We appreciate the work of the Center for Justice. They have provide us with legal advise a few times. However, I believe that there most important work is advising those with felony convictions about their voting rights.


Dear Justice Family Member,

Thank you for making 2017 possible. We get a bit sentimental around this time each year when we look back on all we have accomplished, and all there is to do. All we’ve done is thanks to your support. You’ve given us cash, and checks, and credit cards, and pledges – oh my! You’ve shown up to council meetings when we asked you to push for housing. You’ve signed petitions to protect your river. You got up really early and showed up to Rise for Justice to celebrate the work of the Center for Justice in the community.  You’ve volunteered your time, your expertise, and your voice, to make sure our mission moves forward: to help those who have suffered the most and are given the least. Thank you!
Will you indulge us as we look back at the year you made possible?

Our Drivers Relicensing Director, Virla, has been busier than ever! As of November 1st she has relicensed 324 people. Your donations make it possible for her to continue this program. Her strong ties to the community led to our continued partnerships with the City of Spokane, as well as a new partnership with the Associated General Contractors. The AGC has a great reentry program dedicated to training formerly incarcerated individuals. We assist those individuals in regaining their licenses – an important step on the road to a successful reentry. We’re hoping you can find it in your heart to keep this program thriving with your kind donations.

Speaking of reentry, this year we welcomed Claire as a staff attorney directing our program helping individuals navigate their way through the legal system as they struggle to address barriers to getting back on their feet. She came on board and jumped right in restarting our walk-in legal clinic – Justice Night – and worked with the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office to quash over 300 warrants issued solely because people could not afford to pay their legal financial obligations. She even found time to coordinate with Gonzaga Law School and Team Child to expand the existing Juvenile Records Sealing Clinic to include adult record vacation. Will you help Claire make this program sustainable?

We welcomed our new housing attorney, Hilary, to address the lack of access to low income housing in Spokane. Working alongside homeless advocates, service providers, and the City of Spokane, she identified a huge problem: when individuals are served an eviction notice they generally don’t have a lawyer. Well, she’s done something about that! In November, we will open a housing clinic for individuals served with eviction notices. We’re so excited for what this clinic will do in the New Year and hope you consider funding it for the foreseeable future.

Your Spokane River is the life and energy of our community. Jerry and Jule continue pouring their hearts and souls into the effort to protect it. We’ve drawn a line in the sand to say that this is the year we stand up for your rights to clean water without compromise. That’s why our meetings with the City have become a little more frequent and our hours at the office reading through briefs and studies have become a little longer. We’re not okay with any organization or agency who would seek to damage your river. We know you’re okay with us getting into hot water from time to time if it means your water is clean and your access to it is protected.  The River is life, and we protect it as such.

We don’t always win every dispute in the struggle for justice, so when we get a “W”, we celebrate it. We were honored and humbled to represent several groups in their effort to keep an unjust initiative, Proposition 1, off this November’s ballot. If allowed on the ballot and passed, it would have allowed any city employee to inquire about the immigration status of any person. We took the architects of this initiative – an anti-immigrant, Westside group – to court and won. The groups we met in this work against Prop 1 are forever in our justice family and we are grateful we were able to help them.

Of course, there have been so many moments in 2017 to look back on with happiness, but 2018 will present some challenges. As many of you know, this is the year where we made the leap from primarily being funded through the support of our founder, Jim Sheehan, to relying on support from the community. You have all stepped up for community lawyering in a big way. Thank you. We still have a ways to go. We are asking once again this year to reach deep into the part of your soul that sees injustice and says, “Stop, this isn’t right.”

Please help us do more than we can imagine in 2018. If you plan on giving $50, can you stretch it to $75? That $25 dollar difference means stability for our clients. If your number is $100, can you pledge to give monthly at a $15 dollar level? Every bit helps!
Once again, our friends at Neighborhood Alliance of Spokane County have pledged to match all gifts up to $15,000 received by December 31st!


Family helps family. Community lawyering is about building a family within the community and taking care of each other. Your donation today means a driver’s license in hand tomorrow for someone trying to get back to work. It means an eviction halted for a low income family. It means a victory in court to allow all residents to feel welcome in their community. Let’s keep going. We may never finish, but we relentlessly work for justice because it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for helping us through 2017. We look forward to all the challenges in 2018.Best,

Rick Eichstaedt
Your Justice Family Community Lawyer
The Center’s Executive Director

Please see Spokaneprops for more information about local propositions, measures, and levies.