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Federal Legislative Agenda

The 2023 City of Tacoma Federal Legislative Agenda


These are the 2023 Federal legislative priorities for the City of Tacoma as adopted by the Tacoma City Council.


Together, We Will Change—Systems Transformation

The City hopes to work together in partnership with federal policy makers to advance reforms that address the disparate impacts of systems and institutions on communities of color. As part of this, the City calls on Congress to advance transformation policies with regard to policing and the criminal justice system, economic security, immigration, housing, climate justice, and infrastructure to better support communities that historically have not been well-served by existing systems and policies.

Policing and Criminal Justice Systems Transformation

Tacoma is undertaking an effort to analyze our existing policies in the Police Department, and we are working to implement new initiatives and policies at the local level. We support comprehensive police reform legislation at the federal level that aligns with our local and state efforts. The City also supports federal investment in new and innovative programs and funding streams to support local governments in establishing alternative response programs.


Economic Security and Civil Rights

Guaranteed Income

Mayor Woodards joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors who are studying or piloting guaranteed income (GI) projects in their communities. The City supports the priorities of this network and joins the Anchors Institutions Task Force in calling for the creation of a Fund for Anchor Institutions within a federal agency to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by targeting low-income and historically disadvantaged communities of color.


Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals

We also support the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, to establish a commission to study and recommend reparation proposals in a report to Congress and examine federal and state policies that contribute to white supremacy.


Equality Act

The City urges Congress to pass the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.


Community Safety and Human Services

Immigration Reform

The City urges Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform so that all residents may have an accessible path to citizenship and live without fear in the United States. The City shares concerns expressed by the Tacoma community for the health, safety, and welfare of detainees held in the Northwest ICE Processing Center, a privately owned and operated immigration detention facility. The City finds that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s current operations are dehumanizing, and we implore the federal government to replace it with an anti-racist agency that will humanely and equitably implement immigration laws and eradicate human trafficking. To that end, we support legislation that would end the practice of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracting with privately run detention facilities, similar to the Department of Justice’s prohibition on contracting with private prisons. The City also supports legislative efforts such as the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which will ensure that all immigrants receive individualized and fair bond hearings by ending the use of mandatory detention of certain immigrants and requiring DHS to establish probable cause of removability in 48 hours. Likewise, the City also supports ending mandatory detention policies for immigrants in deportation proceedings, banning local law enforcement from aiding federal agents, and phasing out the practice of holding federal detainees in private detention centers and county jails.


Gun Violence 

 The City applauds Congress on passing gun safety legislation in 2022 and supports further legislation and programs that contribute to community safety.


Combatting Hate Crimes

In light of the recent surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans and other communities in Tacoma and across the country, the City calls for the creation of a Hate Crimes Commission. The City supports legislation that will create a bipartisan commission to investigate and expand reporting on hate crimes throughout the United States. This commission would be comprised of a group of 12 members appointed by House and Senate leadership who would have one year to prepare a report on the rise in hate crimes, potential causes of increase, and how to combat it.



Access to high-speed broadband service in every community is essential to our ability to provide quality education, create more jobs, and increase small business growth. Local governments are central players in ensuring broadband connection to homes and businesses is achieved. Tacoma calls on the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to preserve local government authority to manage their rights-of-way to ensure the siting of cell towers and small cells is safe and appropriate.


Protect Community Television Act 

The City joins the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in supporting this legislation, which would reverse the FCC order allowing franchise fees and EG Fees to be calculated-as they have been for over 35 years- as monetary only fees. The City supports Cable Franchise and EG Fees to continue to support the Office of Strategy, Engagement, and Communications, which would be reduced per the 2019 FCC order.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness

The City requests an increase in federal housing funding programs, and legislation to assess prevalence of housing discrimination. The City also seeks flexibility in federal funding to be able to deploy those resources toward communities in Tacoma that need them the most so that we may effectively address housing disparities.