Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spokane legislators participate in poverty and housing forum

The 3rd Legislative District team met with members of the Statewide Poverty Action Network today to listen to the issues constituents are contending with as a result of recent budget cuts to state programs.

Four panel members from the community shared their stories with Representatives Andy Billig and Timm Ormsby and Senator Lisa Brown during an hour-long forum at the Northeast Community Center in Spokane. Afterward, the three lawmakers toured the community center expansion, which features a Yakima Valley Farm Workers clinic and dental office.

The focus of the forum was on poverty and housing issues, although questions about child care and Labor & Industries complaints came up as well. Panel members agreed that job creation would be their number one priority, indicating more than once that they don't want help as much as they want the opportunity to help themselves.

All of the legislators expressed appreciation to the participants for taking the time to share their stories.

The legislators also indicated their satisfaction with the expansion project and the new health care options that are now available to the neighborhood. Funding for the project came from city-approved community development block grants, Holy Family Hospital, Washington state, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and private donors and businesses.

To read this blog post in Spanish, go here.