Tacoma city, community leaders band together to address spike in violence

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards says that there have been 22 homicides in the city so far this year, more than all of 2018.

On Tuesday, the city and the community said they are making a change: No longer will they try and fight violence on opposite ends.

Every city council member on Tuesday voted in favor of a "ceasefire" proclamation, but Woodards says the city is only a part of the solution.

"It's going to take a whole lot more than policy to change this community," she said.

More than a dozen community leaders stood by Woodards in this effort. The ceasefire is more than just words in city council chambers. It's an actual movement in the city, one started by community leader Candace Wesley.

"We want children to safely be able to go to a playground and play," Wesley said. "We want grandmothers and grandfathers to be able to sit on the porch and tell stories of the old times."

There is a lot of work ahead, but they are focusing on problems together.

"When citizens of Tacoma like this step up and say, 'We know there is a problem and we know we are part of the solution,' that's a different narrative," Woodards said.

A March for Peace is scheduled for next Wednesday in the city. Members of the ceasefire movement tell Q13 News they plan to meet next week to work on their plan.