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District 4 News

National Association of Counties recommends confirmation of Councilmember Connie Ladenburg as member of committee

Pierce County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg was recently recommended for confirmation as a member of the Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee within the National Association of Counties (NACo).

As Chair of the County Council Economic and Infrastructure Development Committee, Councilmember Ladenburg will work with counties across the nation to promote best practices that help counties thrive in an ever changing economic climate, and collaborate on promising leadership that helps improve residents’ quality of life in Pierce County and across the nation.

About NACo
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments.  Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government, and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

Public invited to weigh in on proposed County firework restrictions

Pierce County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg is encouraging the public to speak at the County Council on a proposed ordinance that restricts fireworks in Pierce County.

County Ordinance 2016-39 would amend Pierce County Code limiting the sale and discharge of fireworks to July 1- 4. The opportunity to speak to the Public Safety, Human Services, and Budget Committee is Aug. 22 at 1:30 p.m., at Council Chambers, 930 Tacoma Ave S, Rm 1045. Individuals who are unable to make the meeting but would still like to comment can contact their County Council representative or comment online

“Around the 4th of July holiday we receive many calls from citizens concerned about significant noise and safety concerns not only for people but for animals,” said Councilmember Ladenburg. “I understand the desire to celebrate the holiday, and instead of a complete ban on fireworks, which many jurisdictions have implemented, I am presenting this code amendment to balance the desires of the community.”

Pierce County Code currently follows state law regulation on the sale, purchase, possession and use of consumer fireworks from June 28-July 5.

The proposed amendment would make the following changes to the current Unincorporated Pierce County Code:

  • Sales and Purchases Permitted: July 1 through July 4, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Discharge is Permitted: July 4, 10 a.m. to 12:00 midnight.

This code amendment is subject to a vote of the Council and would go into effect for the July 4, 2018 holiday.

Councilmember Connie Ladenburg

alert.pngOpportunity to serve on the Conservation Futures and Open Space Citizens’ Advisory Board

The Conservation Futures and Open Space Citizens’ Advisory Board (CAB) is looking to fill three vacancies on the board for Pierce County Districts 1, 4 and 5. Individuals must live in the district they are representing and is a four-year term. If you are interested contact Nicole Hill at (253)798-4252 or .

To learn more about the Conservation Futures and Open Space program visit www.piercecountywa.org/cfutures.

Connie’s Council Corner: Do jails for kids work?
July 28, 2016

One of the areas of responsibility for Pierce County government is our Juvenile Court system. Services for juveniles throughout the County, including those within our cities, who commit crime or who have been abused, neglected or abandoned and need protection and advocacy are done under the Juvenile Court system. It is daunting but important work. And our Court is showing great success.

To understand where we are now it is important to take a look back in time. About 150 ago, there were “Houses of Refuge,” often large fortress-like institutions in urban areas for youth designated as abandoned, delinquent or incorrigible and always poor. Many of these youth were confined for noncriminal behavior, idleness and vagrancy, and not criminal behavior simply because there were no other options. They were overcrowded and abuse by staff was rampant. There was no schooling within these institutions and often no type of health care. Some people became concerned for these youth and instead of placing them in these congregate “warehouse” facilities, they started reform schools, also called training and industrial schools, where the children were educated while incarcerated. Much did not change for over 100 years and these highly regimented, penitentiary-like institutions were the beginning of our juvenile justice system. Some improvements were made in the 1960’s with the inclusion of due process protections and formal hearings. The 80’s brought about serious damaging changes to the juvenile system. Due to a perception by the public that juvenile crime was on the rise and the system was too lenient, punitive laws such as mandatory sentencing and transferring youth to adult courts were passed. It got worse in the 90’s. Tougher laws were passed with increased incarceration resulting in deeper involvement into the criminal justice system. Incarceration for even minor offenses was growing. Youth correctional facilities became overcrowded and conditions were once again deplorable.

Read more

District4_newslettter_digitalpdf-1.pngSpring Newsletter
We’re well into 2016, and there’s much on the docket for the Pierce County Council. I want to take this opportunity to share what I plan to focus on this year. Please take a few minutes to read my latest newsletter.

Read it here.

In this issue:
- Update on Chambers Bay & Master Plan
- Stepping Up Initiative
- Economic Successes in Pierce County


Major Economic Success in Pierce County
Jobs, jobs, jobs! Pierce County is on the road to recovery. The Pierce County Economic Development Department and the Economic Development Board (EDB) for Tacoma - Pierce County have worked together to recruit and retain businesses in the County. Since 1978, the EDB has worked with job and wealth-creating companies to grow and diversify the economy of the South Sound. The organizations have experienced many development successes from 2011 to 2015. Here are a few highlights:

• 3,338 jobs recruited and retained
• $189,356,723 in wages and salaries at represented companies
• $252,155,000 in private capital at represented companies
• Recruitment and retention programs provide a $95:1 return for EDB investors.

