Victoria Woodards took office as Tacoma’s 39th mayor in January 2018, and Tacoma Historical Society is honored to present her as our guest speaker on Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12. Woodards will share stories from her journey of life, work, and service in Tacoma.
Please note the special location on the University of Puget Sound campus: we will be meeting in Kilworth Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
Victoria Woodards has been proud to call Tacoma – the “City of Destiny” – her home for nearly her entire life. She is a product of the Tacoma Public School District and a proud graduate of Lincoln High School. In addition to being a US Army Veteran, she has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
For over three decades, Victoria has served as a passionate leader in our community in many ways. Some of those include former chair of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, Trustee for the Washington State History Museum, Co-Chair of the Tacoma Civil Rights Project, Senior Fellow in the American Leadership forum and Producer of the region’s largest celebration of diversity, Ethnic Fest.
While Victoria has always had a desire to serve and work in her community, it was while working for Harold Moss on the Pierce County Council that she discovered her desire to serve in elected office. In May of 2004, she was appointed to the Board of Park Commissioners and subsequently elected in November 2005. She served as President of the Metro Parks Board until 2009 when she was elected to the Tacoma City Council.
As a member of the City Council, Victoria worked tirelessly to make Tacoma the best place to live, work and play. She was Deputy Mayor in 2014 and during her tenure as a councilmember served in several capacities including chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health, Community Vitality and Safety Committee and the Gang Reduction Task Force. She was also on the boards of the Foundation for Tacoma Students (Graduate Tacoma) and the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center.
Victoria has been a member of Allen AME Church for almost 40 years. As a youth, she was an active as a member of the youth choir, usher board and the Young Peoples Department (Y.P.D.). She has served in many positions within the church, including, a member of Ellen Kellum Missionary Society, YPD Director, and as a Choir Director for both the Youth and Women’s Choir.
Victoria took the reigns as the President and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League in 2011. There she led a devoted team, serving the local community while targeting the next generation. Under her leadership the League was stabilized and its budget was tripled. Today the league is thriving nonprofit serving youth and families in the areas of education, advocacy and financial prosperity.