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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Nov. 9


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In this week’s religion news roundup read about how Spokane County residents voted their religion and values, the name change of Gonzaga’s Climate Center and a ‘Native Jam’ to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

News Story by Tracy Simmons | FāVS News

Religion and Values Votes

Religion and values are often driving forces when it comes to voting.

In Spokane County school board elections saw ideological battles between conservative and moderate candidates. In Mead, Deer Park and Riverside districts, conservative candidates prevailed. Moderates held onto Spokane Public Schools, Nine Mile Falls and Medical Lake boards.

Conservatives campaigned on parental rights, local control and opposing progressive policies like comprehensive sex ed and inclusive gender policies. In Mead the new conservative majority may reintroduce a ban on teaching critical race theory, which previously failed under the moderate board.

Liberals maintained control of the seven-person Spokane City Council as Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson decisively defeated conservative challenger Kim Plese for Council President. Wilkerson campaigned on housing, homelessness, community and families while Plese focused on public safety and support for law enforcement.

Votes for a New Name

The Gonzaga University Board of Trustees recently held a vote as well.

They voted to expand the work and mission of the Gonzaga Climate Center. It will evolve into a new Gonzaga University Institute for Climate, Water, and the Environment. According to an announcement, “The change further cements Gonzaga’s commitment to care for the planet and work in solidarity with the world’s poor and vulnerable.”

“In establishing this new Climate Institute, Gonzaga is committing its full institutional weight to help understand and respond to the climate crisis,” said Dr. Brian G. Henning, director of the institute, in an announcement. “Our Jesuit mission requires us to do more and we must do it faster.”  

The institute’s next event will be Nov. 15 with a talk titled, “The Future of Climate Education in the United States.”

Native Jam

November is Native American Heritage month and Northern Quest Resort and Casino will be hosting Native Jam on Friday. The concert will feature Native performers Tony Louie, Isaac Tonasket and Tyus Beebe. 

native jam

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.




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Walter A Hesford

Thanks, Tracy, for this news round-up. In Moscow as well as Spokane, liberal school board candidates prevailed over conservative ones.

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