YOUR HELP NEEDED to secure behavioral health funding for Pierce County
You may know that Pierce County is the only urban county in Washington State that does not currently invest in behavioral health resources with a 1/10th of 1% Behavioral Health Tax. The County Council will be voting to implement a 1/10th of 1% (one penny for every $10 spent) on March 10 and we need to tell them why this is important and that we need an investment in behavioral health NOW. The ordinance will be available to read online next week.
How can you help? Share why funding for behavioral health services is important to you!
The ordinance will have a first and final reading before the Pierce County Human Services Committee on 9:30 AM – 11 AM on Feb 18, 2020. This will be at the County City Building (Room 1045, 930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402). Supporters are encouraged to provide a 3 minute testimonial. Public testimonial is extremely helpful at this stage.
Once the ordinance is out of committee, it will then go before the full County Council. A super majority vote is needed which means at least 5 of the 7 Council Members will need to vote aye/yes for the tax to pass.
The final vote will take place at the March 10 Council Meeting at 3 PM at the County City Building(Room 1045, 930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402). Public testimony will be heard. Supporters are encouraged to provide testimony.
If you cannot testify, please email the Pierce County Council and share why you are supporting this investment in behavioral health.
Emails: Dave.Morell@piercecountywa.gov; Pam.Roach@piercecountywa.gov; Jim.McCune@piercecountywa.gov; Connie.Ladenburg@piercecountywa.gov; Marty.Campbell@piercecountywa.gov; Doug.Richardson@piercecountywa.gov; Derek.Young@piercecountywa.gov;
With limited time to testify, please fill out this form so supporters can strategize testimonial and make sure a wide variety of perspectives and different points are heard and identify any gaps, opportunities, or voices that may be missing. It is especially helpful to hear from those who can speak to the impact and intersections of behavioral health and homelessness, veterans, children, and first responders. Lived experience and personal stories are incredibly impactful and moving. The voice of service providers and data is important. The combination of both will be critical to the passage of this vote. Feel free to forward and share this information!
It is critical that we are able to convey that an investment in behavioral health services and resources across Pierce County is wanted and needed. It will cost an average of $19.35 per person per year. This would have raised $13.1 million in 2019. We know we have a regressive tax system that can only be fixed through the State Legislature. But we also know we are not saving any money by not having the tax. With a tax, we are able to have transparency and accountability for how the dollars are spent and most importantly, increase access, coordination, collaboration, education, and so much more for all who live, work, and enjoy Pierce County.
Your voice and personal story will always be most impactful for Council Members to hear. If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to organizers with the Pierce County Human Services Coalition: Chelsea Talbert at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amanda DeShazo at email@example.com