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Voters reject Spokane rail prop; stakeholders relieved

November 29, 2017

""“Ultimately, I would say the voters realized this was just a massive distraction, would be costly to the city and was not something they were interested in adopting to use Spokane as a test case,” said Michael Cathcart, Executive Director of Better Spokane, a Spokane-based civic engagement organization which advocates for greater business consideration in public policy decisions.


During the November 7 general election, Spokane voters rejected the measure by just over 6,500 votes, with 57.5% of voters voting against the proposition.“Obviously, we were really happy,” said Cathcart. “I think the messaging came across really well so voters understood the unintended consequences of the measure should it pass.”


In August, Cathcart co-led the public awareness campaign of the Committee to Protect Spokane’s Economy. The goal was to warn voters of the possible ramifications of approving the proposition."Cathcart said candidates running for city elected positions wanted to focus on other priorities as a city, such as on roads or crime, which seemed to resonate with voters. He added that the proposition would create side issues for Spokane.“If this were to pass and actually be enforced it wouldn’t change anything,” he added. “What it would have done was to push these materials on other forms of transportation that would likely move through the community.”Railroad officials who ship through the city also expressed relief at the news.


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