Summer Updates from Deputy Mayor Kristina Walker

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Hello Tacoma!  

I hope you are all enjoying summertime and finding some fun ways to stay cool out there. I have lots of exciting news to share with you, including updates on the City Council's efforts to enhance our Rental Housing Code, our work to further advance Home in Tacoma, and my recent activities to deepen ties with our sister city in China. It has been wonderful seeing many of you out at some great events this summer, including our fantastic Pride festivities. 

Come have a cup of coffee (or tea!) with me! I'll be at the Moore Public Library (215 S. 56th St.) on Saturday, August 19, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM to chat with community members. I hope to see you there and to have a chance to answer your questions and hear your perspective on our city! 



We want to hear from YOU! 

Tidy-Up Tacoma: From our neighborhoods and parks to the Thea Foss Waterway, Tacoma has a proud history of cleaning up our public spaces so that they can be enjoyed by residents and visitors. I routinely hear from residents that they would like to see the City enhance services that support clean and healthy neighborhoods. In response, City Council approved a new local excise tax on solid waste services as part of the 2023-2024 biennial budget and it went into effect in April. This tax will fund and expand community cleanup programs, like Tidy-Up Tacoma, that were previously funded with one-time money from the American Rescue Plan Act and other City funds. 

Tell us how and where the Tidy-Up Tacoma work crew should increase scheduled clean-up and maintenance by September 10, 2023 for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.


Participatory Budgeting: Voting is also open now to select one project to receive $1,000,000 in East Tacoma! Voting will run now through September 2023. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process is which a community decides how to spend a portion of their government's budget. The City of Tacoma has set aside $1,000,000 for East Tacoma. After collecting over 1,000 ideas from you and your neighbors, community leaders took the four most popular ideas and now it is your turn to vote on the idea you support!

Check out our new Open Data website! 

The City of Tacoma has launched Tacoma Open Data at The open data portal is designed to make it easier for people to access data from the City without legal restrictions on use or reuse. Tacoma Open Data currently provides access to 50 datasets, with additional datasets projected to be added in the coming months. 

This project is so important for our city and this type of transparency is key to building greater trust in our public institutions and ensuring residents believe they can have a positive impact on our community. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think! 


Celebrating Pride

I was thrilled to be able to celebrate Pride Month with everyone and share my commitment to ensuring everyone in Tacoma feels welcome and valued. I had the pleasure of helping to raise the Pride flag above the Tacoma Municipal Building this year in support of the City’s commitment to taking a stand against discrimination and hate.

I was also excited to be a part of the Big Hat Brunch fundraiser for the Oasis Youth Center, Pierce County’s only LGBTQ+ youth center. Our community benefits greatly from their undaunted efforts to provide a safe space for queer and questioning youth to learn, connect, and thrive.


Rental Housing Code Updates 

I have spent the past several months working closely Mayor Victoria Woodards, my fellow City Council members, City staff, and various stakeholders in Tacoma to finalize a number of changes and new regulations for our Rental Housing Code. Our updates went into effect on July 24, including regulations strengthening requirements around notices to increase rent, shared housing standards, standardized tenant screening criteria, standards for fees and deposits, and much more. You can find all the elements included in Amended Substitute Ordinance 28894 here: Amended Substitute Ordinance 28894 Effective July 24, 2023 - City of Tacoma.

More information on Tacoma’s Rental Housing Code, as well as information on events and other opportunities to learn more, can be found at


Sustainability in Tacoma

As many of you know, one of my great passions and key missions as Deputy Mayor is to advance efforts to protect our environment and ensure that Tacoma becomes a leader in sustainability. To celebrate bike month, Mayor Victoria Woodards and I rode our bikes into work together!

Earlier this summer, I also had the joy of welcoming Tacoma’s new Climate Leadership Cohort! Made up of frontline community members, the Climate Leadership Cohort will learn about local climate change impacts, emissions sources, and solutions through a social justice lens, as well as civic engagement strategies and tools to navigate local public decision-making processes. Frontline community members include those that have been historically underrepresented and underserved.

I'm looking forward to the great work this group will do in the months ahead!


Kicking Off Phase 2 for Home in Tacoma

Our community’s housing needs are substantial. We need to get housing right if we want to ensure Tacoma is a safe and thriving economic, cultural, and social center in the years ahead. Home In Tacoma is the City’s multi-year effort to update Tacoma’s residential zoning to increase housing supply, choice and affordability.

I know many of you came out to hear more from the City about Home in Tacoma Phase Two during our open house events this summer. It has been great to get to chat with so many of you and listen to you share what you love about your neighborhoods and what you hope to see in the future as our city continues to grow. In total, we heard from more than 1,000 community members about their ideas on Home in Tacoma! If you did not have a chance to share your input, you can still do so through our Home in Tacoma Engagement Form.    

Home in Tacoma is part of the City’s Affordable Housing Action Strategy (AHAS), which is a citywide effort to address Tacoma’s housing affordability crisis. I am particularly focused on this topic and we have developed 27 strategic actions aimed to create affordable housing, reduce or eliminate housing displacement and homelessness, and stabilize housing for families in Tacoma through policies, protections, and development incentives. For more information about AHAS, visit:


Welcoming National League of Cities to Tacoma! 

Mayor Victoria Woodards and I, along with other Council Members and City officials, welcomed about 300 leaders from cities around the country to Tacoma in July for the National League of Cities’ Summer Board and Leadership meeting. We are thrilled to have Mayor Woodards serving as the 2023 National League of Cities President. I had a great time leading our Tacoma mobility and sustainability tour, showcasing all of Tacoma's great work on transit and safe streets in our beautiful city! 

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Sister Cities: Fuzhou, China

Tacoma is incredibly lucky to have a number of Sister Cities around the globe, including Fuzhou, China. I traveled to Fuzhou in late June to participate in the Bond with Kuliang: 2023 CHINA-U.S. People-to-People Friendship Forum and was able to help solidify our ties with Fuzhou and Fujian Province officials.

Our relationship with Fuzhou provides so many great mutual benefits, including a variety of cultural, educational, and sports exchanges, along with economic cooperation and trade. During the COVID pandemic, Tacoma and Fuzhou exchanged masks and other Personal Protective Equipment when each of us needed it the most.