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CITY LAUNCHES NEW SITE TO ATTRACT, GROW BUSINESS

With a new online presence that caters to the needs of today’s businesses seeking to establish or grow in Tacoma, the City of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department has issued this call to action: Make it Tacoma.

“Tacoma is extremely well-positioned for growth,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “Economic development activity and private investment are at an all-time high with several new projects on the horizon. MakeItTacoma.com helps us showcase Tacoma’s assets and tell our story in a more dynamic way.”

The streamlined freestanding microsite is mobile-friendly and offers access to the latest business intelligence tools. As site selectors or prospective investors assess possible locations, they are able to obtain robust, high-quality zip code level Tacoma-specific data on more than a thousand variables.

Existing or prospective business owners and entrepreneurs are able to obtain Tacoma-specific data showing what percentage of businesses they outperform in their given industry on revenue, size, salaries and other metrics. They are also able to see where the typical business owner in their given industry is doing best in Tacoma, as they consider expanding into a new location or where to target their next marketing campaign.

“The City of Tacoma has always provided a high level of in-person business support and will continue to do so,” said Community and Economic Development Director Ricardo Noguera. “With our improved online offerings, the business community we serve will now have incredible access to data and other market insights, as well as other pieces of information they need to make smart, informed decisions.”

Visitors also have easy access to industry-specific how-to guides, video profiles and more, and are able to sign up for economic development related news updates and other communications from the City of Tacoma.

More information on economic development efforts that have been planned or are underway in Tacoma can be obtained through Community and Economic Development Director Ricardo Noguera at rnoguera@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5139.

TACOMA NAMED A TOP-10 DIGITAL CITY

In its 2017 Digital Cities Survey – which recognizes cities using technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement – the Center for Digital Government has recognized the City of Tacoma as a top-10 city in the 125,000-249,000 population category. The City of Tacoma has earned this recognition four out of the last five years.

“This year’s leading digital cities are leveraging technology to connect disadvantaged citizens with critical information and services, promote citizen inclusion in important government processes and share government data with the public,” said Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Citizens can now meaningfully interact with city government more easily than in any other time in history.”

Recent technology-related projects at the City of Tacoma include the evolution of its open data portal into one that places a greater emphasis on performance management; upgrades of its online payment solutions; the deployment of public Wi-Fi and better computer access for community members in need; and the introduction of research and intelligence tools for the business community.

“The City of Tacoma is proud to be recognized, once again, for its ongoing efforts to utilize technology to make life better for everyone who lives and does business in Tacoma,” said Interim Information Technology Director Paul Federighi. “We will continue to pursue innovative solutions in service of our local community.”

The top-10 ranked cities will be honored at an awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 16.

INTERTRIBAL GATHERING RECEIVES $500 GRANT

The Tacoma InterTribal Gathering (TIG) has received a $500 grant from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to host culturally respectful events in traditional ways.

“I lift my hands in honor and gratefulness to the Shakopee Community for their consideration of TIG and for all they have done for the Native tribes around the country,” said Ruth Marshall, Director of Tacoma InterTribal Gathering and a member of the Cherokee Nation.

TIG will use the funds to help provide honorariums and protocol gifts for Native educational and cultural speakers and dance groups as well as crafts for children, healthy foods to supplement the monthly potluck and help with rental of facilities. It is the mission of Tacoma InterTribal Gathering to promote spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wellness in First Nations families and individuals. Their programs show honor to Creator through feasting, educating and gathering in a Native traditional way. They educate on domestic violence, diabetes prevention, veterans programs and smoking cessation. They have children’s craft and activities available for the young ones. The gatherings are attended by a mix of tribal backgrounds. Every gathering promotes sober, healthy living through the many positive values of Native culture such as respect for elders, promoting and supporting our veterans, educating children and youth in Native cultural traditions, restoring language and Native pride.

The Shakopee Mdewakantan Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. With a focus on being a good neighbor, good steward of the earth, and good employer, the SMSC is committed to charitable donations, community partnerships, a healthy environment and a strong economy. The SMSC and the SMSC Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are the largest employers in Scott County. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since opening the gaming enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional government and infrastructure such as road, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.

Tacoma InterTribal Gathering was formed in 2006 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They meet monthly at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center on the second Saturday of every month from 5-8 p.m. Their desire is to develop respect and unity among Native families and all people groups by honoring Creator, the Healer of all Nations. Everyone is welcome.

HEARING EXAMINES WESTERN STATE’S 

RELEASE PLANS FOR VIOLENT OFFENDERS

Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee met to examine the discharge procedures and protocols for state hospital patients with a history of violence. Committee Chair Sen. Steve O’Ban, (R-University Place,) is overseeing the review of state hospital safeguards including victim notification requirements and placement settings in response to Western State Hospital’s (WSH) effort earlier this year to release accused murderer Lawrence David Butterfield into the community of Lakewood.

DSHS provided a presentation on state hospital protocols related to the discharge of patients with a history of violence. Carla Reyes, assistant secretary of the Behavior Health Administration and Dr. Marylouise Jones, interim chief executive officer for WSH, testified and answered member questions. Also testifying was Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield and residents of the neighborhood in which Butterfield was to have been released.

“Why was Western State Hospital seeking to release an extremely violent, unstable man into a residential neighborhood?” asked O’Ban. “People in Lakewood were rightly alarmed. The plan to release this man shows the need for a thorough oversight review of state hospital procedures.”

Butterfield was committed to WSH as criminally insane in 1977 following charges of assault with intent to kill. He was previously released but recommitted after being charged with the stabbing death of his roommate. As late as July, Butterfield’s competency evaluation revealed he was still hearing voices. Hospital doctors have described Butterfield as a “moderate to high risk for future serious dangerous behavior” if he takes his medication and an even higher risk if he does not.

“We passed a law to prevent Pierce County from being the dumping ground for dangerous people,” said O’Ban. “We need to make sure that hospital procedures are consistent with that law.”

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