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Appear Before City Council

Presentation Guidelines for City Council Meetings

You may not promote or oppose any candidate for public office or any ballot proposition.

You may not use this time to advertise. Announcements of public events can be made through the City Council’s proclamations process.

Speakers who disrupt the orderly conduct of the meeting may forfeit their right to address the City Council and be asked to leave the meeting.

Meetings will follow the Rules of Procedure of the Council of the City of Tacoma and/or Robert’s Rules of Order. 

Procedures for Speaking at a Regular City Council Meeting

 

View the City Council meeting schedule, here

The Public Comment period is reserved for testimony on motions, resolutions and ordinances on the current agenda.

Comments will not be accepted on ordinances or communication items forwarded to the City Council by the Hearing Examiner for which a public hearing has already been held. The Clerk will announce these items at each meeting prior to Public Comment.

Comments will be limited to the amount of time announced by the Mayor or presiding officer, no more than five minutes per person per meeting.

Speakers may address the City Council once during the Public Comment period.

The Mayor, presiding officer, or Clerk will provide instructions about how to request to speak during Public Comment.
Those attending in person will sign in at the back of Council Chambers; those attending remotely will click the ‘Raise Hand’ button or *9 on their phone. The speaker’s name or the last four digits of their phone number will be called out when it is their turn to speak. 

When it is your turn to speak, please identify yourself and topic(s) on the agenda you will address for the public record. Please address all remarks to the City Council as a whole.

The City Council may allow testimony on a motion, resolution, or ordinance at a time other than the Public Comment period if the item is new or has substantially changed.

You also may provide written comments to the City Clerk’s Office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting to enable staff to compile and distribute them to the City Council (see below and on the Written Comments web page), or during the meeting (please provide ten copies).

 

Speaking at Community Forum and Virtual Forum (2nd and 4th Tuesdays)

 

Community Forum is held on the second Tuesday of the month, at the end of the regular meeting agenda. Community Forum provides an opportunity for community members to speak on items under the City Council’s jurisdiction that are not on that evening’s agenda. Virtual Forum is held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 PM, or if the regular meeting adjourns after 6 PM, promptly following the adjournment. Virtual Forum provides an additional opportunity for community members to share their thoughts and views to assist the City Council in making policy decisions and comments should be focused on matters under the City Council’s jurisdiction. Comments for Community and Virtual Forum will be limited to the amount of time announced by the Mayor or presiding officer, no more than 90 seconds per person.  The Mayor, presiding officer, or Clerk will provide instructions about how to request to speak.  Those attending in person will sign in at the back of Council Chambers; those attending remotely will click the ‘Raise Hand’ button or *9 on their phone.  The speaker’s name or the last four digits of their phone number will be called out when it is their turn to speak. When it is your turn to speak, please identify yourself and topic(s) you will address for the public record. Please address all remarks to the City Council as a whole.

You also may provide written comments to the City Clerk’s Office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting to enable staff to compile and distribute them to the City Council (see the Written Comments web page), or during the meeting (please provide ten copies).

If you commented during the Public Comment period or a public hearing, you may still speak during Community Forum or Virtual Forum that evening. 

 

Speaking at Standing Committees, Study Sessions, and Committee of the Whole Meetings

Public comment is also taken at standing committee meetings, study sessions, and Committee of the Whole meetings where final action is taken.

 

View the calendar of meetings on Legistar for details:

The Mayor, presiding officer, or Clerk will provide instructions about how to request to speak.

 

Those attending in person will sign in to speak in the meeting room; those attending remotely will click the ‘Raise Hand’ button or *9 on their phone. The speaker’s name or the last four digits of their phone number will be called out when it is their turn to speak. 

 

When it is your turn to speak, please identify yourself and topic(s) you will address for the public record. Please address all remarks to the City Council or Committee Members as a whole.  

 

You may also provide written comments to the City Clerk’s Office at least 24 hours prior to the study session, Committee of the Whole, or standing committee meetings to enable staff to compile and distribute them to the City Council (see below and on the Written Comments web page), or during the meeting (please provide ten copies).


 

The City Council regular meetings, Community and Virtual Forums, study sessions, Committee of the Whole, and standing committee meetings are held in hybrid format that includes both in-person and remote options to attend.

 

To attend in person, meetings are held at the Tacoma Municipal Building, located at 747 Market Street. City Council, study sessions, and Committee of the Whole meetings are held in the Council Chambers on the first floor. Council standing committee meetings are held in conference rooms on the second floor.

 

View the agenda for the meeting you wish to attend for remote attendance options, including a phone number and Zoom virtual meeting link.

 

Written comments may be submitted to cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting, study session, Committee of the Whole or standing committee meetings. Comments will be compiled and sent to the City Council and posted on the City’s web page; more information is available on the Written Comments page at cityoftacoma.org/writtencomments.

 

Firearms and others weapons are now prohibited in City Hall during City Council, Committees, Boards, and Commissions meetings, and public hearings. A new Washington state law (ESHB 1630) has gone into effect that prohibits the open carry of firearms or other weapons. A violation of these restrictions is a misdemeanor for a first offense and a gross misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. For more information and potential exemptions see ESHB 1630, Chapter 106, Laws of 2022.

Contact Us
City Clerk’s Office
(253) 591-5505

City Council Rules of Procedure

Individuals can submit written testimony at City Council meetings, public hearings or Council Committees, Boards, and Commissions.