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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Pierce CITY TAC-4 Council Dist. 4

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $46,014The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. he Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Kevin Grossman (NP) Community Developer and Commercial Broker

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    Catherine Ushka (NP) Communications

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (253) 370-7341
Town where you live Tacoma
Experience (300 characters max) President, Experience Tacoma; President and Designated Broker, Grossman Services, Inc.; Deputy Mayor, City of Shoreline; Vice Chair, Washington Affordable Housing Advisory Board; Bates College, President’s Advisory Board; Board President, Center for Human Services, President, Hilltop Business Assoc.
Roads - in District 4 there are many dozens of blocks that do not even have asphalt or gravel - they are compact dirt. The allocation of road funds is not transparent. Openness to Citizens as allies and sources of information would improve the outcomes of the investment in road repair and maintenance, getting the best overall results for the funds available. The opportunities of Citizens and Staff working collaborative are huge. What's needed to achieve this is an approach of collaboration and seeing Citizens as partners and a resource, not an impediment to be avoided. This applies to other departments, not just the roads team and public works. We can get better results and concurrently better community support for the City, and renewal of funding like the roads package, by WORKING TOGETHER FOR TACOMA.
First, we need to address it in it's real components. "Homelessness" is not a singular, homogeneous problem. Lumping it together as one thing is counterproductive to an effective discussion. Families need different approaches than single folks. Adults different than kids. Drug addicted and behavioral health challenged, a different set of interventions. Overlap? Of course. But if we approach it in some order and ensure effective, wrap around interventions to move people to self sufficiency in a segment by segment basis I believe we'll have better success. I hear a lot of compassion as I'm out talking with voters - with the caveat that the help has to be in the context of moving ahead, not just perpetuation of situations that created the homelessness. Structure and accountability - for the City, the service providers and the people being helped. Funding support from the Public comes with expectations that the investment will make a difference, not perpetuate a bad situation.
Our community is built on the efforts of those before us, and we owe them the respect and assistance to live a safe, secure and opportunity for a healthy and fulfilling life. I'm supportive of discounts and assistance programs for seniors, with greater subsidy and help for those on limited incomes. We need to use housing resources to ensure all low income seniors have a safe place to live. We currently are spending limited city funds designated for housing and economic development on city projects that 1) don't increase affordable housing and 2) compete directly with Tacoma and Pierce County private developers and, most importantly, 3) did not consider the impact the funds could have had under other scenarios such as partnering with established non-profit affordable (including senior) housing developers. Hundreds more families and seniors will be realized by simple best practices by the City if I'm elected and successful at getting this adopted.
We should help all people of disadvantaged backgrounds that want to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Access to education, especially job training and business skills for those entrepreneurial folks that want to start up new businesses. This is the energy and effort that grows communities and makes us a resilient City. The City energy should be on assisting people in being safe and being constructive parts of our collective communities. The City does not and should not be working to threaten or provide information on people who are local-law abiding citizens. Our already understaffed police should be focused on public safety and enforcement of local laws and the support of Tacomans living, working, playing and thriving in our community.
Concern about roads is, by about 20:1, the top concern of Citizens in District 4. Police staffing, especially the re-filling of open Community Liaison officer positions, and more proactive hiring processes that include diverse outreach, is a solid number 2 on the list. Other issues critical to our well being are: economic opportunity - we need to be proactive and regional in our work around this; economic equity - we need to be conscious and proactive in ensuring all Tacomans have opportunity for success for themselves and their families; regionalism - we will do better in District 4 as the entire South Sound does better, and as the City embraces this approach all of the Sound Sound, and Tacoma and District 4 residents, will benefit; health care, education and job training - the City needs to collaborate; arts and culture - collaborate and embrace!
Economic development strategies can provide the income to fund the roads and police needs, decrease household poverty, and provide economic security pathways for families and individuals working on improving their situation. If we embrace the businesses in Tacoma-Pierce County that can grow and add family wage (or better) jobs that are sustainable (financially and environmentally), it is the energy that supports the forward movement of most of the other goals and desires of the Community. The overarching issues is working together. Listening. Finding solutions out of the chaotic processes. Getting results to move our District and City forward - by WORKING TOGETHER FOR TACOMA.
I have had the pleasure of working with both Mayoral finalists and will work effectively with either. In Tacoma, we have not only a specifically elected Mayor, but also we have a City Manager form of government. So, the Mayor has substantial influence on agenda and positional authority. The Mayor's vote, however, is the same as the rest of the Council - and it takes 5 our of the 9 votes to move something forward. I have organizational experience and expertise that prepares me to work effectively as a member of the Council and, in that context, with the City Manager and Department leadership. As the Deputy Mayor of a 55,000 person city, I was effective and respected for listening, being a problem solver, and where differences arose, being a respectful and fair leader of committees and meetings - producing good results even out of difficult circumstances.
Mailing Address 4020 E K ST
TACOMA, WA 98404
Address 4020 E K ST
Phone (253) 579-3129
Email VoteCatherine@gmail.com
Town where you live Tacoma
Experience (300 characters max) Tacoma School Board Director & President elected 2009 and 2015. Joint Municipal Action Committee 2014- present; elected School Board Legislative Representative; Vice President, Tacoma Charter Review Committee 2014; Tacoma Human Services Commission 2006-2010; Chair of ENACT, 2014-2009; USNR 1998-2006
The Eastside and South End deserves their fair share of City resources. Broken sidewalks, potholes, and inadequate funding for Police and Fire are just some of the issues facing District #4. My first priority is to restore service and infrastructure for police and fire. I will advocate that District #4 get its fair share of federal, state and local funding for road maintenance and sidewalk repair.
I support rapid rehousing efforts. The City needs to do a better job communicating what it is doing while delivering effective change for all impacted by homelessness. We also need to focus on affordable housing by looking at zoning as well as tax deferrals to increase affordable housing options. Most urgently, we must address the opioid crisis that is tearing so many families apart. I support treatment options as well as more community liaison officers across our district.
Basic infrastructure, like fixing sidewalks, is especially important to our seniors. I’ve met with thousands of residents in District #4 at their door and I’ve seen firsthand the injuries (even broken bones!) due to poorly-maintained sidewalks. District #4 is home to one of Tacoma's two senior centers, we need to ensure that it remains open and services are expanded for all of our senior residents. I will also work to increase public transportation options to get seniors where they want to go.
I am concerned about the treatment of those detained at the local detention center as well as the transparency of what goes on there. Our Constitution is a reflection of our values and we don’t cast that document aside for convenience. While the city has limited authority, I will work with our Congressional and State delegation on this issue.
Public safety, jobs and economic growth, great schools, transportation solutions, and keeping housing affordable for all of our neighbors are the issues I’m running on. We also have a food desert in district #4, meaning there are no grocery stores in close distance for many residents.
Public safety is the City’s top priority, and that should be our first priority for reversing cuts. Response times for Fire and EMS are critical to saving lives, especially for seniors. I’m honored to have the endorsement of Tacoma Firefighters, IAFF Local 31.
I have a proven track record of working collaboratively as your elected School Board Member to get results, and I’m running to bring that innovation to city hall. I’m endorsed by Mayor Marilyn Strickland, as well as US Congressmen Denny Heck and Derek Kilmer; City Council Members Marty Campbell, Ryan Mello, Anders Ibsen, Conor McCarthy, Robert Thoms, and Lauren Walker Lee; County Council Members Rick Talbert, and Connie Ladenburg.

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