EWU alumnus Chris Schroll runs for Spokane mayor

Schroll is running on three main issues: addressing Spokane's homelessness, helping small businesses and bringing more opportunities to the city's recent graduates.

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EWU alumnus Chris Schroll runs for Spokane mayor

Courtesy of Chris Scholl for Mayor Facebook Page

Courtesy of Chris Scholl for Mayor Facebook Page

Courtesy of Chris Scholl for Mayor Facebook Page

By Sam Jackson, Copy Editor

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EWU alumnus and 27-year-old Chris Schroll is running for mayor of Spokane this year.

Schroll transferred to EWU from UNC Pembroke during 2012 to be closer to his family in Puyallup. As a former EWU athlete in cross-country and track and field, Schroll never realized that experience would help him prepare for a completely different kind of race.

After graduating in spring 2015 with a bachelor’s in International Relations, Schroll decided to reside in Browne’s Addition near downtown Spokane. He says that waking up there every morning allowed him to see first-hand how the city managed its homeless population. Schroll began to disagree with the city’s methods of handling this issue and decided to get more involved in local politics.

“I decided I was going to run for office at some point in Spokane,” Schroll said. “I initially was going to run for city council which is the common first step for getting involved, but when I sat down and thought about the things I wanted to do for this city and the ideas that I had, I realized that I would have a greater impact policy wise if I ran for an office that was able to cover the entire city of Spokane.”

As the youngest candidate apart of this election, Schroll recognizes the difficulty in relating to generations above him, but sees an advantage in using his platform to get more young people involved in the process. He believes that being young and new to the political realm allows him to offer “fresh and bold” ideas for the city.  

“I know exactly what it feels like to be a millennial in Spokane, in this economy and in this job market,” Schroll said. “I know exactly the troubles you’re going through, because they are the same troubles I’ve been going through since I graduated college.”

One of the three main policies that Schroll is focusing on throughout his campaign is addressing the homeless population in Spokane. According to Spokane’s municipal codes, an ordinance prohibiting people from sitting or lying down upon public sidewalks has been in effect for almost five years. Though the ordinance has been suspended from time to time depending on certain circumstances, Schroll hopes to not use this ordinance and implement other options.

“I believe criminalizing and targeting homeless individuals in our city, criminalizes homelessness as a whole,” Schroll said. “The best way to relieve that label of homelessness is to get people into housing. So, I would like to implement a housing-first, employment-second model to get the people off the streets and into centralized locations where we can address their underlying mental or physical healthcare needs.”

As a small business owner himself of a pet wellness company making hemp-derived CBD tinctures and working part time as a marketing coordinator for Flash’s Auto Body & Paint in Spokane, Schroll plans to implement a system that benefits local businesses as his second policy.

“I want to create an economic system that focuses on Spokane’s locally owned businesses, that breaks down barriers for their success,” Schroll said. “So that way these small local businesses can afford to pay their employees the living wage they deserve.”

Schroll says he chose to stay in Spokane because he realized how much Spokane has to offer. He felt that being fresh out of college, it gave him an opportunity to do something big. His third policy focuses on proving that Spokane can serve as place of opportunity for emerging graduates.

“I want to create an environment where our young local graduates from community colleges, universities and tech schools around here want to stay here in Spokane to invest their time and energy into the city,” Schroll said.

For more information on Schroll’s campaign refer to his website at chrisschroll.com.

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