The Birth to 25 Advisory Board Needs You!

This past April, the Pierce County Council passed Ordinance 2019-6 which established a 19-member Birth to 25 Advisory Board (B-25 Board) for Infant, Child, Youth, and Young Adult Development. The B-25 Board shall propose to the County Executive and County Council a long-range plan with policy, systems, and environmental change recommendations to ensure the successful development of infants, children, youth and young adults ages Birth to 25. The B-25 Board will also consider recommendations for seriously disabled up to age 25. The proposed long-range plan and policy recommendations shall consider and leverage current research, innovative and promising programs, as well as proven, evidence-based development strategies likely to be effective in Pierce County. The B-25 Board will sunset December 31, 2021 and all 19 appointed members will serve until the sunset date. As part of…
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Chambers Creek Regional Park- Central Meadow Study

Pierce County Parks and Recreation is conducting a feasibility study for an event stage in the Central Meadow at Chambers Creek Regional Park. Mark your calendars for the final open house for the feasibility study: Tuesday, August 6. Based on community feedback, Pierce County Parks and Recreation be presenting the preliminary results of the Stage Study and the findings from the analysis of traffic and parking management strategies. Open House Tuesday, August 6 6-8 p.m. Environmental Services Building 9850 - 64th St. W., University Place, WA 98467 For more information about this project and outreach please visit the Chambers Regional Park- Central Meadow Study. The Chambers Creek Regional Park - Central Meadow Stage Study is not a component of the proposed Chambers Bay resort development.
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Making Investments in Affordable Housing

Making Investments in Affordable Housing

Those of us in local government often look to the state for assistance in providing services to our residents. Counties have limited capacity to raise money for needs such as police, courts, jail, prosecutions, indigent defense, juvenile court, senior services, veteran services, roads, sewers, storm water runoff, parks, housing and homelessness services, and much more. People are being priced out of renting or buying a home, and it is becoming very apparent that affordable housing is a major concern for all our communities. The state has stepped-up by-passing SHB 1406 and has given those of us in local government a tool to help with the affordable housing crisis we face. All of us pay a sales and use tax on items we purchase with exception on food products. A portion…
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Respect for what we do

Respect for what we do

Recently, my husband and I watched, “On the Basis of Sex,” the story of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s (RBG) first precedent setting case on gender discrimination. RBG continued to work on cases that overturned 100 years of gender discrimination. At the time this case was discussed in the movie, there were 178 laws that discriminated on the basis of sex; laws that said that women were not allowed to work overtime, were not able to get a credit card in their name, could be fired for being pregnant, and absurdly, female hairstylists couldn’t cut men’s hair. It wasn’t until 1963, that the Equal Pay Act was passed, enacting the first piece of federal legislation prohibiting sex-based discrimination. Society back then was a different time for women. An average woman married in…
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Prenatal to 25 Advisory Commission for Child, Youth and Young Adult Development is a must!

Prenatal to 25 Advisory Commission for Child, Youth and Young Adult Development is a must!

Next Tuesday, Apr. 2, the Pierce County Council will have an opportunity to pass  Ordinance 2019-6. This ordinance would establish a prenatal to age 25 (P-25) advisory commission made up of parents and people that work with and for the children of Pierce County. I believe that you should know exactly what this ordinance is, what it isn’t and why we need it. I am also encouraging those of you who support this effort to act and tell your County Councilmember, comment on the legislation or attend and testify at the Tuesday, Apr. 2, 3:00 p.m. County Council meeting. The voices that support this effort need to be heard! What the P-25 commission is The P-25 Commission will explore and identify ways organizations and government serving our youth can work…
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The Future Of Our Children

The Future Of Our Children

Pierce County, a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. But what is it like to grow up in Pierce County? Is it a place where we value children … all children? Most of the children in Pierce County are doing well but I want to focus on the challenges facing many kids in our community. We have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the State. Nearly 20% of children under the age of 5 live in poverty, nearly half of the children in Pierce County are on free and reduced lunch, and about 500 children and youth are homeless. Pierce County has the highest number of dependency rates in the State with children being removed from their homes at record numbers. Although improving, our…
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Serving those, who have served us

It is not a surprise that our days at the County Council are filled with many meetings. Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to get invited to tour facilities that house programs we have funded. Staff and I recently had the opportunity to tour one of those facilities, the Betsy Ross Hall. I feel compelled to share with you the wonderful things this program does. Located on the grounds of the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting, Betsy Ross Hall is for women veterans. I had never been to the Soldiers home and as I drove onto the grounds, I felt a sense of calm. Maybe it was the beautiful day, or that the facility sits at the foot of Mt. Rainier, but I believe that this environment provides a wonderful place…
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Have a Voice

Last week, Auditor Julie Anderson presented a report to the Council on the recent primary election. There are approximately 500,000 registered voters in Pierce County. As of August 10, there was an estimated voter turnout of 33-34 percent turnout in Pierce County, compared to a State turnout of 38-39 percent. Our turnout needs to be better! Fascinating to me is how people have chosen to submit their ballots. This is the first year that pre-paid postage was provided for ballot returns. The funds to cover the postage came from the State and roughly 60 percent of voters took advantage of using the postal service to submit their ballot. I believe the voters will hope and expect this one-time special appropriation to continue with future elections. Over 72 percent of voters chose…
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Honoring Our Medicine Canoe Journey

Starting July 28 until Aug. 4, our community will be able to experience an outstanding event! A multitude of Native American Tribes from all over the west coast, including Canada and Alaska, will be arriving by canoe to the shores of Commencement Bay. The Puyallup Tribe will be welcoming over 100 canoes to celebrate and honor the water that sustains us. “We celebrate the theme of Honoring our Medicine. Our elders have always taught us that water is a powerful medicine—a life-giving force that sustains, heals, and protects us,” stated Puyallup Tribal Chairman, Bill Sterud. The journey gives the tribes an opportunity to honor and celebrate their shared bond. It allows for the children to learn and understand and protect ways, lands, and waters of their ancestors. The Puyallup Tribe…
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Pierce County Graduates

Ok, I am warning you…I am about to brag! Our granddaughter, Justice, whom is a graduate from Spanaway Lake High School,  graduated last Sunday from the University of Washington-Seattle, Foster School of Business in Accounting. She has a summer intern job with Price Waterhouse and then next fall will be attending UW to get her Master’s degree. We are extremely proud of her for her dedication to learning and her successes. Although Justice stands out in my mind, she is just an example of the many students that have also worked hard to achieve a degree or certifications in workforce training. They are all examples of what comes from our local education systems. In Pierce County we often hear about the need for us to have an educated and well-trained…
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