Letter to the Governor:
Dear Governor Inslee,
I’m a lifetime Washingtonian, I hold a business degree from Seattle Pacific University, an MBA from Eastern Washington University, and I currently live in the Spokane area with my wife and two kids. I pastor a small church that meets in the Otis Orchards area, and my wife stays home full-time to raise our son and special-needs daughter.
I’d like to say that I appreciate you working with the local officials here in Spokane to find a common-sense way to re-open our area. I believe, as our local elected officials have expressed, that Spokane is ready to move more quickly through the next phases of your “Safe Start” plan. I’d like to urge you to allow Spokane County to proceed with a plan that fits our region of the state.
As you know, Spokane County has only suffered 24 deaths – one of these was the grandfather of a parishioner at my church, and my own daughter is immune compromised - so I am not flippant at all about the risks and dangers of this new disease. However, now that the hospitals have plenty of beds, and most people in our community are being very careful about hand-washing and social distancing, I strongly believe that now is the time to move towards letting individuals make their own decisions about protecting their businesses and families. Many of the older people in my church will continue to live-stream our services even after we fully re-open (with proper protective measures), but many of the younger and healthier members are dealing with a lot of loneliness and lack of community. I have been very grieved that places of worship have been deemed as ‘non-essential’ – I think this overlooks the enormous spiritual and community support that religious organizations provide. Just in our small church family we have seen the vital role that a faith community plays in overcoming drug addiction, supporting single parents, bringing diverse people together, and strengthening families.
The longer places of worship are deemed non-essential, the greater the risk that people will fall back into drug abuse, mental health problems, and that there will be decay in family relationships that will put children at risk of emotional, mental, or even physical trauma. Of course, these concerns must be weighed against the risks of the disease – but I think a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is unlikely to succeed. It is my belief, that in areas like Spokane, we’ve reached a point where the stifling of community/family support from religious groups poses a greater risk to our community than the potential of the Covid-19 disease to overwhelm our medical system… which currently has great excess capacity.
I am enormously sympathetic to the weight of the decisions you must make that affect the lives of so many in our state. I’d like you to know that we are praying regularly for wisdom for you.
Again, thank you for working with the local officials here in Spokane, and please allow Spokane County to proceed with a plan that fits our region of the state.
Governor Jay Inslee:
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
You can send an e-mail from here:
You may wish to contact some of our other elected officials also.
Please note: all of the following have been broadly supportive of getting Washington / the Spokane Area opened up faster and of protecting religious liberty.
You could write them to thank them and/or encourage them to do more.
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward
Spokane City Hall
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201
Spokane County Commissioners
Josh Kerns (District 1), Mary Kuney (District 2), Al French (District 3)
You can e-mail the commissioners from here: https://www.spokanecounty.org/1123/County-Commissioners
Spokane Valley City Council
10210 E. Sprague Avenue
Spokane Valley, WA 99206
Phone: (509) 720-5102
Liberty Lake City Council
22710 E. Country Vista Drive
Liberty Lake, WA 99019
You can e-mail them from here:
US Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers
10 North Post Street, Suite 625
Spokane, WA 99201
Washington, D.C. Contact:
1035 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
You can e-mail Representative McMorris Rogers from here: