State funding slips from SAN

Washington State Department of Health contracts, 75% of SAN program funding, not awarded for 2016.

We are sad to announce that SAN was not awarded a contract with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to provide HIV care and prevention services. After 31 years of tirelessly serving the community, SAN will be transitioning all medical case management and HIV prevention services to Spokane Regional Health Department (SRHD) for continued care by March 31, 2017, after which time, SRHD will be funded by DOH to maintain these services moving forward. In the Wenatchee, Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties these services were awarded to Confluence Health, with the same timeline and transition.

Continue reading State funding slips from SAN

October Networking Lunch Recap: 1-1433 (Raising WA Minimum Wage)

Andrew Biviano, candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, presented the pro side and Stephanie Cates, Vice Chair of Spokane GOP presented to opposition side of I-1433
I-1433 panelists Andrew Biviano, candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, presented the pro side and Stephanie Cates, Vice Chair of Spokane GOP presented to opposing side during INBA’s October Networking lunch.


Minimum wage in Washington

Washington’s minimum wage is $9.47 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. Due to Initiative 668 of 1998, the state’s minimum wage increases with the cost-of-living. Washington has the eighth highest minimum wage of all U.S. states and D.C. In 2014, Seattle became the first major city to approve a $15 minimum wage. Without Initiative 1433, Washington’s minimum wage is expected to increase to $10.28 in 2020 Continue reading October Networking Lunch Recap: 1-1433 (Raising WA Minimum Wage)

Senate appoints first Native American U.S. Ambassador

The Senate confirmed Keith Harper as ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday, making him the first Native American to ever become a U.S. ambassador.
Harper is an attorney who was one of the lawyers behind a landmark class-action lawsuit brought by Native Americans against the federal government. President Barack Obama first nominated him in June 2013.

“I’m pleased that my colleagues have voted to appoint another historic first for Indian Country,” said Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in a statement. “As a longtime advocate for the civil rights of Native Americans, Keith will be a great Ambassador for our country.”

A member of the Cherokee Nation, Harper helped represent around 500,000 Native Americans who brought a class-action suit — Cobell v. Salazar — against the United States in the 1990s over alleged federal mismanagement of revenue from mines and oil wells owned by Native Americans.

Harper’s confirmation was approved by a party-line vote of 52-42 and was hailed by Native American groups as a positive step forward.

“Keith’s confirmation is of great accomplishment for all of Indian Country,” said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly in a statement.

National Coming Out Day – October 11

The following video and resources are brought to you by the Human Rights Campaign.

Every year on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. Today, Oct. 11, 2016, we mark the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day.

28 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10.

Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.

In honor of National Coming Out Day, HRC honors all who have come out as LGBTQ or as a straight ally for equality – that takes bravery, and we commend you.

Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality.


For more on coming out, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center or check out the resources below.

Learn About Coming Out Day

History of National Coming Out Day

Come Out and Vote

So much is at stake for millions of LGBTQ Americans this year. The 2016 election will be critical for protecting the progress we’ve made on equality and continuing to promote pro-LGBTQ legislative priorities.

Celebrities Come Out for Equality

Whether it’s coming out as LGBTQ or as an ally, countless American actors, athletes, musicians and YouTube sensations have helped advance the movement for equality. In honor of National Coming Out Day, here are a few standout coming out moments in pop culture from the last year.

Living Openly

However you identify, HRC and its Coming Out project hope these guides and resources help you meet the challenges and opportunities that living openly offers to each of us:

Are You a Straight Ally?

Flip through or download HRC’s Coming Out as a Straight Supporter to learn about the emotional spectrum that people typically feel after someone comes out to them and find easy ways to learn more and demonstrate your support for LGBTQ people and equality worldwide.

Read More

Check out HRC’s blog to read brave and inspiring coming out stories.

Small Business Administration partners with INBA

Following up on INBA’s August lunch with INBA and Joel Nania, we’ve partnered with the Small Business Administration to bring you a series of single day business-focused events. Join us on Wednesday, October 19, from 3-5 pm for the first of our SBA partnership events titled SBA 101: Business Planning.

Looking to learn more about how to help your small business? This 2 hour session put on by the Small Business Association will  teach you how to map your business for the next 1, 3, or even 5 years. Review the recap from our August lunch to get an idea about what kind of info you can expect to get from this event.

SNAP experiments with rides to urgent care instead of ER for less-serious conditions

This story was originally written by Rachel Alexander for the Spokesman-Review.
(Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
(Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

When she worked as a paramedic, Ginifer Wallace saw people call 911 for sore throats or mild cases of the flu.

In those situations, responders usually have two choices: do nothing or take someone to the emergency room in an ambulance, racking up huge bills for the patient and their insurance company.

“You need Mom’s chicken noodle soup and a back rub, not the emergency department,” Wallace said.

In Spokane, paramedics will soon have a third option. Wallace, who works for SNAP, is coordinating a pilot program where patients who call 911 with less serious medical issues can be given a ride to an urgent care center instead of the hospital. Continue reading SNAP experiments with rides to urgent care instead of ER for less-serious conditions

Two women just made modern baseball history.

Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno played on the same team during the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto when Piagno threw a no-hitter. Whitmore’s only 17, and already well-known nationwide.

They’re so good that professional minor league baseball team the Sonoma Stompers is signing both of them to the team. This is a huge step forward for women in professional baseball.

Whitmore and Piagno will be the first women to play on a professional baseball team alongside men since Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson, and Constance Morgan played in the Negro leagues in the 1950s.