Tacoma

City Council District 4

All three candidates running for this position responded to our questionnaire:
Kevin Grossman
Shalisa (Shay) Hayes Primaried Out
Catherine Ushka

Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on your ballot.
There was a primary for this office.
Use the navigation to the right (or below on mobile) to find topics of interest, or just scroll.
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Sanctuary Status

Do you support Sanctuary Status for the area you would represent? Please explain.

Kevin Grossman

Yes

Yes. Families should not be broken up over lack of documents. Domestic police are to do the work of the City not the work of ICE.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Yes

Yes. My position is that all citizens regardless of documentation status deserve the freedom and right to thrive in without fear of deportation. The community I live in is home to many immigrant families. I know them personally and have a deep rooted respect for my neighbors. My lived experience does not allow the option of turning my back on the youth and families that I walk alongside of everyday.

Catherine Ushka

Yes

Yes. I do support the ideas put forth in #heretostay, other than this title. As a Welcoming City we do more than Sanctuary City already. Establishing the requests of #heretostay without using the name Sanctuary City would provide protection without making our communities a target. I also am concerned about claiming this moniker since our communities that will be impacted have not asked for this, to the best of my knowledge, in fact testimony from Tacoma Community House at the council meeting was in gratitude for the Welcoming City status and informing them of the fear many immigrant communities are currently living in.
We literally have a president who is looking for this word and building targets to direct both ICE and funding cuts. We must protect all of our citizens and in this case and at this time I think doing so means not taking the name.

PCYD & WA Democrats Resolutions

What resolutions from PCYDs or the WA Democrat State Party do you align with?
(PCYD: Decline to Sign I-1552, Petition: Tacoma City Council: Protect Undocumented Immigrants #HereToStay)

Kevin Grossman

I always support people's right to decline to sign - and in the case of 1552 I don't agree with the initiative. I don't know enough about the Tacoma petition to weigh in on it more than my answer to the Sanctuary question above.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

I support both Decline to sign I-552 to keep discrimination of the ballot as well as #HereToStay to protect undocumented immigrants.

Catherine Ushka

I am an early endorser of Decline to Sign 1-1552 and have been highly involved with this issue including working in partnership with our LGBQT+ leaders to help the YMCA return to policy of allowing people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with last year or the year prior, and working to defeat that petition. This included working with core groups on strategy and supporting learning communities where I was able to, going to Olympia to be available to provide testimony and offer support, and writing an editorial published in the News Tribune. I was one of few straight gender normative elected officials to be vocal about this support even in a non-election year. My support continues as a co-host of the Tacoma Fundraiser, and as a speaker at the rally at UWT earlier this year. See my support of #Heretostay in the prior question.

Goals & Needs of Constituency

If you could achieve three accomplishments in your coming term, what would they be?

Kevin Grossman

Increase economic opportunity for all people of Dist. 4, the City and South Sound - both regarding quality job growth and regarding a supportive environment for establishing small business startups and growth. Increase City sustainability - built environment (better support for renovations and adaptive reuse and renewable energy) and natural environment (tree canopy, open space). Increase transparency and accountability of the City to the Citizens across the board – public works (especially related to roads maintenance and capital spending), decision making processes such as they relate to Click, respect of public processes by senior staff following City requested community input processes, more documents online that are Public Records. This openness and accountability will have two huge benefits – the Public will have better knowledge and understanding of what is going on, and the staff will receive better informed feedback from the Public with which to make better informed decisions.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Supporting, protecting and serving our youth is one of my top priorities. The reality of the Eastside Community Center accomplishes some of that work, There is always more to do and I will continue to seek out and listen to the youth voice in order to effectively advocate for their needs. Public Safety and Affordable Housing are also in my top 3 priorities. In fact all three of these priorities are interconnected and vital to having a thriving Eastside.

Catherine Ushka

Increase public safety working to restore police levels to pre-recession and meet national best practices.
Contribute to the building of innovative partnerships to both address and prevent homelessness, the Eastside food desert, and health disparities.
Create policy and partnerships that build career ladder jobs, greater economic investment and expand housing opportunities across all income levels.

What are the top five needs of your constituency?

Kevin Grossman

The District top priority needs are:
1. improved roads (there are still literally dirt roads that are official city streets in Dist. 4);
2. improved public safety, mainly increasing police coverage, especially community policing, back to closer to pre-recession levels;
3. homelessness, which is a complex issue that requires both housing (with wrap around services) as well as enforcement (no sleeping and loitering where it impacts residents and businesses);
4. economic opportunity by improving vacant and abandoned buildings to be occupied by new families and businesses, as well as quality job growth regionally and small business startups and growth locally;
5. Improving the environment through sustainability, aligning land use and transportation planning, attending to our habitat and community livability overall.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Affordable Housing options
Safe community spaces for all
Access to healthy food
Public transportation
Protection and support for the most vulnerable (access to affordable medical and dental, support to maintain housing/prevent homelessness, access to education and living wage jobs)

Catherine Ushka

Public Safety (the full breath of this including code enforcement etc). Jobs and Economic Growth, Transportation solutions, keeping housing affordable for all of our neighbors, and of course - great schools.

Connecting with Young People

How do you plan to involve the voices and needs of young people?

Kevin Grossman

Listen. Be accessible. Reach out to people of all ages, and especially young people who can often feel left out of public processes and sometimes not respected when they are engaged - yet it is the youth that all current decisions are going to impact the most.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

My entire campaign involves the voice and work of young people. From my campaign photos, social media engagement and the focus of my recent door-belling efforts this past weekend.

