About Victoria Woodards
Victoria Woodards serves as the Immediate Past President of the National League of Cities and is the Mayor of Tacoma, WA. She was elected mayor in 2018.
Woodards has called the “City of Destiny” her home for almost her entire life. She is a proud graduate of Tacoma’s Lincoln High School and has served as a soldier in the United States Army. Before becoming mayor, she served for seven years as an at-large member of the City Council. During that time, she launched the city’s Equity and Empowerment initiative which led to the establishment of its Office of Equity and Human Rights. She also brought partner organizations together for then-President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and spearheaded the city’s Project PEACE initiative which bridged community members with the Tacoma Police Department.
As mayor, she continues to be a champion of these important issues while expanding her involvement in regional and national conversations on affordable housing, transportation, strengthening youth and families, public safety, growing local business, and the creation of family wage jobs. She has also worked to more fully engage the city’s youth in community decisions that impact them every day, by expanding Student Government Day and establishing the city’s first Youth Commission.
Woodards has been selected to serve in a number of national leadership roles that allow her to share information with other cities across the country and bring best practices back to Tacoma. In addition to her role as President, she has served as co-chair of both NLC’s Council on Youth, Education, and Families and its Race, Equity and Leadership program. At the United States Conference of Mayors, she serves on the advisory board; as vice-chair of the Committee on Jobs, Education, and the Workforce; and as co-chair of the Women Mayors Leadership Alliance.
Some of her other leadership roles as Tacoma’s mayor include positions on the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, Sound Transit Board, Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, Pierce Transit Board, Foundation for Tacoma Students Board, and the Workforce Central Board. In partnership with County Executive Bruce Dammeier and County Council Member Connie Ladenburg, she also convened elected leaders from across Pierce County for Mayoral Roundtable to explore opportunities for regional collaboration on the issue of housing attainability in the region, an initiative that formally came to be known as the ‘South Sound Housing Affordability Partners.’
Woodards has consistently reaffirmed her support for immigrant and refugee families, and Tacoma remains a welcoming city committed to providing immigrant and refugee communities with equitable access to City services. Alongside her peers on the City Council, she advocates for policies that provide safety and stability for all members of the community, and she uses her national leadership roles to join with mayors across the county in calling for federal reforms. Under her leadership, the city appointed members to its first Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. This commission was established to better engage with immigrant and refugee communities, and to work with local organizations to identify and advance positive outcomes for community members in need.
Demonstrating a lifelong track record of public service, Woodards has served as president of the Tacoma Urban League and as director of community development for the Tacoma Rainiers. Her past civic engagement work has also included leadership positions with the Tacoma Metropolitan Parks Board, the Washington State History Museum, and the Washington State Commission of African American Affairs.