City council members will vote on adding fluoride to Spokane’s water in less than two weeks. That ticking clock is encouraging people to make their voices heard.
On Thursday, a group of people gathered in Riverfront Park for an anti-fluoride rally. Organizer Stefanie Howerton told KHQ they understand wanting to help the city’s collective health, but “we just feel that any prescription can’t be a one size fits all.”
Spokane City Council member Michael Cathcart met with the group and said he wants to get as much feedback as possible before the council vote. He’s still trying to determine if putting fluoride in the water is a safe option for Spokane.
“I’ve been looking at all kinds of studies. I’ll tell you, what’s frustrating to me is for every study that says it’s good, I find another one, from a reputable source, that says there are questions or perhaps it even is bad for some demographics and some populations,” Cathcart said.
He’s in good company when it comes to researching the issue.
Council member Kate Burke sent KHQ a statement saying, “I want kids and our community members to have healthy teeth. I am just still looking into the facts and data about putting it into our water stream and if this should be a vote of the people or council.”
Council member Lori Kinnear told KHQ in an email that she’s “still gathering information to make an informed decision.”
Some members already know exactly how they’ll vote. Council president Breean Beggs and council member Betsy Wilkerson said they’ll say yes because they see fluoridating the water as an investment in the future.
“Yes, I support it, because we’re not there yet for our entire community,” Wilkerson said. “For the folks who have dental care, they have good universal health care, they’ve been privileged. Yes, it’s working for them, but it’s not working for the rest of our community.
Council members said the water fluoridation vote is part of an emergency ordinance that will require five votes to pass and can’t be vetoed by the mayor. Council will vote on the issue on September 14.
*Original article online at https://fox28spokane.com/spokane-residents-hold-anti-fluoride-rally-as-city-council-voting-date-approaches/