Tuesday , 27 June 2017
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Tacoma is facing serious challenges. Basic services like transit are hurting. Our streets are riddled with potholes and our local economy is slow to recover. On the City Council, Ryan wasted no time getting to work to promote economic development and create local jobs, ensure basic services are delivered effectively, secure efficient transportation solutions, and protect our environment so it’s healthy for everyone to enjoy.

Growing Local Jobs

In 2010, Ryan co-sponsored legislation to allow small businesses to be more prosperous by increasing the threshold for the Business & Occupation tax from $75,000 to $250,000. This saved thousands of small businesses money that they could reinvest to buy equipment and  hire employees.  We have significant work to do to increase high paying jobs with benefits in Tacoma so citizens do not need to go north or south for employment.  Ryan’s 5 point plan for jobs includes:

  1. Locating at least three new plants or businesses in three years, creating more than 200 jobs to make Tacoma the focal point for water and energy related research and solutions.  We will do this by leveraging the public investment of the Center for Urban Waters and creating a regulatory and tax environment that is highly attractive to these future companies and entrepreneurs.
  2. Fix our infrastructure so that downtown Tacoma, Port of Tacoma and neighborhood business districts are attractive and open for business.  This means ensuring our streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street trees and street furniture are attractive and in good working order.  We must put our best face forward to attract businesses and secure our infrastructure to support proper business and population growth.
  3. Advocate for the completion of Highway 167 through the Port of Tacoma.  This will open up significant markets for the Port of Tacoma and grow thousands of jobs for Port businesses.
  4. Ensure a culture of “YES” by the City of Tacoma.  The City needs to be eager to assist citizens and entrepreneurs to solve problems and create jobs.  Instead of thinking of ways to stymie a project or all the pitfalls, the City needs to be a partner and problem solver to open doors of business and opportunity.  The City should staff a business ombudsman and have a one-stop shop for current and future business owners to get all necessary permits and licenses necessary to start or grow a business and learn about the many programs and resources available to them.  Business should not have to go to multiple offices and agencies to start or grow their business.
  5. Build 500 more hotel rooms in the next four years.  From the parking lot next to the Convention Center, to a possible new tower at the Murano, to the new Elks on Broadway complex, Tacoma has a lot of opportunity to expand hotel rooms. This growth is necessary to attract more national and regional conventions and increase tourism in the City of Tacoma.  This tourism and regional visitors will mean more activity for local museums, restaurants, bars and retailers.
Fixing Potholes, Roads and Expanding Transportation Choices

Our roads are in such disrepair in many places it seems as if our roads belong in a third-world country.  We must prioritize the resurfacing of neighborhood roads and they must come complete with curbs, gutters and sidewalks.  By continuing to prioritize road repair, we need to make tough decisions and prioritize this city function as a top priority.  The City Council needs to seriously consider a ballot measure for citizens to consider comprehensively repairing residential roads, curbs and sidewalks.

Transportation options need to be key to our mobility problems in Tacoma. Ryan will work hard to expand our light rail system by at least three miles in the next four years.  In the wake of the February Pierce Transit ballot measure, we must work to protect bus service for Tacoma and the region. Tacoma cannot be disproportionately affected by the loss of bus service when Tacoma voters supported the transit measure by over 55%.
     Furthermore, we must fully implement the Mobility Master Plan city-wide in the next 10 years – connecting all of our neighborhoods by safe sidewalks, bike lanes and complete trails such as the Water Ditch Trail, Prairie Line Trail, Waterfront Dome to Defiance Trail, Mason Loop Trail and Scott Pierson connections.

Making Our Neighborhoods Livable, Walkable and Attractive

Our neighborhoods are our most important asset.  We need to work to protect our single-family neighborhoods and historic districts while putting new growth and density in our mixed-use centers instead of our single-family neighborhoods.  Our traffic circles need to be attractive, not havens for weeds or filled with asphalt.  We need to implement an aggressive tree planting program in our neighborhoods, planting 5,000 trees a year over the next four years.

We must connect our neighborhoods with sidewalks, crosswalks and transportation options that serve all ages of our population to each other and our neighborhood business districts so neighbors can walk to work or the grocery store, restaurants, and other local establishments.
We must continue to expand the City’s Community Based Services program to ensure continued reduction in crime, blighted properties and unattractive elements of our community.
We must also leverage our awe-inspiring waterfront by fulfilling the long-awaited vision of a walkable, pedestrian friendly waterfront from the Tacoma Dome, along the Thea Foss esplanade all the way to Point Defiance Park. This asset will serve future generations with a first class recreational feature and be the icon that attracts businesses, visitors and future residents for our quality of life.

Being a Leader on Addressing Climate Change and Sustainability

We must be vigilant in achieving our climate change goals as set by the City’s 2008 Climate Change Plan and reducing our impact on the planet – our children and grandchildren are depending on it.  Implementation will only save us money on energy, grow our local economy and make our neighborhoods more attractive and livable.

A few of the items we must implement include:
  • Passage of a sustainable purchasing policy, ensuring the products and services the City purchases are sustainable and not energy hogs.
  • Expand transportation options including full implementation of the City’s Mobility Master Plan. This will significantly increase the miles of bike lanes, sidewalks and trails
  • Expanding light rail by three miles in four years and preserving our bus service
  • Complete development of the Prairie Line, Water Ditch, Scott Pierson, Waterfront and Quad C Trail systems
  • Adopt a Green Building Policy for the City of Tacoma
  • Significantly ramp up the City’s home and business conservation measures, making our buildings more energy efficient, saving rate payers money on their energy bills
  • Get the City of Tacoma out of non-attainment status in four years, making our air healthier to breathe and freeing up economic development opportunities
  • Adoption of a Transferable Development Rights program whereby we stop sprawl over our regional farms and forests while directing growth in to our mixed-use centers, making them more vibrant and prosperous
  • Continue promotion of the restoration of our open spaces so they are free of invasive species and healthy for people and wildlife while continuing to advance our neighborhood Community Garden program.

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