#4ThePeople: How your County Commissioner District 2 candidates want to improve the community

SPOKANE, Wash. — Democrat Amber Waldref and Republican Michael Cathcart want to bring their experience as Spokane City Councilmembers to the county.

Cathcart is currently in year three of his first term, and Waldref was a councilmember for 8 years. She’s currently the director of the “Zone,” a collaborative program at the Northeast Community Center for the past four years.

“Quite frankly, one of the reasons I’m running for county commissioner is that I don’t think the county has worked as well with others, as it could,” Waldref said.

Both candidates are critical of the County’s partnerships and collaboration with other jurisdiction and say, it’s a big reason they’re are running.

“I’m a city councilmember with the city of Spokane, it’s the city’s purview far too often, it’s our way or the highway and that’s just not going to work for us to collaborate together,” Cathcart said.

Public safety is one of the priorities for both Waldref and Cathcart, but have different ideas of how funding should be directed. Waldref wants to put money towards police accountability and proven crime reduction programs.

“If we don’t also invest and partner with the cities, the state, non-profits, our business community, to prevent, and reduce crime, we are just spinning, and we are just always reacting to crime,” Waldref said. “When I was on City Council, for city of Spokane, we worked a lot on police accountability, and that means funding good training, body cameras, all those things that keep police and the community members accountable to each other.”

Cathcart, on the other hand, wants to make sure there’s enough funding for local deputies.

“Broadly speaking, it’s the criminal justice system, the sheriff’s office in particular, because we do need to hire a number of new deputies,” Cathcart said. “I’ve been a strong supporter of law enforcement, since I’ve been on the city council, a big proponent of public safety, I’m currently the public safety chair for the City Council.”

He fully supports the efforts to clear Camp Hope.

“There is a public safety crisis that’s going on so while we continue to connect folks to services, connect folks to track, to get them out of the elements, and obviously the weather is turning, its getting really cold, we have to do something to get those folks away from that site,” he said.

Waldref has a similar approach to tackling homelessness in the community.

“Camp Hope was never a good answer to anything,” Waldref said. “So I’m hoping we can get people sheltered, we can build more housing, we can identify ways to keep people sheltered with others… there’s a lot of strategies we can use and we have a lot of experts in the community that can help us do that.”

Ultimately, it will be your vote that determines which candidate will be the voice for District 2.

For more information about Amber Waldref, click HERE.

For more information about Michael Cathcart, click HERE.

READ: #4ThePeople: County Commissioner District 4 candidates address safety, homelessness

READ: #4ThePeople: How to find which Spokane County Commission district you live in