The federal government is sending about $90 million from the coronavirus recovery fund to Spokane County. County commissioners say they’re interested in hearing how people want that to be divided. They’ve created an onlinesurveyfor people to fill out. But one Spokane group hopes they’ll do more to make sure the money gets into the right hands. The county commissioners say they’re working with their regional partners to develop an economic recovery strategy. Members of the Spokane Alliance worry that strategy will heavily tilt toward aid for business. Some of that is fine, they say. Bishop Gretchen Rehberg from the Episcopal Church urges the commissioners to think broadly.
Alisa Shaffer, who grew up in Morgan Acres and raised her children in the Hillyard and West Central neighborhoods, shared her skills and experiences to help legislators address housing issues in West Central Spokane and create HB 2497.She also learned about the legislative process as she stretched outside her comfort zone, interacting with political professionals to advocate for the bill.
Having both been diagnosed with COVID-19, Rev. Katie Haney and her husband are quarantining in their Spokane home. Their cases are mild and they’ve had each other to lean on while they recover. But many of the 274 people diagnosed with the virus in Spokane are having to isolate alone.“There’s so many people by themselves. It’s sad, nobody can come and minister to them,” Haney said. “I feel really bad for all these people that can’t be with loved ones when they’re so sick.”So when the Spokane Alliance put out a call for volunteers to make daily phone calls to check in on COVID-19 patients, she signed up.
No one should be forced to go to work sick. No child should languish ill and miserable at school because her parent fears a missed shift will result in a lost job. No worker should have to choose between grocery money or taking a few days off to get well.
I’m a pediatric nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. I feel fortunate to have a decent benefits package with adequate sick leave. When my daughter was hospitalized with pneumonia, I didn’t have to make the heartbreaking choice of going to work or taking care of her. Sadly, too many workers in Spokane are not so fortunate.
I represent the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane in the Spokane Alliance, a 20,000-member coalition of church, labor and nonprofit groups working for a better Spokane. The Spokane Alliance has been working with several Spokane City Council members on a new policy that would give many city workers their first chance to accrue sick leave.
I am so glad the Spokane City Council is considering passing an earned sick and safe leave policy for all workers in Spokane. I’ve been a care provider here for 30 years, now working part-time to supplement my Social Security. My industry is full of hard-working people, but many are still struggling to get by. In our state, 30 percent of home care workers and their families live in poverty. There’s just no extra money to fall back on when we miss work.