Policy Priorities

DSP’s Policy Principles serve as a framework to guide its advocacy. Initiatives are implemented through five priority areas: Economic Development, Destination Enhancement, Housing, Public Safety, and Homelessness and Social Services.

1. Economic Development:

a) Incentivize investment and job opportunities. Foster a healthy, sustainable, diverse and prosperous economy.

b) Leverage new and adjacent areas of future growth and economic influence. With vacancy rates for office space growing, new development and attractions can be catalysts for Downtown.

2. Destination Enhancement:

a) Support ongoing efforts to beautify and revitalize key areas of Downtown. Entryways and connections into Downtown merit improvements. These areas should feel safe and be welcoming and distinct gateways.

b) Support transportation enhancements and initiatives to improve mobility. Improve access and connections into Downtown.

3. Housing:

a) Reduce barriers and costs while streamlining housing construction in Downtown. Demand for rental housing has outstripped supply resulting in near zero vacancy rates.

4. Public Safety:

a) Support clarification of laws and regulations to address sale and use of illegal drugs.
SB 5476 led to the proliferation of destructive drugs which are taking a tremendous toll on the community and driving property crime.

b) Support legislation and judicial policies that can deter crime, drug use and violence. Every opportunity should be taken to hold offenders accountable, provide treatment and rehabilitation for return to the community, and when possible, restore impacts to victim and/or property.

c) Expand jail capacity, supervised mental illness and addiction treatment. Downtown serves as the hub for public safety and emergency services with a super-concentration of services and subsidized housing for eastern Washington, creating a ready-made market for predators to prey upon the most vulnerable in our society.

5. Homelessness & Social Services:

a) Support partnerships and resources to confront mental illness, addiction and homelessness. Spokane’s fractured approach to homelessness and behavioral health needs enhanced accountability.

b) Expand programs that assist homeless in accessing a range of shelter and housing options and services. Insufficient shelter for Spokane’s growing number of people experiencing homelessness results in hazardous urban camping on sidewalks, viaducts and alleyways.

c) Ensure equitable distribution of additional emergency shelters, low-barrier housing, intake/navigation centers, and public restrooms across the region. Concentrated co-location of these facilities in Downtown is making the area unsafe, including for the people these facilities are intended to serve.

d) Expand conservatorship and assisted outpatient treatment to get help for those that do not have the capacity to accept or understand their need. Mechanisms for helping people with severe mental illness can help them transition from the streets to residential psychiatric treatment.

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