Submitted by Julie Andrzejewski.
Pierce County Council needs more than a change of personalities. Under Republican leadership in the Executive office (4 years) and the majority on the Council for 16 years, Pierce County has dismally failed important leadership opportunities. Homelessness and lack of affordable housing have increased. People with mental and behavioral health problems have fewer resources for recovery. Traffic has become an everyday nightmare in too many areas. Inclusion, diversity, and equity have been an afterthought, ignored altogether, or in some areas blatant discrimination has been allowed to continue unabated. The care and concern for clean air, water, and conservation of forests and farmlands have been non-existent.
The continued Republican rejection of the tiny tax for mental health support is only the beginning of the list of problems left unsolved, unaddressed, and neglected. Instead, power, politics, and ridiculous personality clashes took up all the space. Pierce County should make support for our residents the priority, and use our location, growth, and resources well. To do this, we need a new vision with transparency and community input, collaborative working relationships, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and respect among leaders, working partners and businesses, committees, and employees. We need a Council and Executive taking actions to making our lives better, not allowing our county to fall further into despair and disrepair.
We need to elect people who are vetted and supported by environmental organizations, unions, grassroots community advocates, and businesses who care about community safety, clean energy and jobs. We want strong advocates who will work for healthcare and basic life supports for people in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic which will not be over soon. We need a new majority on the Council and a new Executive who will not hold meetings at times when the public is unavailable but who will encourage and listen to the concerns of the public and move to action on our behalf.
Jani Hitchen, Sarah Rumbaugh, Ryan Mello, and Larry Seaquist, each with strong commitments to the public good and environmental protection (not private profits or their own power and petty peeves) will bring this new vision and action to fruition! Compare the endorsements of these dedicated public servants with those of their Republican opponents. In an age when climate change is upon us and fires, smoke, and pollution are right here in Pierce County, which of these candidates will safeguard our homes and environment? Which express the clearest concern over deep listening and response to the needs of various communities, not just the needs of the elites? We’ve given the Republicans a chance – now we need a different path. Vote for Democrats for Pierce County!