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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City of Tacoma’s Stability Site

There has been a great deal of focus on homelessness for a number of years and effort by government on how we can eliminate this problem. When we think of homelessness, more often than not we think of the people on the corner or in an encampment. Those of us in government often hear from our constituency demands to find a solution to this problem. The City of Tacoma is doing something about it. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the “Stability Site”, part of Tacoma’s strategy to work on homelessness. The site is actually tents within a larger tent. We met with staff inside of a fenced area but outside of the large tent. There were a number of trailer-type buildings including bathroom facilities, showers and laundry.…
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A Ray of Sunshine

[caption id="attachment_12214" align="alignleft" width="300"] 2018 Daffodil Princesses from District 4[/caption] About this time every year, the Council is honored to be visited by the Daffodil Princesses and I am always impressed. For those of us that grew up in this area, springtime is a time for daffodils and the Daffodil Parade. We have seen the Daffodil Princesses on the floats year after year in rain or shine waving to the crowd with their figure eight wave. These young women are selected by their high schools and serve as ambassadors for Pierce County. They are trained in servant leadership and learning about service to community. They go to senior centers to bring light and joy to the residents and to local schools to talk with students about goals. They are also learning…
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Pierce County’s Picture of Health: 2018 County Health Rankings

I found this article interesting and thought I would share with you. Cindan Gizzi works at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and uses data to tell compelling public health stories. The story below talks about the health of Pierce County residents which is important to us all! Pierce County’s Picture of Health: 2018 County Health Rankings by Cindan Gizzi One of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions is tricky jigsaw puzzles—a field of red tulips or a hundred cats that look alike. We spend days trying to finish it, and cheer when we place a key puzzle piece that sheds new light on the picture. As we put more and more pieces into place, the whole picture is finally revealed. Success! We can think of Pierce County’s health as a puzzle, too. Each…
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