i7 Secret Sweetheart Deal language being deleted this week by City Council

Tacoma Citizen Initiative 7, the 2017 water protection petition filed last month by Save Tacoma Water is going to become law without even the need to collect signatures. The repealing of Subsection 12.10.400 in the municipal code gets rid of the secret sweetheart deal language Initiative 7. Two weeks ago, a unanimous vote by the Tacoma Public Utilities Board moved this to the city council. The Tacoma City Council is expected to pass a resolution. Good job to all who worked on Initiative 7 as this is a big win for the community and STW.

With that matter taken care of, STW has shifted energy towards eliminating the term limit loophole in the Tacoma City Charter.

Those opposed to STW (the political class around town and both newspapers), are asking STW what term limits have to do with water.

Here is part of what will be printed this week-end in the Tacoma News Tribune, “Preserving Tacoma term limits provides for rotation of elected officials and opportunities for new people, new ideas and new directions. Evidence of a need for new leadership are the crowds of people filling public meetings to protest the methanol refinery and advocating for a safe port and community without a dangerous LNG plant. When career politicians stay in office for more than eight years, ideas like LNG begin to take hold as politicians begin favoring corporations over the interests of residents and voters.”

STW is just one of the groups supporting the term limit effort, Tacoma Direct Action just endorsed and we expect other groups and individuals to endorse soon. If you know of a business, organization or individual (yourself) that will endorse, please email STW and we will be sure the endorsement list is updated.

Initiative 8, the term limit initiative, is actually a charter change, which requires a huge number of signatures.

12,794 signatures from registered Tacoma voters are needed, but the goal is to collect 17,000, just to be sure we have enough. This is a daunting task that can be accomplished. It will take your time and money. We hope you will consider helping on this very important initiative to protect our water.

The text of Initiative 8 is modeled after Pierce County’s term limit language which is simple, direct and fixes the loophole in just 57 words. Here it is (text in brackets is the current language and the underlined text is the new term limit language):

Tacoma City Charter Section 2.35 – [No person shall be allowed to serve on the Council for more than ten (10) consecutive years, either as a Council Member, Mayor, or combination thereof.]  No person shall be allowed to serve in City elective office for more than two consecutive 4-year terms, complete or partial as a Council Member and/or Mayor but shall be allowed to serve again after an 8-year break in service. Establishment of residency in an alternate district will not circumvent this two-term restriction.

The first day the i8 term limit petitions will be ready for signing and picking up is this coming Wednesday, April 5 at Tully’s in downtown Tacoma from at 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Tully’s is great, they are allowing STW to bring in pizza to share with folks as they stop by to pick up sheets (consider supporting Tully’s by buying a cup of coffee). 250 special edition, purple sheets, will be printed for the evening. We hope to pass out all the sheets and completely fill them up in the next couple of weeks which would bring in 5,000 signatures – a huge move towards accomplishing the goal of collecting 17,000. Initiatives are allowed 180 days to collect signatures, but since we need this on the ballot this November, we have less than 100 days to collect the necessary signatures – our deadline is July 7, 2017. We can do this!

We hope to see as many of you as possible on Wednesday. If you cannot make it that day, petition sheets will always be available for pick-up and drop off at the Lamp Repair Shop (1524 Tacoma Ave S) and more locations as time goes on.

Thank you for your community involvement, for caring about your city, and for joining us as we work together to give Tacoma residents a voice about the use of our water. Onward to the ballot!