I’ve been extremely lucky when it comes to 5 Question Friday. Very few people I’ve asked to participate have turned me down. Still, I have to admit I was surprised when the Mayor of Tacoma took time out of her busy schedule to answer five questions for a blog that’s been around for less than a year. This is just another example of how cool Marilyn Strickland is.
1. What is your favorite part of being mayor of Tacoma?
Mayor is the best job in politics. One thing I enjoy is the privilege of serving as the ambassador for our city regionally, nationally and internationally. I am most honored to have the opportunity to visit schools and speak to students. My favorite visit so far was with a second grade class at my alma-mater, Edison Elementary. The students were inquisitive, funny, bright and a reminder of why some of us choose public service.
2. What do you feel is the people misunderstand the most about the mayor’s office?
Great question. Many people don’t distinguish among the silos of government and think that everything ranging from schools to the Port to jails are under my direct jurisdiction. I’ve had residents contact me about a variety of issues such as child custody battles and health care billing. I once received a call at 10pm on Christmas Eve regarding a car illegally parked on a lawn strip.
3. What is your view on the Occupy Tacoma movement?
To the credit of the organizers of Tacoma’s Occupy movement and the Tacoma Police Department, the relationship has mostly been peaceful, mutually respectful and not rife with staged confrontations to create media events and generate controversial headlines. This movement has inspired some participants to attend city council meetings and testify about issues related to city government. I sincerely hope the participants will occupy voter registration drives, occupy voting ballots and occupy social service organizations as volunteers to help strengthen our community.
4. Where would you take a first-time visitor of Tacoma?
Point Defiance, one of America’s most spectacular urban parks. Stanley and Seaforts, dining with one of the best views of the city. A show at the Pantages Theater, Tacoma’s most beautiful historic building. 1022 South, cocktails and interesting clientele where old-school meets modern.
5. Where do you think Tacoma could improve?
Tacoma’s self image is finally improving. Some folks, however, need to understand that people come and go all the time. Businesses succeed, businesses fail and sometimes they just move on. Instead of over-reacting to departures or interpreting them as some indictment of our community, consider them part of the natural ebb and flow of life in any city. Stay focused on what’s next. Tacoma is an inclusive, vibrant city with amazing people and strong assets. Great things are happening every day and there is more to come. Keep calm, carry on and love the one you’re with.
I really can’t thank Mayor Strickland enough for participating in 5 Question Friday. As always, if you or anyone you know wants to be part of 5 Question Friday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Jack Cameron