Sally Jackson Part 2

With her children nearly all raised, Sally decided to run for 4th district Representative in  1982. “The reason I ran was because they were making a 10% budget cut in education and I’m all about the kids,” she said. “ I  ran with no money and still did amazingly well to get 48% of the vote.”

Party headquarters were so impressed they asked her to run again in the next election, promising to provide more backing. Again Sally narrowly lost in the predominately Republican 4th district. “I talked Ron into running in the next election and he hates politics,” Sally said. “ He had never run for anything and he still got 49% of the vote.”

“After that I gave up on running for office. I’m too much of a competitor to work that hard at something and lose,” she said, explaining that part of their campaigning efforts was to knock on every voter’s door throughout the Valley. Sally remained heavily involved in politics by heading the Spokane County Democrats for the next 6 years and then the 4thDistrict up until just a few months ago.

It is important to remember that Sally was also heavily involved in coaching, swimming lessons, running a business and serving as a child advocate for the juvenile court system. All of this and her Democratic party work would seem to have given her an overwhelming plate, but throughout the 90’s  Sal had room for at least one more portion

of passion: preserving the essence of the Valley.

For several years Sally and a group of lifelong Valley citizens worked to incorporate the Valley, only to have the voters reject their grassroot efforts. “We were just a group of old time Valley people who loved the Valley and wanted to preserve the rural flavor. If a person wanted a horse, they should be able to have one,” she said. “We knew that development was coming but we wanted make sure the essence of the Valley remained.”

So when a new group began it’s campaign to incorporate, which ultimately proved successful, Sally was ready to join in but quickly changed her mind after attending one of their first meetings. “When I saw what was going on, I said, ‘hey, this is horse of a different color’. I saw that there was big money involved and that this was all about making money from development and not preserving the essence of the Valley.

Not one to just let events take their coarse, Sally joined forces with many of the people who had worked for incorporation in the earlier campaigns to now fight against it. The new powers to be saw her as a force to be reckoned with and tried to win her approval.

“Paul Sandifer called me up and asked me to come see him at his office downtown at Metropolitan Life,” she said, explaining that she was busy and hated parking downtown. “I told him I wouldn’t make a special trip but that I would stop by the next time I had to go to court for the child advocacy program.” When she finally made it there, she was provided special parking.

“I go into his big office and he says, ‘ Sal, you need to quit opposing this new city thing.’ He said the Valley was the last place for development in the area,” she said.

“ I told him to take his money out to West Plains  and I also told him he could go straight to hell if he thought I’d go along with this b.s.. I actually used a lot worst words than that. I said to me the Valley is my home and it ought to be preserved but to you guys it is a money maker.”

As she left she told Sandifer she would continue to oppose their efforts and would never stop and she kept her word to this day. Shortly after the city was incorporated,she ran a successful petition drive that  gathered 8,000 signatures in 10 days to fight a raise for the new city’s employees. Then there was the unsuccessful disincorporation effort in 2005 and now there is the current effort.

“I have not done any of this alone. There are a lot of good people working on this,” she said. Sally went on to explain that many people, like her, are unhappy with the city hall’s handling of such issues as the revitalization of Sprague, the proposal to return the Appleway-Sprague couplet back into a two-way and the way concerned citizens are treated at public meetings.

“I’ve been told by several people that the people down there don’t listen and are arrogant. I won’t step foot in there. It’s a dog and pony show and that insults my intelligence,” said Sally, who never worries about candy coating her strong opinions.

To get the issue of disincorporation onto the ballot, 50% of the registered voters in the Valley must sign the petition. While they have dozens of volunteers who are finding people eager to sign when they find them at home, it is an uphill battle.“The success of this all depends on our volunteers. If they can get to everyone, we’ll get enough signatures,” she said. “ Dad and I have doorbelled this Valley 3 times. If we were younger we could do it ourselves if we had to.”


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