Exit133 is about Tacoma
10 Ways Tacoma Can Improve Its Economic Outlook
The following was submitted without attribution by a long-time reader. Maybe we should do more guest editorials... as long as they include top 10 lists...
We all remember where we were the day TheDailyMeal.com declared Tacoma’s Farmer’s Markets to be 10th best out of 101 farmers markets across the nation. European diplomats raised their eyebrows and the abrupt squeaking of chair legs on Wall Street boardroom floors was audible even on the margins of Pacific Avenue. In Grit City, we were proud and it felt good. For the first time in a decade, Tacoma tasted victory – and it tasted like a tomato grown in Tagro.
In the wake of that emotional crest, we must not risk losing momentum. We must continue to ascend with our faces toward even greater heights. Between the cables of the Narrows bridges, the wind sings, “Forward! Upward!” And upward Tacoma shall go – but how?
Esteemed commentators such as Ken Miller and Morf Morford have offered their thoughts regarding Tacoma’s best possible economic course. Our political leaders have championed projects and causes that will supposedly draw fortune to our doorstep. But as I considered all the words and all the energy spent on our city’s development, I was left with the nagging feeling that something vital had gotten lost along the way. So I drew up my own list of 10 Ways to Improve Tacoma’s Economic Outlook.
- We must monetize Tacoma’s growing network of pocket libraries. Since 2012, this potential cash-cow has grown in popularity. Neighbors happily lend books to other neighbors with no overhead costs. It’s high time our officials develop a fee system for this unique luxury.
- Charge an entry fee to Tacoma’s Farmer’s Markets. Ours are the 10th Best in the Nation and as such are bona fide tourist attractions. People will pay just to walk through them, I guarantee it.
- Choose an Official Song for the city as a way to establish a musical identity. The Crazy Frog ringtone was pretty awesome. Just a suggestion.
- We need to attract young families by creating affordable housing and job opportunities. One way to do this is to relocate all the elderly people in our city limits to Puyallup. The elderly are very cute, but they take up a lot of space with their weird hats and butt-smelly reclining sofa chairs.
- We have under-utilized opportunities for international branding. The ships that pass through the Port of Tacoma can be our international ambassadors. We should have giant decals made that say, “TACOMA: Fuck you, Seattle” and slap them to the starboard side of every Asia-bound vessel we service here. Ships. Rollin’ on the high seas. Makin’ our shit known.
- Put Warhol’s flower on the Tacoma Dome. I don’t know why, really. But I am tired of reading passionate words about this damn flower.
- We need to give more support to the arts. Our insular community is already fertile ground for delusions of grandeur, but even delusions require sustenance and support. Without financial backing, slapdash mediocrity could easily become a thing of the past.
- City Council should immediately pass the resolution I have written which bans Mark Driscoll from entering Tacoma city limits. This futile gesture will put us on the news and give us much-needed socio-political credibility with smug Facebook babble-mouths.
- Poster Wars. Beautiful Angle should not be the only non-profit street poster art game in town. Market competition will fuel demand.
- Pierce County kind of sucks. Tacoma should start its own county. Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriage in Washington, got only 49% of the vote in Pierce County. Tacoma County would perform marginally better.
These suggestions are simple, practical, and require very little political will. A child could understand them. A gluten-free person (i.e.: “paleo”, short for/AKA “paleontologist”) could understand them. But if even 5 out of 11 of them are implemented, the effects would be tremendous -- historic, perhaps. We have a choice: We can chase the future from behind, or we can get out in front of it and tell it, “Catch the fuck up, future, you poky little puppy!”
I hope Tacoma chooses the path that involves yelling at the puppy.
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