Tacoma city council candidates battle over homelessness, outdated policies, and public safety

TACOMA — Tacoma voters have two city council races to decide on for the August 2023 primary election, and KIRO 7′s Ranji Sinha spoke with candidates to learn more about what they hope to bring to the table.

Follow KIRO 7′s August Primary Election coverage

The race for Tacoma’s District 3 features five candidates, the most for any one position on the council.

Meanwhile, the city’s at large seat -- Position 8 -- has three candidates.

We asked some of the candidates about their main concerns for Tacoma.

“Seeing the current state of the police department the understaffing, seeing the 911 call response times, the case load for detectives, realizing police staffing is a major issue here in Tacoma,” Position 8 candidate Todd Briske said, adding that housing affordability is high on his list of priorities as well.

For fellow Position 8 candidate Hunter Henderson, the larger issues relate to outdated city policies.

“I think it’s old policy written like before I was born,” Henderson said. “Everyone will talk about the homeless, everyone will talk about the crime, those are problems everyone everywhere is facing. Really what our biggest problem is, is climate change and old policies we’re living by.”

Incumbent Position 8 Councilmember Kristina Walker promises to “continue to work on address and crime and safety.”

“I’m going to continue to work on addressing affordable housing and homelessness,” she added. “And I’m going to continue working on multi-modal transportation and keeping our streets safe making sure we’ve got good transit and transportation.”

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