TACOMA, Wash. – In these historic times, I often reflect upon what a tremendous honor and privilege it is to serve Tacoma as a member of the City Council. Not only do we have an exceptionally engaged community, we have a forward-thinking community as well.
Our community members recognize the gravity of the issues we face in Tacoma and across our nation – including homelessness, population growth, housing affordability, crime, infrastructure, traffic, economic development, transit, education and more. I am proud that, despite the restrictions that have become necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19 across Washington state, our levels of community engagement in Tacoma have far exceeded what we’ve seen in previous years. This year, as a part of our biennial budget process, we gathered approximately 3,200 budget-related surveys and more than 850 balanced budget simulations representing a cross-section of Tacoma that are in alignment with feedback gathered in our broader community survey.
What has been brought to light is that our community members want to see transformative change and a reimagining of the way the City of Tacoma delivers vital services. Our community members also want to raise levels of investment in areas that specifically address the systemic inequities that have harmed generations of Black and Brown community members.
I have met with community members across my district and heard their cries for justice, as well as members of our local police and fire departments who have expressed their readiness and willingness to achieve true progress. I am truly grateful and thankful for the Tacoma community.
I want Tacoma to know that I, along with the Mayor and my Council colleagues, are indeed listening and ready to do the hard work that needs to be done as we dive into robust community conversations, deeper analysis and important policy deliberations to realize our community’s vision of what Tacoma could and should be.
As a first area of priority, we are focusing on policing in Tacoma. The City of Tacoma has engaged 21st Century Policing Solutions to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our police department and provide strategic recommendations. I look forward to learning more and implementing the steps necessary to move Tacoma forward.
More information about the City’s transformation efforts is available at cityoftacoma.org/transform.