Meet Jani Hitchen Candidate for
Pierce County Council District 6
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Why pick Jani?
I believe that having a new kind of leadership is exactly what we need. I started the work to win the 6th District Seat at the end of 2019, and believe that my life and work experiences are exactly what we need in 2020.
I believe that my skills as an educator, the ability to collaborate, problem solve, communicate effectively, actively listen and work hard will be valuable during these challenging times. In addition, I can do this work with a lens of equity and compassion. We cannot keep electing the same kinds of leaders and think we will get different results.
Though Covid changed what I would like to have done, we hosted many virtual events where we had the opportunity to hear from our different communities across the 6th District. Though each area had unique and specific concerns, there were some common threads.
1. Building: some said there was not enough affordable housing in their area, others said it was just industry or warehouses. But all shared concerns about how the increased growth does not seem well planned and has increased traffic and decreased green space. Homelessness was being shifted from one area to another instead of actually dealing with some of the reasons behind it.
2. Mental health services: we need them in all parts, and with the current concerns with police it was apparent that each community wanted a more community focused police model. They wanted to know their officers and equip them with the right tools and training for the calls they go on. In addition they wanted to have another way to reach out for help when it was not a violent crime, where a properly trained person would show up to help.
3. Community: some felt like the county didn't really talk to the people that lived in each area. That they only listened to the city councils or the planners and builders. This disconnect from land use plans, or the needs of neighborhoods is short-sited. It was not difficult to set up these meetings so people could share their ideas, why can't the county do that as well?
4. Environment and natural resources: Are we being good stewards of our water, air, forest and farmland? Though each area had a different take on what they were concerned about, for instance Steilacoom was worried about trees being removed and cement going in. But on Anderson Island the beaches are littered with plastic that floats to shore from aquaculture and litter. Each is an impact to the people and the environment in the short and long term. But they are concerns that need addressing now.