Op-ed to the Tacoma News Tribune on Move Ahead Washington

Read the op-ed below or at this link.

Our blueprint for a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive future—the future we deserve—begins with what we build today. Each of us has a role in shaping that. We can start by actively supporting Move Ahead Washington, the $16 billion, 16-year transportation package that will transform how we move people and goods around our state for years to come. 

We all want prosperity for our communities, from abundant jobs to thriving local businesses. To make that possible, we need to add crucial links in our transportation network that will move cargo more efficiently, reduce traffic around economic hubs, and improve commutes to family-wage jobs. The seeds of those changes are already planted right here in Pierce County. 

Creating a better-connected Port of Tacoma is a critical step toward advancing economic development for our entire state. Move Ahead Washington includes key funding to complete both State Route 167 and the Port of Tacoma Road interchange, as well as continue construction of HOV lanes between the Tacoma Mall and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

Both these projects align with our immediate priority to strengthen the economic vitality of our region. I’ve also heard from many of you—and I agree—that to move Washington ahead, we must pivot away from our reliance on highways. 

Instead, we need more green space and more walkable communities. We have a right to clean air and water, and we need convenient, healthy options to visit our neighbors, go to school, and get to work. Most importantly, we need to neutralize the existential threat of climate change so generations to come can enjoy the Washington we know today. 

This package is a progressive proposal that brings these goals within reach. Dollars from the SR 167 completion project will contribute to wildlife restoration and build over six miles of biking and walking paths. Separately, the package includes significant funding to support Pierce Transit services, finish constructing the Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail, and address flood prevention and salmon recovery as we plan for replacing Nisqually River bridge. 

Move Ahead Washington emphasizes preserving our existing roads, bridges, and ferries, but it goes further. It re-prioritizes disinvested neighborhoods in Pierce County and renews our moral obligation to address harm caused by past transportation policies. That means walking and biking projects, special needs transportation grants, and workforce development to support businesses historically excluded from transportation contracts. 

All of this promises a brighter, accessible future for us all, where having a car isn’t the only way to get groceries, see our friends, or head to work. 

Move Ahead Washington proposes the bold changes we need for a strong economy, resilient environment, and vibrant communities. It’s a commitment to put people first, one that invests in communities without putting costs on working families. 

It’s a giant step forward, and we need your help to make it happen. 

Please contact your Pierce County legislators and tell them to pass Move Ahead Washington. Let them know your experience on our local roads, transit, trails, and sidewalks and express how important these investments are. Tell them you support House Bills 2119, heard in committee on Feb. 17, and 2118. These are the bills that determine funding and investments for this package.  

With your help in passing Move Ahead Washington, we can shape not just a modern transportation system, but a future that upholds our commitment to our planet and the people of Washington today, tomorrow, and beyond.