Deputy Mayor Kristina Walker - Community Updates from City Council

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Deputy Mayor Kristina Walker - January 2023

Greetings! I'm honored and excited to serve the City of Tacoma as Deputy Mayor in 2023. As Deputy Mayor, you'll see more of me out and about representing the City at events and in the community, and I'll also lead our City Council meetings if the Mayor is out. You'll also notice that the Deputy Mayor makes all the motions at Council meetings.
As I take on this new role, I remain committed to serving the community in the capacity I have for the last three years and am delighted to act in a leadership role as Chair of our Infrastructure, Planning, and Sustainability Committee and Chair of the Joint Municipal Action Committee (JMAC). I'll continue to serve on the Government Performance and Finance Committee, Puget Sound Regional Council's Transportation Policy Board and Executive Board, Tideflats Subarea Planning Steering Committee, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit, and the Parks Policy Board. I also look forward to staying connected with local government colleagues around the country as I serve on the National League of Cities Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee.
Through all this work, my priority is serving the people of Tacoma. Please don't hesitate to reach out when you have questions, concerns, or ideas at or (253) 312-7734.


Walker signature


2022 Year in Review

Speed Limit Reduction

Creating Safer Streets

As part of Vision Zero, which commits the City of Tacoma to having zero deaths on our roadways by 2035, the Council voted to reduce the default speed limit on residential streets from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. This ordinance also lowers the speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour on arterial streets in four Neighborhood Business Districts. Speed reduction is one proven strategy to eliminate fatal and severe injury crashes as part of Vision Zero. Lowering speeds improves safety by reducing the frequency and severity of crashes, enhancing visibility, providing additional time for drivers to stop, and reducing the potential for fatal or severe injuries by lowering impact forces.

Kids Ride Free on Transit

Thanks to the Washington State Legislature, as of September 1, 2022, anyone under the age of 19 can ride free on transit in Washington state. As a member of both the Pierce and Sound Transit Boards, it was an honor to vote yes to change our fare structure to improve access through Kids Ride Free, which will be life-changing for many, many people in Tacoma, Pierce County and Washington state.

The Call We Carry

Our very own Tacoma Fire Department produced and released a film, The Call We Carry, that follows the journeys of 4 Tacoma Firefighters as they share their stories of pain, sacrifice, and resilience during an unprecedented call volume increase. The film provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of those who put it all on the line daily. It has become a national resource for several fire service workers and first responders as it gives voice to the stigmas surrounding mental health. Our City Council applauds the efforts of the Tacoma Fire Department to bring vulnerable, truthful, and authentic awareness to mental health issues facing our first responders.

Tacoma City Council and Tacoma Fire Department

Tacoma Creates Supports the Arts

I have been proud to support the work of Tacoma Creates since its inception and am thrilled to see all the art that has been funded in our community this year. Tacoma Creates is a voter-approved initiative to increase access to arts, culture, heritage, and science experiences throughout Tacoma by reducing barriers to access and expanding offerings, particularly for underserved youth.

Fifty-one organizations were funded in the second year of Washington’s first cultural access program. The distribution of $4.2 million during the 2021-2022 program year provided essential support for those 51 organizations to develop engaging programming, continue to serve and uplift the community, and keep creatives and cultural workers employed in Tacoma. More than 1,000 cultural programs or events were provided for the community.

To learn more or to apply for funding visit

Office of Equity and Human Rights

Last December, the Council passed Ordinance 28866 which codifies the City’s Office of Equity & Human Rights as well as the responsibilities of the City Manager to ensure continuation of this work in the years to come. Learn more here. We proudly support their ongoing work to achieve equity in our service to community.

Looking Ahead

In November, we passed the 2023-2024 Biennial Budget which centers affordable housing and homelessness, and community safety (including alternative response). It also includes measures to combat climate change. Through these three key areas, we will make the most significant difference in the lives of Tacomans.

Housing Hilltop Deputy Mayor Walker

Affordable Housing and Homelessness 

This continues to be a priority for me and my Council colleagues. We dedicated more than $101 million in the 2023-2024 budget to invest in affordable housing and homelessness in Tacoma to fund:

New affordable housing units, Down payment assistance, Tenant relocation assistance, Streamlined permitting for housing projects, Existing and expanding shelter capacity, New innovations like safe parking, 100 beds of permanent shelter capacity through the Tacoma Rescue Mission, Two more HEAL team members...And more!

TPD Safe Place Sticker

Community Safety and Alternative Response 

Making sure that everyone in Tacoma feels safe is imperative to our future. While we need to focus on violent crimes, we remain committed to a multifaceted approach that looks at root causes and systemic issues behind the statistics we see. Our budget invests $372 million in community safety to fund:
• Emergency response services in Police and Fire
• Safe buildings and neighborhoods
• Proactive and long-term resolution of community safety issues
• Infrastructure safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists
• Crime analysis and improved forensics services

Components of the City’s alternative response stretch across priority areas of community safety, health, and belief and trust. Our budget supports these holistic efforts by:
• Expanding the Homeless Engagement Alternatives Liaison (HEAL) team.
• Funding a new Behavioral Health Response Unit to respond to individuals experiencing behavioral health crisis.
• Developing an unarmed, civilian Community Service Officer response to nonviolent, low risk calls for service.
• Shifting from a security or law enforcement response to an approach centered on resource connection and support by funding two positions for the library’s pilot: a social worker and a support person to meet community members experiencing mental health, housing, and drug crisis issues where they are.

Additionally, our Police Department launched a new program. The Tacoma Police Department’s Safe Place Initiative is a partnership and a commitment to fight hate in our community that provides resources to individuals and businesses while showing our support for all community members.

Deputy Mayor Walker at Madison Elementary School Planting Trees

Climate Action Plan & Trees 

An environmentally healthy city allows its people to be vibrant. In addition to investing more than $1 million in our Climate Action Plan strategies which includes establishing a community tree planting program, I never cease working on policies that support environmental justice and public health.

Here are a few things we have funded in this biennium: Wildfire Smoke Filter Fans for At Risk Residents, Waste Prevention Education Program, developing a Community Informed Climate Emergency Communication Plan, Sea Level Rise Master Plan Grant, improving Neighborhood Cooling and Air Quality Relief Centers Access.

The City of Tacoma's Priorities for the Legislative Agenda

The City is actively tracking many bills at the state level that support or move forward our strategic priorities: Housing & Homelessness, Community Safety, Health, Livable Wage Jobs, Access to Services & Facilities, and Belief & Trust. It is a big year in Olympia for housing and I’ve been honored to speak on behalf of the City on many of these issues. The Council will receive regular updates on how these state bills impact our local work. The Council’s legislative agenda can be found on our website.

City Resources

COVID-19 Resources

We continue to work with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to support Tacoma residents and businesses in their ongoing efforts to recover from the pandemic. For more information about COVID-19, please visit