1) On North 11th and Cedar there is a stop sign in front of a roundabout. A few blocks North on Cedar there is a second roundabout at a similar four-way intersection without a stop sign. This is ridiculous. This is unnecessary. And this is something the city shouldn’t have to trouble itself with. I propose we ask for permission to chop down said stop sign at North 10th and Cedar and recycle the contents.2) Despite its relative wealth, Tacoma’s North End has long been blighted by slumlords, particularly around the University of Puget Sound. I have rented several apartments with hallways that stank of cat pee, lacked adequate ventilation, featured uncertain staircases and lacked locks on the doors. I have also stayed in mold-infested homes and even had a landlord who allowed a 40 year old roof to go untreated so that a 4 by 1 foot hole developed in the ceiling which allowed rainwater to leak in from October through January.
In my experience, the people who live in these North End homes/apartments are disproportionately single-parent families, immigrants, seniors and the disabled. They often lack the resources to investigate their rights (which, truth be told, are more limited than most people believe anyway) or are too poor to explore better options.
This issue is incredibly complex and requires multiple actions, but one small step the NENC could take is to allocate funds for a targeted informational pamphlet outlining the basic legal rights of tenants and whatever community/nonprofit resources are available to them when those rights are violated.
3) Tacoma needs a Burgerville. It’s a Northwest fast food chain with locations stretching North from Salem, OR to Centralia, WA. Burgerville uses only local organic ingredients to produce quality seasonal dishes and combo meals at prices that are only slightly higher than McDonalds. Burgerville restaurants are powered exclusively via wind power credits; the bulk of the cups, food wrappers and other non-edible products they produce are mostly recycled or used as compost; and all Burgerville employees are provided with healthcare.
Burgerville was exploring opportunities in the Puget Sound region prior to the crash of 2008. The NENC could draft a formal endorsement of their business and its future intentions to invest in the region. Mark my words, if we don’t do this, Seattle will.