On Thursday, Aug. 7, Rep. Denny Heck will give a presentation on the potential loss of some 16,000 jobs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as what locals can do to ensure the Army hears how the reductions would affect them.
The 10th District Congressman will be the featured speaker at the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) Economic Development Working Group meeting, which begins at 2:30 p.m., at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW.
In June, the Army proposed reducing the number of military and civilian jobs at JBLM by up to 16,000 before 2020 as part of a national drawdown. It produced a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) that estimates how the jobs reduction would impact the region, including the economies of Pierce and Thurston Counties.
SSMCP and the City of Lakewood are encouraging businesses and residents to tell the Army how these proposed reductions would impact them by submitting a public comment via the Army’s official public comment process, the deadline for which is Aug. 25, 2014.
(Lakewood City Manager John Caulfield's wrote an opinion piece on the potential drawdown that was published Aug. 3, 2014 in The News Tribune )
Why is it important that you voice your opinion? Public input matters. Last year, when the initial assessment on potential base reductions was released, the South Sound region submitted only one comment, and JBLM lost 4,200 soldiers. In other military communities where the public spoke up, more often than not, much smaller cuts were made.
The City has provided instructions and tips on how to submit a public comment here .