you are a childcare provider who needs capital improvements, reach out to [email protected] for more information!
Truth & Transformation Team
Pictured: Ana Trusty, Mary Rupet, Stephanie Sijohn, Linda Lauch, and Danny Harris at 3 LD’s Townhall to support funding a forever home for the American Indian Community Center!
This team is committed to building the right and trusting relationships with Indigenous Communities in Spokane. Our mission is to understand the truth and ongoing impacts of colonization, and the role we’ve played in it, build the right relationships with Indigenous people and communities and identify collective action for the common good. We have met with some incredible leaders over the past year, and are looking forward to bringing Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization Training to Spokane this year! If you are interested in taking the training, and preparing to be a small group leader for Spokane’s training, please let us know!
We are working with the American Indian Community Center to support their pursuit of a forever home. This past weekend, we heard from Senator Billig and Representative Riccelli that they want to see this project through, and will prioritize partial funding of this project in this year’s budget. Hooray!
Pictured: Chloe Sciammas and Mary Rupert representing the Spokane Alliance at the Townhall!
Meet Our Newest Member: OPCMIA Local 72
This winter the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons International Association Local 72 (OPCMIA Local 72) joined the Spokane Alliance! They jumped in with both feet joining our Jobs team and sending members to the Foundations of Organizing Training, and doing relational meetings with other Research Action Teams! Join us in welcoming them to the Alliance!