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Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards Reaffirming Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform


June 8, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications,tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152
Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


A Statement From Mayor Victoria Woodards Reaffirming Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform


“For many years, I have been an advocate for meaningful criminal justice reform that would provide greater safety for those communities that are traditionally marginalized and not well served by our existing justice systems, especially our African-American residents. While I have not remained complacent, it is clear that I must do more. Like many cities across America, we must take stronger actions to remove systemic racism from all government institutions, including the Tacoma Police Department, and I commit to being a leader in that effort. 

This will be an immediate, but also enduring, effort. I commend and express my appreciation for those speaking out on this issue. Just this weekend, more than 10,000 gathered throughout Tacoma to peacefully and effectively demand accountability and change. And I commend our officers for helping to ensure a safe environment during this expression of free speech. To those demonstrating, I ask you to please continue to hold us accountable and to help us communicate to our city, our state, and our nation how deeply necessary it is for us to sustain a committed effort to dismantling systemic racism. 

As a city, we must develop a long-term approach to reforming our criminal justice system and, in doing so, we must incorporate perspectives and feedback from members of our community as well as the insights of trusted community leaders and experts in this field. At the same time, we must move immediately on interim measures we can take to make change within the Tacoma Police Department putting greater emphasis on community engagement and support in law enforcement work. As the first steps in updating and expanding my reform agenda, I will be consulting with our Citizen Police Advisory Committee to find ways to expand and strengthen their charge. I will also continue to work with Governor Jay Inslee on how we can forge lasting change in the justice system for the entire state of Washington. 

Through meaningful and thorough reform, the City Council and I will work to offer a lasting legacy to all the suffering and loss of life perpetuated by systemic racism and all other forms of marginalization.”