Good day neighbors,
Wishing you and your family a happy new year. Hoping you found time to refresh and recharge. I know the snow was a positive and negative in my world. Negative because I had family cancel a visit, but positive because I had time to get a few projects done around the house. I am excited for 2022 and what is to come!
What is new in ‘22
I am eager to start this year with a strong understanding of how things work at the county. This time last year there were many things that I was just beginning to understand, like who to call with questions or even minor things like how to make copies. These are simple things, but as a Councilmember there were so many details that it took a couple months to get settled.
This year I plan to continue increasing community engagement, including hosting virtual round tables. I want to engage with the community on several topics and will work on these as we move forward:
- Military families and Veteran support.
- Work Force Development with a focus on 16- to 25-year-olds.
- Looking for gaps and engaging in dialog about what kind of activity/opportunities are missing in the 6th District.
There are always more topics to dive into, but these were some of the priorities I heard from community members in 2021 that I did not have a chance to take action on. If you have an area of interest, please reach out.
Learning this Winter
There are many moving pieces contributing to climate change, including our food system. Pierce County is hosting a Winter Sustainable Solutions Series with a focus on “Food and Our Changing Climate”. The county is offering two FREE virtual classes and they are appropriate for all ages. They are designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to reduce the ecological footprint you make locally. Register for:
For those who are educators, we have a partnership with Tacoma that offers professional development specifically to educators. If you are an educator, or know one, please share this as there are some dynamic and locally relevant programs that will expand the knowledge base and spread to the classroom. You can sign up here: STEAM Education for Climate Literacy-Registration
Winter Weather Response
I want to publicly thank the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, our Human Services Department and the many community members that make up the Tacoma-Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness that met numerous times at the end of December to collaborate and, in the end, save lives. They opened multiple overnight shelters to get people off the street because “just warming up” wasn’t going to work with the prolonged sub-freezing temperatures we experienced.
We even opened a portion of Sprinker Recreation Center for use and many places of worship and community spaces were part of a network that opened their doors to bring in our unhoused neighbors.
I also want to thank the many staff that make up the powerhouse behind the plowing and clearing of our roads during inclement weather. Though they have few staff, the main roads were often cleared and cared for making them easy to traverse if you had to leave home. Many people were frustrated because side roads and neighborhoods were not plowed. Like other industries facing staffing shortages, we do not have enough drivers at this time, and there are only so many hours a person can work. We had crews running 24 hours a day and with the amount of snow that fell and the sub-freezing weather that stayed for multiple days, they did a phenomenal job. I know many of our city partners were out in force with their crews as well.
Hopefully you found some fun ways to play and enjoy the snow. I stayed close to home and enjoyed walking with my dog Dexter around Parkland. While outside I heard many kids playing – and some adults too.