TACOMA, Wash. – On September 15, the Tacoma City Council approved Resolution 40652, amending Rule 9 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure which addresses public comment and public forum. Resolution 40652 increases opportunities for public feedback to the Council, helping inform their policy decisions.
“My Council colleagues and I believe that input from the community members we serve is of vital importance to the public process,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Simply put, a deeply engaged community leads to better policymaking. As we take the actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across our community, we must do so with an eye for innovation. This includes enhancing the way we connect with and hear from those we serve. I am proud that Tacoma is a city where so many feel so passionately about the civil rights issues of our time and bravely participate in local, regional and national discussions on the toxicity of systemic racism and other injustices. We know that, as a city, we have much work to do and I hope everyone in our community will continue to hold their elected officials accountable, while participating in opportunities to engage as we work with one another to achieve meaningful change and progress.”
Resolution 40652 was co-sponsored by Mayor Victoria Woodards, At-Large Council Member Lillian Hunter and District 2 Council Member Robert Thoms.
Resolution 40652, approved as amended by the Council on September 15, does the following:
- It establishes a new virtual community event, Virtual Forum, which will take place the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 PM, or promptly following the adjournment of the regular Council meeting should it extend beyond 6 PM. Virtual Forum shall start September 22 and last as long as the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency and associated restrictions that have become necessary to curb the spread of the virus are in place. During Virtual Forum, items of discussion shall be limited to matters over which the City Council has jurisdiction.
- It restores verbal public comment at the beginning of each Council meeting for items on the agenda starting September 22.
- It formalizes the July 7 reinstatement, and July 14 return, of Community Forum on the second Tuesday of each month. During Community Forum, items of discussion shall continue to be limited to matters over which the City Council has jurisdiction.
While the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency and associated restrictions that have become necessary to curb the spread of the virus are in place:
- Those who would like to provide verbal public comment for items on the agenda may do so by pressing the “raise hand” button near the bottom of their Zoom window or *9 on their phone. Their name or last four digits of their phone number will then be called out when it is their turn to speak.
- Those who would prefer to provide written public comment for items on the agenda may continue to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org on Tuesday before 4 PM prior to that evening’s City Council meeting. Comments will then be compiled and sent to the City Council, and also posted at cityoftacoma.org/writtencomments.