Meet Mike Tedesco
Born and Raised in Spokane
Expert in All Things Cities
Tedesco is passionate about making Spokane an even better city, a 21st century city, where people and business can prosper.
Tedesco’s Boyhood Homes
Growing up in Spokane and exploring our many neighborhoods is what motivated me to devote my life to the study of cities, how to make them better, and understanding what makes them worse. I know what to do and what not to do to build a better Spokane.
That first house is where my Grandma and Grandpa lived, just off Market and Wellesley in Hillyard. I used to help my dad hang storm windows there in the fall. My Grandpa would give us kids $5 gift certificates to McDonald’s on our birthdays, which was all that was needed to make us feel like kings for a day.
The second house is where I was born, smack in the middle of Felony Flats on Broadway, back before it was cool.
Some of you might remember the old Cataldo Primary School near Sacred Heart Catholic Church. That’s where I spent the heart and soul of my childhood, playing in those old woods on that old hill. We lived at about 9th and Sherman.
Then we moved to about 12th and Fiske, that’s the fourth house. I would religiously shoot hoops at Franklin Elementary School every day. I knew every 10 to 15 year old in a three mile radius.
Then my folks split, and my Mom and little sister and I ended up on 22nd and Madison. It was great living in the heart and soul of the South Hill.
My dad and my brother and me lived in an apartment when I started at Lewis and Clark. I was pleased with living there because I could walk to school and walk to my job at Dick’s, which I started when I was 15. Hardest job I ever had.
Finally, I ended up on Gordon, a little taste of the north side, and finished up high school.
Today, call it coincidence, I live on Gordon again, in a great brick cottage near Audubon Park. One of my favorite pastimes is having an IPA or two at the Flying Goat and watching the Seahawks or Gonzaga do their thing.
My first job was at Dick’s Hamburgers when I was 15.
Few things in life are better than a Whammy dipped in tartar.
I graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1997.
It also happens to be where I met my future wife.
Then I graduated with a degree in Geography from the University of Idaho.
My favorite pass time was playing ping pong at John’s Alley.
In 2005, I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
That’s me with my wife, Caitlin.
My first job out of college was Community Development Director for the tiny town of South Fork, Colorado, located 8,200 feet above sea level.
That’s me with my daughter, Madelyn.
At the age of 27, I became the Executive Director of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority in Pueblo, Colorado.
Whereby I attracted real investments, with real jobs, and helped an old steel town bounce back.
At 32, I started working for the Puget Sound Attractions Council — the voice of all of Seattle’s premier destination attractions.
Ever tried convincing 32 competitors what their shared values are? I have.
At 33, I was hired to run the Downtown Spokane Partnership.
But I was fired a year later for spooking the good ‘ol boy system, upsetting the order of things, and challenging the status quo. All in a good day’s work.
In early 2014, I started working for the Spokane Tribe of Indians as their Planning and Economic Development Director.
There’s a reason why it’s called the City of Spokane, and that reason has taught me about resilience and trusting your heart.