Trapped

Trapped

Executive
Did you know that we live in one of the worst places in the nation for human trafficking?  Due to our proximity to an international airport, JBLM, I-5, and the Port, the state of Washington is the second worst state and Tacoma is seventh worst city on the list of where traffickers find and exploit victims. On any given day, between 300 and 500 people - some as young as 11 years old - are trafficked in the Puget Sound area for labor or sex.  I admit I was shocked and disgusted to learn the details of how trafficking is devastating people in Pierce County. January is Anti-Human Trafficking Month and we’ve created a series of social posts and ads to raise awareness for young people, provide resources for help,…
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Umoja

Umoja

Executive
    I learned a new word – from a different culture – reflecting an important value that is critically needed in our community, country and world. Everywhere I go, I talk with people who are tired, frustrated and, frankly, cranky.  Two years of COVID and the associated loss, uncertainty and stress, have many in our community on edge. So, as I was looking forward to the holiday honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I found myself looking back at the winter holiday season just concluded.  Part of the Kwanzaa tradition focuses on umoja, or unity.  Umoja is a Swahili word and represents the first of the Seven Principles that are celebrated during Kwanzaa each December. I mention this because as I look at our nation, and even our…
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Let’s chat

Let’s chat

Executive
It has been a wild two weeks for many of our County colleagues.  Getting snow off miles of our county roads and protecting our unhoused community from subfreezing temperatures took the urgent efforts of many in our Planning & Public Works, Emergency Management and Human Services Departments. And just as the snow was clearing, Omicron and other factors caused a spike in demand of COVID tests.  Our Department of Emergency Management (DEM) team pivoted, expanding and opening new testing sites to serve our community. Despite continuous rain yesterday and high winds today, our DEM staff, augmented by volunteers from other County departments, will have tested over 10,000 people at our mass testing sites this week.  And now the warming temperatures and rain have us watching our rivers carefully and responding…
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