Envision Spokane

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Envision Spokane.jpg
Envision Spokane is a consortium of "residents affiliated with Spokane, Washington's neighborhood councils, community organizations, and labor organizations" that formed a collective group "to discuss how to build a sustainable, healthy, and democratic [city] by protecting the rights of people, neighborhoods, and the natural environment within the City of Spokane."[1] It was created in 2007 to bring the leaders of Spokane's neighborhood councils, nonprofit community organizations, and labor union locals together to discuss ways to improve the quality of life within the city in a holistic manner.


In April of 2008, 24 organizations formed a massive community collective unit, coining themselves Envision Spokane, and crafted a community Bill of Rights, called "Proposition 4." "Envision Spokane [saw that the community was] facing significant challenges, [including], housing, jobs, environmental, and [health care], and asked 'What can we do?"[2] Over a period of almost two years they produced a Community Bill of Rights and in March of 2009 the Board of Directors decided to work to place that Bill of Rights into the Spokane City Charter and worked tirelessly to circulate petitions for the placement of that Bill of Rights into the Charter.[3] It was voted on in November of 2009 by the Spokane community and failed by a vote of 76%-24%, with corporate interests outspending them at about that same ratio.[4]

The Bill of Rights consists of nine amendments and can be read in its entirety here: http://www.envisionspokane.org/Community%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20-%20FAQs.doc

The idea for the community bill of rights came from Thomas Linzey's Democracy School in 2007 and it quickly picked up speed from there. Although it lost in 2009, the idea can serve as motivation for other communities across the country to work together, draft a similar bill of rights, and work to defeat the corporate takeover of communities nationwide.


  1. [1], "The Story." Envision Spokane
  2. [2], "The Story." Envision Spokane
  3. [3], "Envision Spokane FAQ"
  4. [4], "YES! MAGAZINE: Spokane activists undeterred after defeat of Community Rights initiative."

External Resources