Last week the Washington State Supreme Court ruled – unanimously – that Envision Spokane’s 2013 Community Bill of Rights Initiative fell outside the scope of the initiative process and should not be put on the ballot for a future vote. This latest defeat follows closely on the heels of the monumentally successful November 2015 effort to strike down Prop 1, the Workers Bill of Rights.
Spokane voters are familiar with the efforts of Envision Spokane – the local name for a sect of the Pennsylvania-based organization called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Envision pushed two versions of the Community Bill of Rights to the ballot, once in 2009 and again in 2011. Both initiatives were voted down. When another version of the Community Bill of Rights made it to the ballot in 2013, a coalition of regional business groups and government entities – of which Greater Spokane Incorporated was part – sued, arguing that the bill should be kept from the ballot because its scope extended beyond the initiative process. Although a Superior Court Judge agreed, the decision was reversed by an appellate court in 2015 and sent up to the State Supreme Court for this final ruling.
We celebrate this most recent victory with a pledge to continue our vigilant attention to matters that could threaten Spokane’s business climate.