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May I Have a Minute: Ben Stuckart

Ben Stuckart is the current president of the Spokane City Council and has held the position for two terms. Before his time on the council, Stuckart served as the Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County. He also spent time working in the event ticketing industry. 

Stuckart is a Spokane native who attended Spokane Public Schools. He graduated from Lewis and Clark High School, then went on to receive his bachelor's and master's degrees from Gonzaga University. 

Money and Endorsements

As of October 15, Stuckart has raised nearly $259,000 in campaign donations. Stuckart has contributed over $3,300 to his own campaign, but has also garnered support from local unions and political action committees. 

Among those who have donated to his campaign are the Washington Education Association PAC, Washington State Council of County and City Employees PAC, the Spokane Firefighters Union PAC and the Avista Corporation. 

The Citizens for Liberty and Labor PAC has also endorsed Stuckart and put a significant amount of money in third-party contributions against his competitor. 

Stuckart has received endorsements from local and regional legislators, leaders and organizations, including several Spokane City Council members, former Spokane mayor Jack Geraghty and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. He has also gained support from the Spokane County Democrats, Third Legislative District Democrats, Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund and Spokane Regional Labor Council. 

RELATED: Governor Jay Inslee endorses Ben Stuckart for Spokane mayor

The Issues

Homelessness

Stuckart has made solving Spokane's homelessness crisis a forefront issue of his campaign. When asked why people are homeless, Stuckart said many reasons and cited the city's Point in Time count. 

RELATED: Point-in-Time study sees decrease in homeless families since last year

Stuckart has been a vocal proponent of low-barrier shelters; facilities that accept people where they are and provide them with a warm place to stay. He said one of the main problems Spokane currently faces is a lack of space, which leads to additional problems, like homeless camps continuing to pop up around the city. 

Stuckart has also expressed his belief that the city needs more resources for those battling addiction and mental health issues. He believes the city needs more treatment centers and coordinated mental health resources. 

RELATED: Mayor, city council president candidates answer questions about homelessness in Spokane

Affordable Housing 

Stuckart has said he wants to create 100 affordable housing units each year. He hopes to do so by establishing a Housing Trust Fund. 

He has also said he wants to be more aggressive about abandoned homes and their lenders. 

Stuckart told 4 News Now he believes the community can address the housing crisis by revitalizing areas like Perry Street and Monroe Street. He said he would like to go into those and replicate the work that was done along Sprague. 

RELATED: Stuckart's vision for Spokane: 'I believe we're on the right track' 

Public Safety

One of Stuckart's main campaign platforms is public safety and he often points to work that he has done since he joined the city council. Stuckart said the city has hired 52 officers since he was elected council president. Stuckart has also pointed to his support of a recently passed levy that is putting 20 new officers on Spokane streets starting in January.  

Stuckart has said, if elected, he wants to establish Community Court as a permanent court. He believes nuisance issues should all be referred to Community Court. 

In regard to gun violence, Stuckart told 4 News Now that prevention starts with finding guns. He said he wants every gun-related investigation to not just find the suspect, but where the suspect's weapon came from, as well. 

RELATED: Stuckart talks gun control, public safety



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