Issues 2017-10-11T10:39:09+00:00

Jim Merritt for Mayor Issues 2017
Click on each subject to learn more…

Family-wage Jobs

"One of my highest priorities as Mayor will be to bring family-wage jobs home to Tacoma. We should not have over 40% of our work force leaving the city every day just to get a living wage. Tacoma has incredible potential- we don’t need to settle for being a bedroom community! As a leader in the private sector, I have the network and know-how to repair Tacoma’s relationship with the business community. Once we bring the jobs to Tacoma, we can reduce traffic on I-5 and SR 509 , increase our tax base, and build a stronger local economy.

I am proud to have the support of both business and labor who have put their trust in me to realize this vision."

Public Safety

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our beautiful city. We are lucky to have incredible police officers and firefighters here in Tacoma who work hard every day for all of our families. Even still, the City of Tacoma has cut their funding, closed fire stations, and potentially balanced their budgets on federal grants. As Mayor, I want to do better for Tacoma.

Tacoma can expect better response times, reopened fire stations at the port, and respect for the men and women who make Tacoma a safe place to live, work, and raise our families.

I am proud to have the endorsement of the Tacoma Police as well as many retired Tacoma Firefighters.”

Homelessness

“I have had the privilege to build relationships with people in our community who are currently experiencing homelessness- as well as people who are formally homeless- through my work with the Tacoma Rescue Mission, the Nativity House, Faith House, and other groups. What I have learned from these relationships is that the issue of homelessness is a perfect example of where those most affected must have the opportunity to take the lead.

Tackling homelessness is not just about housing- it’s about making sure people feel they have dignity, hope, pathway to employment or treatment if they need it, and a good future.

In addition, while many residents and business owners tell me they are not necessarily opposed to the emergency plan the city has put together, they are deeply concerned with how little they know about the plan or how it will affect them. As Mayor, I will ensure that community stakeholders are well-informed and have the opportunity to implement real community-based solutions."

The Environment

“Tacoma is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not the world. We have worked hard to move on from our toxic past and I believe we need to keep moving forward.

I’ve led the cleanup of superfund sites, helped introduce a geothermal energy solution to the City of Tacoma, helped take Pierce Transit off of diesel fuel, and spoke out strongly against the inappropriate water use of the proposed Methanol plant.

Now, our city is battling a foreign investment bank who wants to decide the future of Tacoma’s Tideflats behind closed doors. A Liquefied Natural Gas plant permitted behind the backs of our community with no regard for the environment or the safety of our workers has no business in Tacoma.

I fully support growing our industrial job base at the port- let’s make sure they are jobs that fit 21st century standards of health and safety.

I am humbled to have the endorsement of the Sierra Club Tatoosh Group of Pierce County and the Sierra Club Washington State Chapter for my proven commitment to bridging the gap between business and the environment.”

A Vision for Tacoma

“I grew up on the eastside of Tacoma in Fife. Even as a boy, I saw us sometimes take the backseat to Seattle. Let’s be clear- Tacoma is second to none. However, if we continue to course of ‘business as usual,’ we could fall behind. Just like I did with the 509 cable stayed bridge and I-705, I now offer an alternative vision for Tacoma. If we utilize our assets and maximize our competitive advantage, we can become the economic engine for all of Southwest Washington and the Olympic Peninsula! Our talent, local businesses, and resources are incredibly diverse and should be celebrated! My campaign isn’t about what Seattle wants Tacoma to be… It’s all about Tacoma.”

Culture at City Hall

“I’m running for Mayor of Tacoma to change the culture of Local Government. Many of the community fights stem from elected officials working behind closed doors or without proper public input. Tacoma should work with citizens, not against or without them. Tacoma should listen to taxpayers, not special interests. My work has been successful because it has extensive input and critique from community members, who were able to be a part of projects just as much as business and government. The time for community stakeholders to be consulted is at the beginning of a project, not the end. As Mayor, you can expect the same level of commitment to our citizens. A vote for me isn’t a vote for an agenda- it’s a vote for a seat at the table.”

Taxes and ST3/RTA Link Light Rail Expansion

“When I knock on doors of residents from South Tacoma to Northeast Tacoma, I am hearing that some residents do not see their tax dollars turning into better roads or services, so they are nervous about what higher taxes will mean for their community.

The passing of ST3/RTA means higher sales and property tax at a time when many residents are already feeling stretched thin without much to show for the immediate future. For example, under the current plan, Tacoma will not see the Link Light Rail to the SeaTac airport for another 13 years! This timeline does not even take into account the possible funding issues we could see with the absense of federal grants. With how much our city and county are paying toward this project, we must see a return on our investment. As Mayor, I will have an opportunity to serve on the Sound Transit board. I will fight to cut the timeline to connect Tacoma to SeaTac airport sooner than 13 years. This will give us a huge advantage over Seattle to attract good jobs and smart development.

I do not believe we should continue to pass regressive policies like the sales tax, and I will reject the Soda Tax being proposed in Seattle if it is brought to Tacoma.”

The Port of Tacoma

“The Port of Tacoma is one of our biggest assets and one of our biggest sources of contention. Can we come to a resolution on the future of the port without residents, city officials, port authorities, and workers being pit against one another? I say yes! I am excited to have the opportunity to bring everyone together, as I have over the course of my career, to create an agreeable vision for the Port of Tacoma. As Mayor, I am interested in the possibility of bringing everyone to the table to resolve the future of the port in 6-8 months, with clean energy in mind.

I fully support growing our industrial job base at the port- let’s make sure they are jobs fit for the 21st century.

This vision must include reopening fire stations at the port and reducing traffic on SR 509. At this time, workers report that it is difficult for emergency vehicles to provide aid if and when a situation arises. We must do right by our workers at the Port.”

Affordable Housing

“I am proud to have the endorsement of the Master Builders Association of Pierce County Affordable Housing Council. As the city grows to accommodate our new neighbors from the North and elsewhere, we must be proactive about the cost of housing. From residents with disabilities, to veterans, to senior citizens, everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe home they can afford. Communities that will be particularly impacted by the rising cost of housing must be brought to the table to decide the most effective course of action. Some residents are already reporting rapidly rising rent and lack of housing supply.

One big way Tacoma can solve its housing affordability crisis is to create a municipal bank- one like the "Municipal Authority" we used to have. A municipal bank with income-based mortgages is one sure way to get our community out of rentals and into affordable homeownership. This also creates important opportunities for individuals and their families to build a better future with home equity."