An Open Letter to CMR

Dear Group,

A letter in response to recent scurrilous ads by CMR. Share widely.

 An Open Letter to Rep. McMorris Rodgers from Spokane Child Abuse and Prevention Experts and Community Leaders:

Together, we, the undersigned, represent decades of experience providing prevention and treatment services to eastern Washington families. We have provided extensive community service on the frontlines of child abuse prevention, post traumatic trauma treatment for all forms of family violence, including physical and sexual assault and abuse of children, pediatric healthcare, and related community and family services. 

We are dismayed and deeply disappointed to see television ads and printed campaign materials approved by Rep. McMorris Rodgers that falsely accuse Lisa Brown of endangering vulnerable children during her term as a State Senator in the 1990’s.

Lisa has a long record of advocacy and legislative leadership on the prevention of child abuse and sexual assault, including helping to organize the first “Take Back the Night” March in Spokane in the 1980’s to bring awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault.  Lisa worked in the legislature on many measures to safeguard women and families, and currently serves on the board of the YWCA in Spokane, which serves victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in our community.

“For over 20 years as a Spokane pediatrician, I was one of the only pediatricians to provide exams and testify in court for child abuse cases. Lisa Brown was always a consistent advocate for child safety throughout her time in the Washington State legislature, including sponsoring SB 5570 which made it a crime to communicate with a minor for ‘immoral purposes,’ and in 2005 supported ‘community protection zones’ which prohibit sex offenders from living within 880 feet ‘of the facilities or grounds of a public or private school.’ Lisa has worked hard to fund child abuse prevention work that helped nurture families so they could keep their own children safe.” -Deb Harper, MD, FAAP

Rep. McMorris Rodgers decision to distribute a provocative fearful image, mailed to tens of thousands of homes in eastern Washington, reinforces harmful stereotypes that do not correspond with the data on sexual assault perpetrators. Further, this image references racial stereotypes that reinforce explicit racism and implicit racial biases that have devastating consequences for people of color in our country.

For these reasons, we strongly condemn Rep. McMorris Rodgers campaign materials, and call on her first to publicly apologize to Lisa Brown, and second to cease using this dishonest and harmful campaign tactic immediately.

We expect the truth and civility from our elected representatives and we call on Rep. McMorris Rodgers to serve the best interests of the community and the people she represents.


Deb Harper, MD, FAAP

Susan Hammond, MSN, Former Director, Psychiatric Services, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center

Mary Ann Murphy, MS, Founding Director, Partners with Families & Children

Edward J. Averett, MS, (Clinical Psychology)

George Girvin, MD

Marilee Roloff, Former Director, Crosswalk Spokane/Volunteers of America

Pam Silverstein MD FACOG Spokane Obstetrician-Gynecologist

Dr. Kent Hoffman, Psychotherapist and Developmental Researcher

Lynne H. Williams, MD, Developmental Pediatrician, Child, Adolescent, Family Psychiatrist

David W. Moershel, MD, Pediatrician

Chris Crutcher, BA, Family Therapist & Author

Sally Winkle Ph.D., Former Director, Women and Gender Studies, EWU

Sandra Altshuler, Ph.D., L.I.C.S.W.

J. John Charyk, MD

Kim Connolley MSN, RN, Formert Nurse Manager, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Psychiatric Center For Children and Adolescents

Miriam Berkman, Ph.D.

Dan Weidert RN, BSN – 25 years in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry

Mary Noble M.D. FACP, Internal Medicine Physician

Hershel Zellman M.D. AAFP, Family Practice Physician

Keep to the high ground,