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2019 Ruth Anderson Public Debate

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Ruth Anderson Public Debate Rent Control Tacoma
September 12, 2019
By Reesa Nelson
Marketing & Communications Manager

Rents are rising in Tacoma and surrounding areas, becoming increasingly unaffordable for vulnerable populations. What should be done?

Pacific Lutheran University’s Ruth Anderson Public Debate will examine the rising cost of housing in Tacoma and whether a policy for rent control should be instituted. Brandi Kruse, Q13 News Anchor and Host of The Divide, will moderate the debate featuring Representative Andrew Barkis from Washington’s 2nd District and Dinah Braccio from the Tenants Union of Washington. The debate, free and open to all, will be held Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7 PM in the Regency Room at PLU’s Anderson University Center.

Tacoma’s housing market has been declared the hottest in the U.S., in part because Seattleites in search of more affordable homes have started buying up property. Yet Tacoma’s job market is not competitive with Seattle’s, and as a result, many local residents cannot keep up with the rising cost of housing. Given these trends, Dr. Justin Eckstein, Assistant Professor of Communication and Director of Debate, said “This topic is essential for our community to explore. The cost of housing affects people of all types and Tacoma has seen major changes in the last five years. Our debaters bring with them different viewpoints and ideas, and I’m eager for their opinions and potential solutions to be heard by the community.”

The debate will probe a wide range of issues from multiple angles, like the efficacy of government intervention into the market versus market-based solutions, and balancing the rights of both tenants and property owners. Registration for this free community event is optional and available online with Eventbrite. For more information, visit