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Spokane CITY OF SPOKANE VALLEY COUNCIL POSITION NO. 1

Term: 4 yr Salary: $9,000The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.
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  • Rod Higgins (NP)

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    Chris Jackson (NP) Instructor

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Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

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Phone (509) 294-9977
Email chris@friendsofchrisjackson.com
Town where you live Spokane Vly
Experience (300 characters max) Associated Student President, Spokane Falls Community College; Postgraduate Officer, University of Otago; Board of Graduate Studies and Human Ethics Committee, University of Otago
Our infrastructure is okay, but it could be better. Incoming businesses want to move to cities that look nice and already have the necessary infrastructure. We need to prepare buildings for incoming businesses and we need to develop and preserve the natural and historical beauty of Spokane Valley.

Developing the industrial park is a part of the city's plan. The industrial park needs occupants and it is removed from the neighborhoods. This is a start, but I think we should consider a more eclectic development plan around the Spokane Valley Mall area through Pines. Spokane Valley has never been a place for our youth to find professional work or socialize. The City of Spokane outclasses us in this arena. They have the South Hill, Kendall Yards, and Perry Street. If we want Spokane Valley to keep its youth, we need a place like this and the Valley Mall area could be this place. It will need attractive dining options and family-friendly activities within walking distance.
The best minds in the world have not fixed chronic homelessness. However, some places have created better places. Utah and Tennessee, for example, provide homes for people without a home. This acts as a preventative measure because people with homes tend to get sick less—which means less healthcare costs for tax payers. Further, people with homes feel more connected to the community in which they live.

The housing solution can be community driven, as with the 100,000 homes project or it can be more state-driven. Regardless of the options we choose to pursue it is important to acknowledge that homeless extends beyond Spokane Valley, it affects the entire state. Any comprehensive solution should start there.

We need a city council that represents Spokane Valley’s needs to our state representatives. This will take a concerted effort from concerned citizens lobbying together. It is the council’s responsibility to find these people and get them in touch with the appropriate contacts.
I am no stranger to living within this community. I took a gap year after my undergraduate degree to take care of my grandparents—including all of their friends. My grandmother has mobility issues, which can make travel for her difficult. I am always conscious of free time in my schedule to make sure she is connected to her community and can see and do whatever her heart desires.

We need more areas where seniors can walk that preserve the natural beauty of the Spokane Valley. These areas must have events that cater to seniors and they must be accessible by public transit. I do not possess all the solutions to the issues facing seniors at the local, state, or national level. What I do possess is a great mind for conversation and a willingness to engage people born from my experiences with my grandmother. My commitment is to, as always, consider the needs of everyone—or as many as I can—before making decisions.
Spokane Valley should not spend precious resources on a federal issue. My concern with immigration has always been the application and utility of immigration policies. Spokane Valley, for example, has Russian and Ukrainian populations. These policies do not typically target the immigration status of these populations. Further, if we want to uphold public safety, everyone with information about crimes need to feel comfortable reporting them. Full stop. I am more concerned with people committing violent crimes than those that do not. I also want to be a part of any environment in which immigrants to this country feel safe.
Road preservation. When the city formed in 2003, the city council determined that a telephone tax be instated to pay for road preservation. Unfortunately, cell phones continue to replace land lines. An independent agency listed the quality of Spokane Valley’s roads at the lowest quality in which they can be maintained. If they get any lower, they will need more expensive repairs or they will need to be replaced outright. We are at a point in which the budget needs to reflect this reality.

I plan on looking for way to cut spending to help fund this effort. I have openly questioned why we spend thousands of dollars providing healthcare to city council members who work part-time. I cannot think of another part-time job that comes with full health benefits. Cuts such as these will help fund road preservation, but they are only part of the solution. The next solution is to increase revenue base. Bringing new businesses and residents to the valley are a part of that process.
In the short term, road preservation; see above.

The residents of Spokane Valley need to ask themselves what services they can live without and what services they are willing to pay for. The budget can be set up in a way to keep our roads drivable. When it comes to big ticket items such as developing the Barker freeway exit or easing congestion near apartment complexes, the solution will always involve time or money. These upgrades to our city can happen given enough time, but money is the catalyst that makes those changes happen faster.
Solid relationships are always built on the foundation of great communication. I have no doubt that I can establish great working relationships with anyone in the community including fellow council members, the mayor, and the city manager.

My degrees all involve psychology which relies on understanding how people behave. I have some training in active listening and motivational interviewing which are both phenomenal skills for eliciting information from people and making them feel heard. I want to put these skills to use when interacting with the general public and the employees of Spokane Valley. It is one thing to care about the work that the city manager does and how it affects our community. It is another to care about the city manager as a person. Do they enjoy living in Spokane Valley? Do they have any children? What are their children up to? Do they have hobbies? I firmly believe that the more connected to a community a person feels, the more effort they will want to put in.

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