This week, we’re interviewing people who have announced their candidacy for Spokane city council. We're focusing on the five candidates in the Northwest district.
Mike Lish is the owner of D’Lish’s hamburgers, a company his parents founded in the 1990s. He is a life-long resident of Spokane and critical of the city’s approach to homelessness.
“City Council needs to be able to have those tough conversations to figure out what is best for the homeless. I’ve seen too many businesses around me being negatively impacted by the homeless problem, losing employees, loosing clients.”
Lish called for an approach that promotes both self-sustainability, and compassion, but said he does not believe the city’s “housing-first” policy has been effective.
“What we need to do is really work on a way of getting these people, not these people, but getting the homelessness off the streets and getting them the care that they need to be self-sustainability, to live their own life. That’s where the real compassion is when it comes to the homeless.”
Lish said he’s also supportive of the city promoting economic recovery after the pandemic and promoting mix used and in-fill development to address the city’s affordable housing crisis.
He also said the city needs to invest in both police officers, and mental health crisis responders.
“What I would like to see is more behavioral health workers working with officers. If that makes them part of the police force, that’s fine, but I think that is such a step in the right direction in solving some of these problems, that I don’t think we should pull the gas off.”
Lish is running for a seat in city council district three which includes West Central, Indian Trail and the Shadle Park area.
He is running against Lucrecia Hill, Christopher Savage, Karen Kearney and Zack Zappone. A full interview with each candidate will be posted online spokanepublicradio.org and stories with the rest of the candidates are airing this week.