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Mayor plans upbeat message for first State of the City

Post by Debby Abe on Jan. 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm with 7 Comments »
January 28, 2011 8:41 pm

Presidents do it, governors do it and now Tacoma’s mayor is doing it.

Just as President Barack Obama gave a State of the Union address on Tuesday, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland plans to give a State of the City address on Monday.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland
Strickland will deliver the speech at the BE Green/Tacoma Shift Happens gathering, which is billing it as the first-ever such mayoral address in Tacoma.

Strickland said she and the city’s community and economic development director Ryan Petty decided shortly after she took office last January that she should give the address after her first year in office. They saw it as an opportunity to highlight grassroots efforts while reflecting on the past year and goals for the coming year.

“The purpose of this, number one, is to inspire people to get more involved, to volunteer, to show support for local small businesses and remind people of what a great community we have,” she said in an interview. “You have a lot of people who are quietly doing good, and quietly doing amazing things. We want to bring that to the forefront and celebrate in the address.”

While a few past Tacoma mayors have given speeches “vaguely similar” to state of the city-type address, Strickland’s appears to be the first one officially described as one, said Brian Kamens, supervisor of the Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room, which maintains historic records of the city and region.

“Mayor Gordon Johnston in 1972 reviewed the accomplishments of the past year and looked forward, but did not call it ‘state of the city,’” Kamens said, after a quick perusal of records.

Historian and former mayor Bill Baarsma said Tacoma mayors haven’t given State of the City addresses because those presentations usually accompany the proposal of a city’s annual budget.

In Tacoma’s “council-manager” form of goverment, the city manager is chief executive officer and presents the budget, Baarsma said. Some of Tacoma’s past city managers have prepared “year in review” and goals for the coming year to deliver with the budget.

In contrast, the mayor in Seattle is the city’s chief executive officer, prepares a budget proposal, and makes a State of the City address.

“It is unusual,” Baarsma said of Strickland’s upcoming address. “More power to her.”

Strickland’s talk will be the culminating event of BE Green/Tacoma Shift Happens workshops and discussions at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The event is described on its website as a day-long celebration of sustainability, local living and local business.

(See Kathleen Cooper’s story about the Shift Happens initiative.)

Although 2010 was a tough year economically, don’t expect a talk mired in gloom and doom.

“We’re in the midst of a very slow recovery. I absolutely understand there are a families struggling. There is a lot of good happening in Tacoma, too. I don’t want to get caught up in the negativity,” Strickland said.

“Even though we take some punches, we get right up. We have a spirit and tenacity in Tacoma.”

State of the City 2011
What: Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland gives the State of the City Address
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma
Admission: Free
RSVP: Tacoma Shift Happens
Extra: Strickland’s address is part of BE Green/Tacoma Shift Happens gathering that starts at noon Monday.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. tree_guy says:

    Her main accomplishment was trying to get everyone to boycott Arizona, thereby embarrasing the citizens of Tacoma. Thankfully, the speech calling attention to her highlights will be blessedly short.

  2. auwing1978 says:

    I would go, but I’m afraid of getting a Parking Ticket

  3. Alison7613 says:

    It’s so much easier to throw stones than work for effective change. I am proud of our mayor and her continual upbeat attitude. We need that in these times.

  4. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Maybe she can elaborate on the latest scam of taking a tax paying retired resident on social security to Superior Court and making him pay for a building permit for a patio cover that was on his home when he bought it “18 Years ago”!!!! She can also explain the embarrassment and outright stupididty of the City Council’s criticism of Arizona for attempting to fight illegal immigration!!!

  5. jmasterflex says:

    I would venture to say that the Parking is a big success. Any other city you pay to park and Parking spots are not free people! I am not sure where you all think these parking sports come from?

    I don’t mine paying a 1.75 for TWO HOURS, how pathetic to say that is an outrage!

    Mayor Strickland, your a rock star and you have accomplished MUCH in the two short years you have taken office!

  6. guidocarmasi says:

    Aspirations of Higher Offfice? Mayor of Tacoma as a springboard for Governor of Wa. to replace the current Democratic Tradition. Then Senator in the Obama Administration , etc.

  7. tree_guy says:

    “We’re in the midst of a very slow recovery. I absolutely understand there are a families struggling

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2011/01/28/mayor-plans-upbeat-message-for-first-state-of-the-city/#ixzz1COTaT84c

    Well the struggling families certainly aren’t the families of city workers, they’ve been receiving unconscionable pay increases. Easy to be dismissive about other peoples problems when you yourself are getting a city pay check.

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