Catherine Ushka

Outreach and invitation. We need to build civic communities specifically for youth in Tacoma, schools could be a great partner, however I know from experience that young people are less interested in the exciting meetings of neighborhood councils and we need their voices. We also need our youth to feel empowered to participate, particularly those of color and of the LGBQT+ community so that we our future municipal, state and national leaders want to be part of the hard work that is our democracy in action as adults as well.

Police-Minority Relations

Do you have any plans for improving police-minority relations? Please explain your response.

Kevin Grossman

No

No. This isn’t my area of expertise. I do support proactively engaging in conversations between the Police and the Public, especially communities that have problematic relationship with and historic reason to be cautious of police. I’ll support active engagement to continuously improve relationships.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Yes

Yes. First, we must hold police accountable for their actions and inaction’s when it comes to interacting with communities of color, especially youth. As a community, we all have a responsibility to support, teach and advocate for our neighbor and most importantly, our youth. I believe strongly in “Each One, Teach One” and think that must be the basis within the police force as well as the communities.

Catherine Ushka

Yes

Yes. I think there has been great with the Project Peace initiative. I also think highly of our Tacoma police force. However, there is not any area of COT employment that cannot grow with further education in diversity. With the tensions around the country so high in this regard we must be proactive in building these relationships from both sides.

Homelessness

How will you advocate for the homeless population? Including in regards to city camp sweeps and voting rights?

Kevin Grossman

They need services to get back to self sufficiency. If they have behavioral health issues, they need help. If they have drug issues, they need treatment. If they are capable of working, they need stabilized housing and job placement (and perhaps skills training) to get back into the workforce to take care of themselves. This is a team effort of the City, County (with State and Federal funding) as well as healthcare and work-skills education organizations.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

The homeless citizens in our communities are unseen and unheard. My outreach will include voter registration and outreach.

Catherine Ushka

In terms of voting I will reach out to the County Auditor specifically, and seek to partner with them as a Councilperson to ensure voting access, and the legislature where restoration of voting rights is concerned.
We need to invest more in 'housing first' models that had been successful but are under invested, but also look across the whole spectrum of why people are homeless and what they need to get back on their feet as well as what would have prevented them from being homeless in the first place. Still there are people who are persistently homeless and we need to create and retain shelter and services for these individuals.
The need for mental health, drug and alcohol treatment and recovery, as well as an economy with broad based job entry and growth points is needed.
Our homeless people need immediate relief but we need long term solutions. Nobody in the country has resolved this but I am confident that Tacoma can be leaders in solving this crisis, if we work across partnerships toward the outcome we want.

Net Neutrality & Internet Privacy

Would you advocate for Net Neutrality on a Federal Level? Please explain your response.
Note: There was an error when creating the questionnaire that originally required a 2250 character response. Any additional characters candidates added as filler only have been removed.

Kevin Grossman

Yes

Yes. This is crucial to the innovative digital economy and equitable access to information and communication. It is the foundation on which so many social and economic gains have been made, across industry and society. To move away from that will allow the major players to hold all users hostage in some fashion and constrict the innovation and disruptive breakthroughs that have been the basis for much of the headway we’ve made related to the internet of almost everything as a country in recent (the last 20) years.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Yes

Yes. Net Neutrality is vital to our right to free speech. Our access to information and ability to communicate freely online should not be monitored or restricted. Without open internet, there may not be platforms to allow communities of color to share our own stories. Mainstream media does not accurately represent my lived experience. In fact, it upholds and promotes the erasure of folks of color.

Catherine Ushka

Yes

Yes. Free and equal access to the internet is like free speech any more. I will work with my congress members and provide the support they need to protect us from Ajit Varadaraj Pai’s proposed legislation. I believe that the failure to protect net neutrality will encourage predatory practices that almost always hurt communities at risk the most, deepening the economic and racial divides that are already too broad in our country.

How would you protect people in your area from having their info sold through ISP?

Kevin Grossman

I don’t know where the regulatory and legal boundaries are in that arena, but if there is a role the City can play in protecting customers from ISP appropriation of their information. I would support disclosure and possibly outright restrictions of it.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

First, I’d educate internet users about the importance of keeping eye on their providers privacy policies and making a change as necessary if those policies do not offer adequate protection for consumers. The use of encrypted sites can assist with protecting your information and browsing practices. I’d also advise them to check on how service providers depict their online activity so that they can see firsthand the information collected and shared. In addition, it is important to understand how incognito and private browsing windows work and use them as a preventive measure.

Catherine Ushka

Local legislation to prevent this, and state and federal advocacy for the same.

Incumbency, PCYD's Involved & Campaign Consultants

Are you an incumbent to this position?

Kevin Grossman

No

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

No

Catherine Ushka

No

Do you have any staff from PCYDs currently working or volunteering for you? If so, what are their names?

Kevin Grossman

No

No, but I’m open to it.

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

No

Not yet!

Catherine Ushka

No

Not currently, but let this be an invitation! District four is really fun to doorbell!

What consultants for this current campaign have you worked/collaborated with?

Kevin Grossman

Dorian Waller, James Rolph, others on an ad hoc basis

Shalisa (Shay) Hayes

Argo Strategies

Catherine Ushka

Progressive Strategies NW, the best data in the state and the team that knows district 4 better than any other consulting firm, also formerly very active YD’s. (I think they aged out but don’t tell them I said that).