Imagine that it is the year 2025. Tacoma is one of the nation’s healthiest, safest, and most playful cities. We have daily access to stunning natural surroundings and a great quality of life. We are Washington’s most diverse big city, with arts, culture, parks, and recreational opportunities that are envied by much larger cities.
Luckily, Tacoma already enjoys many of these qualities. We recognize just how lucky we are, but we know we can make it better.
How do we make it better, though? An important first step is identifying our community’s collective vision for the future of Tacoma and having a plan for how to achieve it. Tacoma 2025 is that collective vision.
Tacoma 2025: The City’s Strategic Plan
A Strategic plan is the road map for achieving a collective vision. Tacoma 2025 is the Strategic Plan for the City of Tacoma, a community-designed vision developed by more than 2,400 Tacoma residents who worked together to envision what the future of Tacoma could look like.
The story of Tacoma 2025 begins in 2013, when the Government Performance and Finance Committee (GPFC) created a Fiscal Sustainability Task Force to provide a mechanism for members of the private and public sector partners, nonprofit interests, and labor partners to examine the City’s revenue and budget deficit structure. Out of 28 recommendations, the Task Force recommended the City create a ten-year Citywide Strategic Plan and Vision document, that guided decision-making and resource allocation, with the goal of making the City a leader in providing high-quality services and offering an enjoyable and sustainable quality of life for its residents.
Between April–November 2014, over 2,000 community members gave input on the Strategic Plan via:
- Community Survey;
- Online Forums;
- Stakeholder Interviews;
- And Series of Citywide Visioning Events
In addition, a Steering Committee that was representative of Tacoma’s diversity of people and partners guided The Tacoma 2025 Citywide Vision and Strategic Planning process. These volunteers participated both in Steering Committee meetings and in all of the community events during the Tacoma 2025 process. Together, they worked to ensure that the plan’s values, opportunities, priorities, and accountability measures reflected the dreams and aspirations of Tacoma’s remarkable community.
On January 2015, the City Council made this vision official, adopting the Strategic Plan by approving Resolution 39016: A Resolution approving the City of Tacoma’s Ten-Year Citywide Strategic Plan and Visions, Tacoma 2025. This resolution also established an 11-member Tacoma 2025 Advisory Committee to provide input on desired objectives and outcomes, monitor plan implementation, and review performance reports during the development and implementation process.
After implementation of the plan began, City staff and the Tacoma 2025 Advisory Committee reviewed performance measures and milestones. It became clear that they would need to revisit the plan and adjust the focus areas and measures to better guide the work that would need to happen to achieve the community’s vision.
To do this, the Advisory Committee referred to the STAR Community Rating System (STAR). In 2013, Tacoma was one of 30 cities that participated in the STAR pilot to receive a certified rating; receiving four out of five stars. Tacoma performed particularly well under built environment; education, arts and community; and natural systems, leaving more room for improvement in the climate and energy; economy and jobs, equity and empowerment and health and safety categories. Tacoma 2025 Advisory Committee adapted the focus areas to reflect the needed areas of improvement.
Building on the community’s guidance, the Tacoma City Council identified their highest priority Tacoma 2025 indicators during their annual Strategic Planning Work Session on February 7th, 2020. These priorities help guide the development of the City Manager’s Biennial Budget and other City processes as well as the response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Learn more about how the City is putting Council Priorities into action in the Budget: 2023-2024 Biennial Budget Development – City of Tacoma