How did these two Pierce County Charter amendments get on the ballot? The Pierce County Council chair Douglas Richardson is the sponsor and the council approved it.

When did this happen? At the very last possible moment on July 25, 2017, the Pierce County Council, with just six votes, placed this on the ballot. July 25th was the last possible day to place something on the ballot and this charter amendment had just seconds to spare.

If citizens wanted to place a charter change on the ballot, how could that be done? The law allows six months for citizens to collect a total of 73,064 valid signatures from registered voters in Pierce County – 100,000 signatures would need to be collected to ensure ballot access. That 73,064 number is based on 365,318 people who voted in the 2016 General Election, which was the last executive election and requires 20% of those who voted to sign a petition. Clearly, placing a charter amendment on the ballot by citizens is not possible. Indeed, the 2016 Citizen Commission placed a charter amendment on the ballot seeking to reduce the number, but that measure failed, unfortunately.

How were the writing committee members chosen? Not very fairly. The writing committees are appointed by the County Council members. Since both charter amendments were brought forward by the council members, those same council members were responsible for finding people to write the for and against arguments. Ken Paulson was contacted on Monday, the day before the committees were voted on by the council members. The fix was in, but Paulson blew the whistle and two other citizens (making a total of three) showed up to volunteer to help on the writing committees. The council members were not happy with the public finding out and were forced into allowing other concerned citizens to be a part of the committees.


Earlier this year volunteers were collecting signatures – these were questions for that.

Where can I find a petition to sign? Volunteers head out when time allows so it is hard to say exactly where a petitioner might be at any given time, even when a volunteer plans to be somewhere, things happen. The best way to sign a petition is to stop by one of the businesses that have petition sheets, they also have sheets for people to sign.


Who can sign Initiative 8? Only registered voters living in Tacoma. If a person wants to sign, encourage them to register to vote by going online to the Online Voter Registration – Washington Secretary of State


Where can I find a place to pick up petition sheets? Current list of locations:

Lincoln Hardware

Mr. Mac

Tacoma Lamp Repair


How many signatures are needed? 12,794 but need to turn in 17,000 to be sure enough people who sign are actually Tacoma registered voters.


What is the deadline for turning in the signatures? The campaign is turning them into the city clerk on July 7, 2017 – but don’t wait until the last minute, we need signatures in every day to make our weekly goals.


What happens to my signature when I sign Initiative 8? Like all signatures on petitions for access to the ballot, they are part of the public record. Court cases have been fought about trying to keep the names of people who sign a petition private, but then, how would the public then know if the signatures are truly valid?


What does the petition look like?