Matt Driscoll

Matt Driscoll: A very Tacoma holiday wish list for 2016

Brannon
Brannon THE NEWS TRIBUNE

My kids have been working on their Christmas wish lists for five months. Or at least that’s how it feels.

At this point, I know it by heart. Baby dolls, iPads, “Frozen” characters and “Dork Diary” books.

Santa’s got his work cut out for him.

But what about Tacoma? What should Grit City be asking for this year?

It’s an interesting question, and if you pose it to some of the folks who make Tacoma great, you get a number of intriguing responses.

In the spirit of the holidays, that’s what I’ve done. Over the last week I polled local politicians, activists, CEOs, average citizens, gadfly cartoonists and even the Sonics Guy (all while drinking eggnog at my desk, naturally).

Here are some of their hopes for Tacoma over the next year.

Personally, I’m dreaming of the Puget Sound as the location for a secret Rebel Base in “Star Wars Episode VIII.”

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer:

Personally, I’m dreaming of the Puget Sound as the location for a secret Rebel Base in “Star Wars Episode VIII.” Not only would the setting be appropriately stunning, it would also give me a shot at the role of a pilot. (Hey, a guy can wish, right?)

On a more serious note, for the city of Tacoma, I’m wishing for continued economic development wins to provide more job opportunities. I’m also hopeful we can expand behavioral health services so people with serious mental health issues don’t end up in our jails or on our streets.

Incoming Metro Parks Commissioner Jessie Baines:

I’ve always thought (Tacoma needs) an amphitheater for youth and young adults to have a platform for self-expression. … Our youth in the community have talents beyond belief, and it is up to the leaders and community members to ensure they have safe places to express their cultures and individuality.

An amphitheater for the City of Destiny would be on my wish list for 2016.

Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon:

What I think should be on Tacoma’s wish list is something I’ve wanted these past eight Christmases: a new NBA expansion team called the Sonics. It’s been a while since the Tacoma Dome has had a major tenant. We had the team for one year; let’s do it again.

Mark Pereboom, Metropolitan Development Council executive director and CEO:

My Tacoma wish list is that everyone in our community has access to education and employment they need to thrive, access to nutritious food, a safe place to call home, and relationships that nurture and inspire.

My personal wish for Tacoma is to move the World Famous Java Jive to Sixth Avenue and Pine Street. It’s really lost out there in the Nalley Valley.

Sixth Avenue Yarn Bomber

Sixth Avenue Yarn Bomber Kassie Mitchell:

My personal wish for Tacoma is to move the World Famous Java Jive to Sixth Avenue and Pine Street. It’s really lost out there in the Nalley Valley.

Vince Kueter, Tacoma resident and labor activist:

My wish for the coming year is for every Tacoma resident to be free of want. I wish everyone had the freedom to concentrate on pursuing their aspirations rather than expending all their energy on survival. I wish that every Tacoma resident’s voice was heard at the same volume and carried equal weight with decision-makers.

Tacoma School Board member Catherine Ushka:

That’s easy: The privileges of economic security, good health, and easy commutes or transportation for everyone.

Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello:

1. Less crime. Much less crime. Zero murders. No car prowls. No burglaries.

2. Complete the Prairie Line and Water Flume and Pipeline trails, connecting all of Tacoma’s neighborhoods.

3. A completed Safe Routes to School Plan developed and fully funded in the 2017-2018 city budget.

4. Voters approve Sound Transit 3.

5. Ten more buildings the size of Proctor Station break ground, bringing vitality and synergy to our mixed-use centers.

6. REI moves its headquarters to Tacoma.

Local cartoonist RR Anderson:

1. Presidential decree renaming Mount Rainier to Mount Takhoma.

2. Pacific Avenue public restrooms.

3. Targeted air strikes on all Clear Channel billboards.

4. Carpetbagger Pam Roach on the Pierce County Council (for entertainment purposes only).

6. Mark Lindquist “King of Methlehem” Netflix series.

In 2016, my wish is that all Tacomans positively engage young people ... to end violence, address racism, and advance and learn from youth leadership.

Seth Kirby, director of Oasis Youth Center

Seth Kirby, director of Oasis Youth Center:

1. Nationally and in Tacoma, African American and LGBTQ youth disproportionately experience homelessness. For 2016, my wish is that all youth and young adults in Tacoma have access to safe, stable and supportive shelter on every night in 2016 and beyond.

2. In 2015, Tacoma advanced important conversations around racial equity, including the local Black Lives Matter movement. In 2016, my wish is that all Tacomans positively engage young people — at home, school, work, faith convenings and after school programs — to end violence, address racism, and advance and learn from youth leadership.

Matt Driscoll, hack newspaper columnist:

It’s tough to know where to start. Sure, peace on earth and all that stuff would be great, but what about a Burgerville, a countywide one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax for mental health, and the sudden and unexpected resurgence of print journalism?

Oh, and an iPad. Tacoma definitely needs an iPad.

Happy holidays, one and all. Here’s to an amazing 2016.

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