Community Updates from Council Member Kristina Walker

At Large Pos. 8 - Kristina Walker Header

The Final Proposed Budget will be Consider November 24th

Your Tacoma City Council has spent the last month reviewing the City Manager’s proposed 2021-2022 budget and working with City staff to adjust the budget to meet community needs. You can find the original budget presentation here, and you can also view the entire proposed budget on the City’s website. In the coming weeks, you’ll see the council bring forward amendments to close gaps and improve the budget before considering the final version for adoption on Nov. 24, 2020 at the regular Council Meeting. State law dictates that we must pass a balanced budget before the end of the year.

Note: the budget is a biennial budget (2021-2022) that sets the City's spending plan for the next two years, but there are opportunities to make adjustments at the end of 2021 that reflect changes in the economy and changing community needs. For this budget, we face a $40 million dollar General Fund shortfall due to COVID-19 impacts, which means we see cuts to programs and services to balance the budget.

However, since we began the budget process, we have learned that I-976 was deemed unconstitutional and that money collected through car tabs will still come to the city. This is allowing us readjust and bring back some items that were proposed to be cut.

Currently, we’re working on budget amendments that support:

  • Decreasing the impact to our library system
  • Restoring as much service as possible to the Tacoma Fire Department 
    • you can hear our discussion around this topic here. 
  • Supporting neighborhood planning projects

We continue to support a new Office of Community Safety, which will be developed over the next few months in partnership with the community through our Heal the Heart of Tacoma initiative. Shortly, we will be creating a community body to lead our transformation efforts. You can learn more here. 

It is not too late to let us know how you feel. You can always send me an email and the public will have the opportunity to speak at both first and second reading, Nov. 17 & 24 before we consider the final version on November 24, 2020 at the regular Council Meeting, starting at 5 PM.

Monthly Conversation Hours

I’d like to hear from you! These COVID-19 times have made it difficult to meet with folks and in an attempt to bridge the gap until we can meet in person, I have established monthly “office hours” with constituents. Join me for my monthly conversation hours with the community on Monday, Nov. 16 from 5-6 p.m. These events are your opportunity to talk with me about anything you’d like in a relaxed format. If you are interested in joining me this month email Bucoda Warren at for login details. 

Pierce Transit Leadership

I’m proud to have joined the Pierce Transit Commission this month. I join my colleagues Mayor Woodards and CM Conor McCarthy in representing Tacoma on the board and I can’t wait to support the great work of our local transit agency. Pierce Transit has done an amazing job of adapting to COVID-19 and making it safe for all people. At the same time, they’ve suffered income decreases due to COVID-19 and the decrease in sales tax.

Transit is a lifeline for many people and a vital ingredient to a livable city. I’m excited to work on the new Bus Rapid Transit project, to increase multi-modal access to transit routes, and to help the agency increase service so that all people can get around our city using transit.