Protestors push back on proposal to dissolve Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

South Sound protestors are outraged by an unexpected proposal that would dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Dozens gathered Tuesday for a socially distanced rally outside the City-County Building to express their disgust.

Catherine Ushka is the Board Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and a Tacoma City Council Member. Tuesday, she told the crowd this ordinance is a kick in the teeth.

“The most information that I’ve received, as the chair of the board of health has been from the interviews that you will have done in the last few days.”

Ushka believes this is a last-ditch effort to maintain control by Republican County Councilmembers before they lose their seats. She also says, they have not contacted her once since announcing this decision.

Pierce County Councilmember, Doug Richardson says “It’s just an opportunity for us to streamline the provision of services throughout the county.”

Richardson argues, problems with COVID testing information flow prompted this.

His fellow Pierce County Councilmember, Derek Young says this will only make the burden of the pandemic worse for healthcare workers.

“Hundreds of people have reached out to us already. Not a single one has said that they want us to do this,” said Young.

Final passage of the ordinance could come next week.