“Why would anyone move to Tacoma? Tacoma isn’t cool!”

Tacoma is getting a lot of attention lately and it seems to be coming at us for two reasons. First, Tacoma has been improving for decades (museums, infrastructure improvements, transportation improvements, we all know what I mean). Second, Seattle’s economy and real estate market is getting INSANELY expensive ($525,000 median home price WHAT!?). This is causing people to turn their eyes south. All this attention is hitting Tacomans in different ways. On one hand, we want positive attention (we’re not super used to it) and it’s flattering when people move here. On the other hand, we want to protect what is great about our city and we don’t want to inherit Seattle’s stupid housing prices.

If you’re a listener to the MoveToTacoma.com podcast you know that we’ve been talking about Tacoma’s identity. In our second episode we talked about whether or not Tacoma is cool, and that seems to have struck a chord with Stephen Battey at Battey.me:

So why isn’t Tacoma cool? Because we are trying too hard. Outside communities have already made up their minds about Tacoma, and the more Tacoma tries to change them the more ridiculous we look. We don’t need to convince the naysayers that we are just as good as—if not better than—they are because we can exist on our own. If somebody turns their nose up at you when you tell them where you’re from, you don’t need to waste your time with them. That person is a dick-face, and they can stay in their city with all of their friends who think the same.

Tacoma only needs Tacoma. – Stephen Battey, “Tacoma isn’t cool.”

With the revelation on Geekwire yesterday that Tacoma is marketing to tech companies in California to relocate to Tacoma, a lot of people (many of them Tacomans) are coming out of the woodwork to scoff at what a ridiculous prospect that is. Why would a company move to Tacoma? Tacoma isn’t cool! Time for some #RealTalk. Tacoma doesn’t have to be “cool” like Austin or Brooklyn or Portland to make people want to move here or locate a company here. Browse the #tacomakicksass hashtag on Instagram for some great photos of what makes us great. Look at how much house you can buy versus our neighbors to the north. Walk through UWT or the Brewery district to see what companies can do with gorgeous brick buildings for commercial space.

I don’t live in fear of “losing our grit.” I even own a few of those awesome Keep Tacoma Feared stickers. We can grow and thrive and change, but roots are roots. Who we are is not going to change. So let’s think happy thoughts, find some new neighbors, create some new jobs to employ them, and create the best version of ourselves that we can.