Special Reports

Roundtable participants

Patrick Erwin

Principal, Lincoln High School

“When you talk to people in Tacoma, they don't really come over to this part of town. There's nothing to draw them here. We need something to draw them here.”

Lawrence Stone

World Vision, founder and director, Big Homie gang counseling program

“It takes a starving man to understand a starving man, and a rich man to understand a rich man. A lot of people come in here with academic experience, but they don't have the life experience to understand our babies.”

Rick Talbert

Tacoma city councilman

“We have a gang problem, but economically, investment possibilities are flying off the map right now for the East Side. We have an opportunity to capture that and do something with it.”

LaTasha Evans

Program director, East Side Boys & Girls Club

“I felt like there weren't many black female leaders and I wanted to be one. The whole reason I work at the Boys and Girls Club is because I wanted to be that example.”

Lt. Kathy McAlpine

Commander, Sector 4 – Tacoma police designation for the East Side

“We've got five, six officers on a shift in this big geographic area. If you've got 100,000 people who are the eyes and ears for each other, you know better what's out of place than we do. If you start reporting and paying attention and reporting a little bit more, that's going to help us.

Roxanne Miles

Recreation manager, Metro Parks Tacoma

“Some people know that (drug) dealing happens in certain places – they don't deal with it, they just stay away from it. That has to change.”

Moni Hoy

Programs team leader, Safe Streets

“To prevent our youth joining in gangs we need to make a presence: Parents, the community, teachers – we all need to make a presence in our youth's lives.”

Laura Rodriguez

World Vision community development manager, Portland Avenue Community Center

“Parents don't talk to their kids any more. Kids are lucky if they get an hour a week. I was lucky, I didn't fall through the cracks, We weren't rich, but (my mother) asked me every day, ‘How was your day?' ”

Kelly Goodsell

Teacher, Park Avenue Center

“We never know how kids think. Grown-ups never know. That's always going to be a barrier. But a huge thing is that kids don't feel connected to things, and they don't feel they belong.”