You may have read about this Trump-like maneuver.

The County Council intends to break up the Health Department.  (Speculation: It looks as if they want to fire Dr. Chen and lift COVID restrictions. Pam Roach hates contact tracing and masks, and she has only a few weeks left on the Council.)

The Pierce County Council Republicans are trying to dissolve our health department in the middle of a pandemic!

On Dec 1, Pierce County Council Chair Doug Richardson scheduled Ordinance 2020-136 for a hearing sponsored originally by him and for unknown reasons changed to Council Member Pam Roach.

Ordinance 2020-136 would dismantle the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, with an intent to consolidate it as a regular department of Pierce County under authority of the County Executive and County Council only.

This is a vast departure from the long-standing, independent Public Health Department, jointly governed by cities, towns, Pierce County and a medical professional – thus politicizing our local Health Department.

This ordinance came as a surprise to the Board of Health, The Health Department, and to their Tacoma partners. If passed, reversal is likely impossible.

A huge thank-you to all those who have worked to make these resources available, especially the Pierce Co Democrats from whom I shamelessly borrowed.

In this piece you will find:

  • speaking/writing points to use when communicating with the County Council
  • links to the elected officials
  •  information about a #SaveTPCHD Rally scheduled for Tuesday

Talk to friends and neighbors about joining the efforts, share the media report links and know that whatever you can do, is appreciated by those on the front lines.


Contact County Council Members and County Executive Bruce Dammeier NOW and until DECEMBER 15.

Tell them the politically-driven dismantling of our public health department during this roaring pandemic is reckless and dangerous.

1. E-mail: Council Contact Information | Pierce County, WA – Official Website
2. Comment Online on Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-136 (


Don’t put politics before health.

The politically-driven dismantling of our public health department during this roaring pandemic is reckless and dangerous!

We need our public health workers focused on the pandemic, not politics.

This sudden move is a divisive distraction at the exact moment we all need to pull together and pull through.
A global pandemic is not the time to play politics with our healthcare.

No consultation, no community engagement.

The City of Tacoma was not consulted as a stakeholder and partner in this policy move, nor were any other cities or towns in Pierce County.

Healthcare workers, community members, and those who rely on Tacoma-Pierce Health Department the most were all shocked by this sudden and unexplained action.

This is a significant dissolution and reorganization of a half-century-old partnership that deserves more than ONE WEEK of discussion.

Bad idea, at the WORST time

This 11th hour surprise move weakens our efforts rather than strengthens them.

At a time that partnership and collaboration is so essential, this dissolves and weakens the ability for our county and city leaders to work with medical providers, educators, parents, workers and employers.

This move has ramifications for everything from drinking water and drug treatment and maternal health.
We are in a spike of a global pandemic; not the time for playing politics with healthcare. This should not be rushed.

We urge the Pierce County Executive and County Council to postpone further policy discussion and legislative action on this matter until such time that a full analysis and robust stakeholder engagement can be completed.
We request that County officials reach out to cities and towns, the medical community, educators, and other vital stakeholders to fully vet the implications of the decision to dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department prior to considering any legislation.

A final vote is scheduled on December 15, 2020.

Comment at Virtual Public Hearings:
Rules Committee Meeting
When: Monday, Dec. 7th 10:00 AM
Agenda: Meeting Agenda Dec. 7, 2020
Join: Open Zoom Link enter the Webinar ID: 945-1382-9108
Via Phone*: 253-215-8782

County Council Meeting
When: Tuesday, Dec. 8th 3:00 PM
Agenda:Council Document (
Join: Open Zoom Link enter the Webinar ID: 976-6178-7423
Via Phone: 253-215-8782

County Council Meeting FINAL VOTE
When: Tuesday, December 15th, 3:00 PM
Agenda: TBD
Join: Open Zoom Link enter the Webinar ID: 976-6178-7423
Via Phone: 253-215-8782

*Chair calls for comment press *9 on your phone to “raise your hand”, which notifies the Zoom host you wish to speak. (Note: if you are using a cell phone and have been on the call for a while, you will need to “wake up” the screen before pressing *9).

Socially-distant Protest:

When: Tuesday, Dec. 8th 8-10AM
Where: Rear parking, County City Building (Meeting on Yakima Ave Parking lot)
930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402
What: Show up at our socially-distanced protest to let the County Council know that they are on notice: don’t play politics with our health! Masks and social distancing are required and we will have safety monitors in place to help prevent any potential spread.
Contact: Chelsea McElroy, For Media Inquiries: Jamie Smith, 253-334-5670,
Facebook Link: Save the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department! | Facebook


Call Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier Now to #SaveTPCHD: 253-798-7477

Sign the Petition to #SaveTPCHD:

Sign to Save TPCHD and to Demand the Removal of Pam Roach’s Proposed Ordinance (No. 2020-136) from the Pierce County Council Agenda. (

Media Reports:

Joint Statement From Mayor and Health Board Chair – City of Tacoma

Pierce County considers terminating health department | Tacoma News Tribune (

Pierce County’s attempt to seize health dept raises red flag | Tacoma News Tribune (

Future of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept. suddenly in question (

Stop Pierce County council from dissolving health department | Tacoma News Tribune (

Social Media:

Speak out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with these hashtags!
#SaveTPCHD #DammeierDebacle

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