A portion of Marine Park will be renamed to honor Jack Tanner, a prominent judge and civil rights activist. Tacoma City Council approved the change on Jan. 15,
Aaron Pointer, president of the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners, testified in favor of the name change prior to the vote. “Jack was a hero in our community,” Pointer said, adding that Tanner was “a champion for civil rights.” Pointer expressed hope that children who visit the park will be inspired by Tanner to pursue careers as judges.
He pointed out that Tanner was the first African American federal judge in the Northwest and that this will be the first park in Pierce County named for an African American. Pointed said Tanner was the campaign manager for the late U.S. Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson when he ran for president in 1976 and that Tanner ran for governor in 1966. He said Tanner would have been pleased to know the park is just up the street from the restaurant Harbor Lights, of which he was a regular customer.
Tanner grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School in 1938. After serving in the military during World War II, he enrolled at the University of Puget Sound and worked as a longshoreman. He then went to law school at the University of Washington and passed the bar exam in 1955.