Good morning neighbors,
While we dodged smoke almost all summer, this weekend was a reminder of how our air quality can impact the health of our friends, family, and neighbors. I spent time with an alumni group on the other side of the Narrows doing a service project on a campground, and many in our group had to reduce their activity or move inside. I hope you were able to stay safe and found ways to make it work. That however did not stop us that could from pulling invasive species like scotch broom, ivy, and tansy from the grounds and enjoying time together.
On Patriots Day, I hope you found a way to rest and maybe even reflect. I know many community groups paused and didn’t let the poor air quality stop them from making time to honor those lost. Whatever you were able to do this last weekend, I hope the heat and smoke did not impact your health. For those that must work or travel outside, these kinds of events can exacerbate already challenging times.
A Week Without Driving
To better understand those that must travel without a vehicle, I recently signed up to be part of the Week Without Driving Challenge. The Disability Mobility Initiative group challenged local leaders to take seven days off from driving. This initiative helps me as a policy maker spend a week in the shoes of those in our community that cannot drive. It is truly a change in perspective to learn what it’s like for the 25% of our community members who live in our county without access to a car.
This event will run from September 19t to 25 and will include leaders from across the state. You can read the Governor’s Proclamation here. I am thrilled to take part in this event. I truly believe that I will learn more by doing this #WeekWithoutDriving from September 19-25, 2022. This will give me firsthand experiences in the ways that our systems create barriers. I know we have more work to do, like the work we are currently doing to implement a Vision Zero Initiative and adopting polices that change the way we require roads to be built in our county.
You can learn more about my thoughts and challenges in my blog: The Hitchen Post.
Comprehensive Plan Update
This September you are invited to engage in discussions with residents about what is important in their community. The County will also consider the potential impacts of future growth and is seeking comments on what should be included in an environmental impact statement.
Those unable to attend this in person opportunity can engage in this important conversation through the project website. The website hosts a survey, a calendar of in person events, the ability to submit environmental review comments, and other information about the update. The public will have many opportunities during this multi-year project to provide input.
Update Topic Areas
Pierce County expects to address the following topics in the update:
- Affordable housing
- Responsible growth
- Health and equity
- Parks and open spaces
- Environment and sustainability
- Transportation and traffic
Pierce County is required by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to review the County’s Comprehensive Plan every 10 years and update where necessary. This is also known as a periodic review. Gaining insight from the people who live and work in Pierce County is an integral part of this update.
Be part of the conversation by providing written comments until Oct. 2, 2022, or check out the calendar of in person events happening throughout the county. You know the needs of your community best, so share your thoughts by taking this survey.
- Lakewood Resource Center Grand Opening: Saturday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy a Family Fun Fair at 11150 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW.
- Lakewood’s Fiesta de la Familia: Saturday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 7:45 p.m. Join the city of Lakewood at Colonial Plaza for food, music, dancing, art, and vendors.
- DuPont Fall Harvest Festival: Sunday, Sept. 18 from 12 to 4 p.m. stop by Clocktower Park for fun fall activities and historic displays and maneuvers by the Buffalo Soldiers.
- Job Fair by Pierce County Court Resource Center: Friday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This event is designed to help those with barriers to employment in our community find part time and full-time employment. You can register and learn more here.
Hoping your September has started off well. If you have some time next week and give the bus a try, or maybe walk or bike to a store or neighbor, it can be fun to try new things. For me, I am looking forward to experiencing the reality of many of my neighbors, as I believe it is one more way to be a more effective policy maker.