Serving the communities of Anderson, Ketron and McNeil islands, Parkland, Steilacoom, JBLM, and the cities of DuPont and Lakewood.
I was honored to be elected in November 2020 to serve as the District 6 Councilmember.
My peers selected me to serve as Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, and I am a member of other Council standing committees, including Public Safety and Economic and Infrastructure Development. Additionally, I was appointed as Council’s representative to numerous regional boards and commissions as well as the National Association of Counties Human Services & Education Committee. In 2022 I was appointed to the WA State Public Health Advisory Board and the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force.
Prior to becoming a Councilmember, I was a professional educator working with teenagers in several Pierce County school districts. After substitute teaching, I spent 10 years at Lochburn Middle School in the Clover Park School District, followed by 14 years in the Bethel School District at three different schools, ending my teaching career at Graham Kapowsin High School. My focus was science and technology.
I have lived in Parkland for almost 30 years and proudly represent the District 6 communities of DuPont, Steilacoom, Lakewood, JBLM, Parkland, Anderson, Ketron & McNeil islands and ultimately ALL of Pierce County.
I have been asked a couple times about cuts to the Sheriff's budget and want to take a minute to explain. The Executives budget shows an increase to the Sheriff's budget, including some new positions to support the work, investments in facilities, equipment and continuing our hiring bonuses. We continue to be underserved because we continue to have vacancies. The Council is committed to working to find other ways to support the work of our law enforcement officers, both on the streets of the county, investigating crimes and working in corrections. One of the areas that I hope to see further investment in, and will be working to find resources in is Remann Hall and our juvenile programs. If we can support youth that have made poor choices early in life, the outcome can be life altering, and hopefully keep the individuals out of the correction system in the future.
When asked about Human Services, and people thinking that we are spending tens of millions of local tax dollars on those experiencing homelessness; that simply isn't true. Our general fund is used to fund about 0.5% of the budget of our Human Services Department. Yet, there are hundreds of employees. This is because we have huge teams that do the work directly with seniors and those living with disabilities. The majority of the rest of the team is funded through state and federal programs that we over-see.
For those that continue to be frustrated with not seeing progress on those living on the streets, the visible homeless. Please remember that we help stabilize and find shelter for hundreds, but there are always hundreds more entering. This is the problem with not having enough affordable housing units. With housing costs rising due to increased profits desired at all levels, we simply cannot produce enough affordable housing. We finally have a funding source (Maureen Howard Affordable Housing Act) to build about 400 units a year, but we need thousands a year to catch up. Every unit will help and we are committed to this work.
Connect with Councilmember Hitchen
Posted on November 21, 2023
Posted on November 14, 2023
Posted on August 22, 2023
Posted on July 12, 2023
Posted on June 28, 2023
Posted on April 28, 2023
External Boards & Commissions
|Alliance for a Healthy South Sound Executive Committee||Executive Designee|
|Executive Board of Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (CJFJC)||Vice-Chair|
|Joint Determining Board||Member|
|Lodging Tax Advisory Board||Alternate|
|Performance Audit Committee||Member|
|Pierce County Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors||Member|
|Pierce County Integration and Oversight Board||Member|
|Pierce County Regional Council||Alternate|
|Pierce County Reserve Officers Board of Trustees||Alternate|
|Public Facilities District Board of Directors (Convention Center)||Member|
|Rainier Communications Commission||Member|
|Sewerage and/or Water General Plan Review Committee||Member|
|South Sound Military & Communities Partnership Elected Officials Council||Primary|
|Tacoma-Pierce County Health Board||Vice-Chair|
|Transportation Benefit District||Member|
|Washington State Association of Counties Board of Directors||Member|
|Washington State Association of Counties Legislative Steering Committee||Alternate|
|Washington State Association of Counties Federal Issues & Relations Committee||Member|
|Water Utility Coordinating Committee||Member|
|NACo Human Services and Education Committee||Member|
|State Public Health Advisory Board - Western WA||Member|
|WA State Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and People Task Force||Member|