Your local GOP: United, and Ignited!
Last night’s Spokane City Council meeting [January 5] brought a rare and strong showing from local Republican Party officers, PCOs and activists.
We were united and ignited over efforts by the liberal City Council majority to codify a rule that prohibits city employees, including police officers, from inquiring about immigration status.
Thirty-four people were signed up to testify on this matter, and the overwhelming majority was on our side; all but three were against making Spokane a “sanctuary city”. Among those testifying were myself, State Committeewoman Susan Wilmoth and District Leaders Dave White (3A), Tim Benn (3B), Rob Chase (4A) and Gary Edwards (4C). A good number of our PCOs and other local activists were present as well.
The media coverage of this meeting, predictably, is focused on the chaos that erupted after a woman in the audience clapped for former State
Representative John Ahern’s testimony (John was seventh on the list to speak). Council President Ben Stuckart had warned against noise from the floor and abruptly gaveled the meeting to a close, following the woman’s applause. A self-described Socialist, David Brookbank, was up next to speak and began shouting his testimony to the crowd, most of whom were confused by Stuckart’s departure. George McGrath then approached the microphone in anger and was escorted out of Council chambers. Thankfully, Councilman Jon Snyder brought the meeting back to order and the remaining six Council members voted to resume hearing testimony.
I am proud of the local conservatives who made time in their schedules to testify against the ordinance. Pastor Shahram Hadian had a particularly articulate and compelling message as both a legal immigrant and a former police officer. His description of the unintended consequences of a “sanctuary city” status from his own experience was downright chilling.
Just to clear up confusion, because there was some at the meeting, the City Council passed the “Sanctuary City” ordinance in October. (Read the text of the ordinance here.) Jackie Murray, a private citizen, filed an initiative to repeal the ordinance in November. At last night’s meeting, we were testifying to persuade the Council to pass the initative to repeal.
After all the testimony was wrapped up, Councilman Mike Fagan made a motion to pass the initiative, and Councilman Mike Allen seconded it. That motion failed 4-2. Then Fagan made a second motion, to put the initiative directly on the ballot without requiring signatures. Allen seconded. That motion also failed, 4-2. So the next step is for the hearing examiner to evaluate the validity of the initiative. If that step is successful, the next step will be to gather enough signatures within the City of Spokane (about 14,000) to put the initiative on the ballot.
And that’s where YOU come in. We will need your help gathering signatures for this initiative to be put to the voters. As I mentioned in my testimony, local GOP activists are united against efforts to turn Spokane into a sanctuary city, and the full weight of the Spokane County Republican Party will be brought to bear to pass the initiative that repeals this ordinance.
Will you help us? Watch for action items in the coming weeks. Tell your friends and neighbors about this important matter. We will make it a defining issue in this year’s City Council elections.
KXLY-TV will have a follow-up story on Tuesday evening’s news about this meeting. And in case you want to see it firsthand, you can watch a replay of the meeting on Thursday, January 8 at 7 p.m. or Friday, January 9 on City Cable 5. The testimony on this issue begins about one hour and fifteen minutes in to the meeting.
Stephanie Cates, Vice Chair, Spokane County Republican Party