Big things are to come in Pierce County! By the end of 2020, the EDB plans to work with its partners to create 3,220 jobs, attract $400 million in private capital investment and help expand 35 companies. Stay tuned for more information about the county’s economic development. Pierce County is truly becoming a great place to live, work and play!

If you would like to learn more about the economic successes or future plans in Pierce County, please visit the EDB website or the Pierce County Economic Development Department website.

Connie's Council Corner: We Hear it all the Time

Why are we seeing so many more mentally ill on our streets?” Since I have been on the County Council, I have been working toward not only answering this question but doing something about it. What is a mental disorder? If someone were to define a mental disorder, most people would say schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder. Yet only 1% of adults experience one of these disorders. A mental disorder runs the gamut from anxiety to depression and mood disorders to schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and personality disorders. A mental disorder prevents an individual from realizing his or her own abilities, is not able to work productively and fruitfully, and is not able to make a contribution to his or her community. It is non-discriminatory, affecting children and adults (13% of 8-15 year olds have some disorder and 46% of adults will develop a mental disorder in their lifetime), and all races, ethnicities and genders. Continue reading.

Ladenburg proposes Pierce County behavioral health study

More and more research suggests that drug and alcohol abuse can be symptoms of an underlying mental illness. Is Pierce County doing enough to identify and treat those who suffer from behavioral health issues? Erich Ebel speaks with Pierce County Councilmembers Derek Young and Connie Ladenburg about their proposal to deal with it.

Looking back on the 2015 U.S. Open

The 2015 U.S. Open is now part of Pierce County history. On this program we look back at the experience and discuss what went well and what needs improvement as Chambers Bay looks to a return engagement.

 About Councilmember Ladenburg
Prior to her election to the Pierce County Council, Connie worked at Faith Homes as a case manager for pregnant and parenting homeless teens. She also spent part of her career as a Youth Program Coordinator at Safe Streets Campaign and working on substance abuse prevention.

Councilmember Connie Ladenburg was elected to the Pierce County Council in November, 2012. She has also served on the Tacoma City Council (2001-2009) and the State Legislature as Representative from the 29th District (2011-2012).

Connie represents the 4th Council District, which includes:
• Parts of Tacoma (North and South Ends, Hilltop, and Downtown)
• Port of Tacoma
• University Place

Council & Committee Memberships
Councilmember Ladenburg serves as the vice chair of the Council's Economic & Infrastructure Development Committee and also serves as a member of the Community Development Committee and the Public Safety & Human Services Committee. Connie also represents the County by serving on a number of external boards, commissions, and organizations such as the Executive Board for the Alliance for a Healthy South Sound, the Executive Board for Workforce Central (alternate), the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence (alternate) and the Pierce County Law and Justice Council. For a complete list of the external boards Connie serves on, click here.

Connie has a long history of community involvement. Connie held leadership roles on the PTA, served on school district committees, organized political campaigns, mobilized neighborhood groups, founded Southend Neighbors for Family Safety, while “staying home” to raise five children. She and her husband, John, Co-Chaired the United Way Annual Community Campaign. She is co-founder of the Alliance for Youth of Pierce County; a founder and advisory member of Tacoma 360, and a founder and Board Member of Communities In Schools of Tacoma.

Prior Political Experience 
Connie served two terms on the Tacoma City Council. She held the position of Deputy Mayor in 2005, and served on several Council Committees—as Chair of the Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee and a member of the Community and Economic Development Committee, Environment and Public Works Committee, and Joint Municipal Action Committee. She represented the City of Tacoma on the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, the Puget Sound Economic Development District Committee, the Tacoma/Pierce County Board of Health, the Pierce County Law and Justice Council, the Executive Board of the Family Justice Center, the “Road Home” Leadership team (a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness), and a member of the National League of Cities.

Elected to the House of Representatives representing the 29th Legislative District, Connie served as Vice-Chair of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee. She also served on the General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee, K-12 Education Committee, and Transportation Committee.

Connie Ladenburg, a native Tacoman, married high school sweetheart John Ladenburg in 1969. They have 5 children and 11 grandchildren. Connie received her bachelor’s degree in Social work from Pacific Lutheran University and her Master in Social Work from the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Contact Us
Connie Ladenburg
(Click for a print quality photo)

Connie Ladenburg
District 4 Councilmember

Annette Swillie
Councilmember Assistant

County-City Building
Room 1046
930 Tacoma Ave. S.
Tacoma, WA 98402-2176

Ph: (253) 798-7590
Fx: (253) 798-7509


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