An open letter from Mayor Woodward

Sunday, May 24, 2020

As published in The Spokesman-Review on Sunday, May 24, 2020.


Collaboration and teamwork are necessities when meeting any community

challenge. The better part of the past three months has delivered both.

Taking on a significant part in fighting a global pandemic is the greatest

collective challenge many generations have faced. The tests have been

unique in scope, duration, and severity; pushed us physically, mentally, and

financially; and impacted every one of us.


Let me express my sincerest thank you and gratitude to the

community on behalf of everyone working so hard to keep our community

safe. The reality is, you have been – and continue to be, the best line of

defense in slowing and ultimately stopping the spread of COVID in our region

and protecting our healthcare system.


We have reached an important milestone in our region’s

response because of your efforts – and we ask for your

continued support. Your resilience is even more impressive because it has

very likely come at the cost of several missed paychecks, significant disruption

to your personal and professional lives, and sustained anxiety and uncertainty.


Spokane has worked extremely hard, shown great dedication, and practiced

amazing discipline while making tremendous sacrifices. You are now entering a

the third month of putting your community first by maintaining physical distancing,

practicing good etiquette and hygiene, staying home when sick, limiting trips

to essential activities, and wearing masks when you visit public places.


This began as an effort to save lives and you have done that. As time has

passed, it has evolved into saving lives and livelihoods.


Your work helped us make a tremendous Inland Strong case for reopening

Spokane more rapidly than other parts of the state. It is important to remember

that we are in the second phase of the governor’s four-part Safe Start Washington

Plan, which will reopen industries that account for about half of our jobs

regionally, and provide much-needed relief to businesses and employees.


You have done amazing work to get us to this point. We are grateful to the

Governor and State Secretary of Health for allowing us to make this case on

your behalf and for providing a way to evaluate your good work. In doing

so, they have placed their trust in all of you to keep putting your loved ones,

friends, people you have not yet met, and our economy first.


Our challenge now is to keep our businesses open and the community

gradually and smartly restarting public life. That means exercising the same

discipline you have shown. Your behavior today is making our

case to progress to the third phase of the governor’s plan

and, ultimately, to the fourth and final phase.


Our region has done so much work to get us to the point of starting our

recovery. Please stay disciplined and continue to follow the conditions of the

current phase. You never know whose life – or livelihood – you might be saving.


With deep appreciation,

Mayor Nadine Woodward

City of Spokane