City of Tacoma, Washington
Marilyn Strickland is the 39th Mayor of Tacoma and the first woman of color elected to the position. Born in Seoul, Korea, Strickland is a product of Tacoma Public Schools, a graduate of the University of Washington and earned an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University.
Strickland has professional experience in both the private and public sectors, and has held management positions with The Tacoma Public Library, Starbucks Coffee Company, and JayRay Communications where she worked with Tacoma Public Utilities to help launch Click!Network, the nation’s first municipally owned telecommunications system.
She now serves as chair for Pierce Transit, and an executive committee member for the Government Performance and Finance Committee and Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee.
Active with the US Conference of Mayors, Strickland serves on its Public Education Task Force and was recently appointed Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee. She is also the only elected official serving on the US Small Business Administration’s Council for Underserved Communities, which is tasked with making policy recommendations to the Obama Administration to assist women, veteran and minority owned businesses.
During her first term as mayor, Strickland has initiated policies to support business, education and tourism. She championed the City of Destiny Scholarship program with the College Success Foundation, enacted tax relief for small business in Tacoma, and launched a community gardens initiative to address issues of access to healthy food in underserved neighborhoods. The City of Tacoma recently completed a $30 million renovation of Cheney Stadium, which secured a 30-year lease with the Tacoma Rainiers AAA baseball team. In 2012, Tacoma looks forward to the opening of LeMay-America’s Car Museum, and continued improvements to its neighborhoods, downtown core and waterfront.