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LWVTPC Program of Work



On May 9, 2017, the Tacoma City Council passed Ordinance 28430, declaring a state of public health emergency regarding homelessness. On June 10, 2023 - when the 2023 annual meeting was held – Tacoma was in a continuous state of emergency for 2223 days.


Lack of affordable housing and increasing homelessness remain a crisis in Tacoma, Pierce County, the state of Washington, and throughout much of the nation. Since 2017, many bills that were supported by the League passed in legislative sessions and these have helped to address this crisis. But there is still much to be done. LWVTPC proposes to continue to monitor these issues and take action when appropriate based on existing positions during the 2023-24 program year.


Members agreed to continue advocating for sound homelessness and housing policies (including renter’s rights and eviction protection), investments in affordable/social housing, and supportive services during the 2023-24 program year.

During this program year, there have been presentations on this topic at Unit Meetings. See the Unit Meeting page for more information.

In March there was a presentation regarding the Tacoma/Lakewood/Pierce County Continuum of Care (CoC)proposed 5-year plan in anticipation of public comments.  See that presentation here. Comments will be accepted until April 5, 2024. Send to Cynthia Stewart, co-Chair, CoC.


LWVTPC originally approved undertaking a study on local journalism in 2019. The study was put on hold in 2020, and a revised study was taken up in 2021 under the title Media and Democracy, led by the study team of Rosemary Powers and Theresa  Power-Drutis.  This revised project identified the crisis in local news publication as a threat to democracy but revised the scope of the study to: 1) identifying a variety of local news outlets in Pierce county with attention to their breadth and depth of coverage of local issues; and 2) exploring what Pierce County residents think about their access to regular and accurate local news.  The team found a wide variety and quality in print and online sources claiming to cover local news, learned about promising local and hyper-local non-profit news ventures, and discovered widely divergent views in county residents’ definitions of local news and reliable sources of local news.


A report on the findings from this study was presented at the LWVTPC unit meetings of May 2023.  No consensus process was requested at that time. Rather, the team offered their report as evidence that could help shape our local League’s strategy in support of the new position on local journalism approved by the State Board on April 10, 2023.  This follows the approach to support for local news that was proposed at the December 2023 Program Planning meeting.  The State League position states in brief: “The League of Women Voters of Washington believes it is the responsibility of the government to provide support for conditions under which credible local journalism can survive and thrive.”   Further, and establishing a focused definition for action, “The League of Women Voters of Washington defines local news as accurate, in-depth coverage of government entities, including but not limited to, city councils, county councils, county boards of commissioners, health departments, schools, and school boards” (from website The remaining specific suggested strategies for promoting this new  state League position offer multiple opportunities for our local efforts. 


Members agreed that action for 2023-24 would be to promote the State League position.


At the Program Planning meeting in December 2021, defending democracy was emphasized as the most important work for the LWVTPC 2022-23 Program.  This was approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting in June 2022, in addition to continuing work on the 2021-22 Program:  Land Use Plans, Media & Democracy Study, Affordable Housing & Homelessness, Climate Change and Get-Out-the-Vote.

Defending Democracy Program of Work

  1. Continue and intensify the work League already does, including voter registration, get-out-the-vote, civics education in the high schools, ballot counting observation and Observer Corps reporting on local governance groups.
  2. Expand outreach efforts in traditionally under-represented populations in the County both in the work we already do and in the comprehensive planning work to come.
  3. Emphasize the use of a DEI lens in all of our work.
  4. Continue to educate our members and the public on issues related to application of adopted League positions, through regular unit meetings and community forums.
  5. Work with other organizations that share our goals to:
  • Address issues that threaten democracy, such as misuse of concepts like critical race theory.
  • Provide opportunities for people with a range of convictions to speak and be heard and that enhance respect, mutual understanding and civility and in which study and research is emphasized.
  • Examples include working with NAACP, Vibrant Schools and YMCA Bridge of Hope.


Each year the Board adopts goals for the coming year that help in prioritizing unit meeting programs, forums and other activities that are suggested throughout the year. Read this year's goals here.


A Land Use Committee will be formed to follow the County's comprehensive and community plan updates and advocate for protection of our natural resources, biodiversity and habitat; mitigate climate change; as well as promote our positions on affordable housing, park lands, sustainable transportation, and internet access. The scope includes:
  • Identify the comprehensive plans within Pierce County;
  • Review them to identify gaps and opportunities to advocate for;
  • Identify the schedule, process and opportunities for updates to advocate for;
  • Identify and establish working relationships with organizations to collaborate with; and
  • Advocate to revise and support comprehensive plans to promote our positions on the environment, affordable housing, climate change, park lands, transportation, and internet access (These are all specific positions that the LWVTPC has taken).
Read the entire scope of work here.


2022 Action on Housing and Homelessness:

Tacoma Home Ownership Disparity Study Presentation, 2/22.  This is background information about housing in Tacoma.

Letter to Pierce County Executive re: Safe Parking, April 21, 2022. This letter was sent to the Pierce County Executive to encourage the Executive to sign the ordinance passed by the County Council.  The Executive vetoed the ordinance.

Tacoma Planning Commission re: Home in Tacoma, April 30, 2022. The letter was sent to the Tacoma Planning Commission for their public hearing on Phase 2 of Home in Tacoma.



Bridge of Hope Facilitator Invitation

Bridge of Hope Facilitator Application



Washington Cares Act


Letter to Tacoma City Council re Ordinance 288331, October 11, 2022
Letter to Pierce County Council re: Proposed Resolution R2022-141, October 3, 2022
Letter to Pierce County Council re: affordable housing tax, December 13, 2022